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The Contender
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America's healthcare is superior to Canada's

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 283 times Debate No: 91924
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)




I will be arguing that the American healthcare system is better than the Canadian healthcare system.
R1- Acceptance
R2- Opening statements
R3- Rebuttals
R4- Closing remarks

Thanks in advance for accepting, and good luck!!


I accept and look forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Why the American Healthcare System Is Superior to the Canadian System

Part I- Wait times
Part II- Medicaid and Medicare for seniors and the poor available
Part III- Much more specialization in the technological side of medicine
Part IV- Cheapest prices possible because of competition
Part V- More choice of your doctor
Part VI- Healthcare is not a right
Part VII- More dugs available
Part VII- No person is refused treatment
Part IX- Paying for things you find morally wrong

I " In the most recent study by the Fraser institute found indicates that, overall, waiting times for medically necessary treatment have not improved since last year. Specialist physicians surveyed report a median waiting time of 18.3 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment"slightly longer than the 18.2 week wait reported in 2014. This year"s wait time is 97% longer than in 1993 when it was just 9.3 weeks. (1) However a study done by Dr. Max Gammon, a British physicist found that while the input (# of doctors) rose significantly in the last 10 years the output (Quality of care) went down by a drastic amount. (2) The wait times in Canada to just see a general practitioner vary from province to province. The lowest wait is at 6.7 weeks (Saskatchewan) compared to 28.3 weeks (Prince Edward Island). Now in PEI the # of doctors to patients is the highest in the country at 1:137, therefore the argument that the wait is longer because of shortage of doctors is invalid. (3) Now in regard to the # of people waiting to get help from a doctor in Canada is at 1,257,935, that is 3.3% of the population! In Dallas the average wait time to see any specialist is just 10.2 days, and for a family doctor a total of 5 days, vs. Canadas lowest which was 6.7 weeks or 46.9 days. Our highest in Canada vs the highest in the USA (run by Democrats, Boston) at 72 days PEI is at 198.1 days, giving a difference of 126 days. (4)

II- People often think the USA has many "uninsured" Americans, but this statement is far from the truth, all thanks to Medicaid and Medicare which is a system used for a few different groups to provide medical insurance to those that can"t get it.
Medicaid- A form of insurance for healthcare; provided by the federal government for low income families and individuals who cannot afford health insurance.
Medicare- A form of insurance for healthcare issued state by state for seniors and others with disabilities or pregnant women who can"t afford medical insurance.
Medicare has helped 44 million individuals and families every single year, while Medicaid helped 37 million, thus eliminating the problem of the uninsured. This is superior to the Socialized medicine system Canada has because the wait times are still incredibly lower compared to Canada. (6)
Now of course someone has to pay for all these people so how does it affect taxes?? Payroll taxes collected through FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and the Self-Employment Contributions Act are a primary component of Medicare funding. The tax is 2.9% of wages, usually half paid by the employee and half paid by the employer. Moneys are set aside in a trust fund that the government uses to reimburse doctors, hospitals, and private insurance companies. Additional funding for Medicare services comes from premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copays. (7)
One in every five Americans gets their health care through Medicaid. Medicaid includes people from all walks of life"they range from middle-class individuals who have suffered a catastrophic illness, to seniors living in longterm care (70 percent of all nursing home residents rely on Medicaid), to newborns and children. Learn about who benefits from Medicaid expansion. Medicaid insures one in five Americans and one in three of the nation"s children. Medicaid helps people afford doctor visits so that they can stay healthy. And it pays for hospital stays and long-term care. Medicaid helps doctors and hospitals, too. By paying for the health care needs of low-income people, Medicaid reduces hospitals" burden of unpaid care. This helps hospitals and makes the health care system stronger for all of us. All states already participate in the Medicaid program, and half have decided to use federal dollars to expand Medicaid even further. That"s because they know that, in addition to helping keep health care costs in check, Medicaid adds jobs and helps state budgets. And Medicaid is flexible. This efficiently run program lets states tailor benefits, within broad federal guidelines, to better meet the needs of their residents. We partner with states to help them expand Medicaid. We work to protect Medicaid funding at the state and federal levels. And we engage advocates to promote best practices and help states make changes that give residents good health coverage and high-quality care. (8)

III- If a person can afford it he or she will often go to the USA for a medical treatment of simply because of the advancements in technology made in the private system. One study (Murphy, 1998) reports that it is impossible to say with any certainty that new technology has led to more or less spending on health care. This view would appear to be in the minority. Fuchs (1999) who is Professor Emeritus of Economics, Stanford University, comments on the costs of technology in health care thus: Most experts believe that "technology" is the driving force behind the long-term rise of health care spending. In a survey of fifty leading health economists in 1995, 81% agreed with the statement, "the primary reason for the increase in the health sector's share of GDP over the past 30 years is technological change in medicine". Expenditures grew primarily because the medical system was delivering more and better services to patients: new drugs, magnetic resonance imaging, angioplasties, hip replacements, and many other costly interventions. Advances in medical technology have made it feasible and desirable to do more for each patient and to intervene with more patients. Now had it not been for the private system these advancements would not have been made and the life expectancy would not have thrived since these wonderful advancements and breakthroughs I the healthcare system. (9) One must simply understand that we need privatization of healthcare to ensure the best quality machines as well care for the patients.

IV- From a factual and economic standpoint, the more competition and free trade in the market the lower the prices are for the services and goods. So if a business and for sake of the argument insurance companies attempt to drive their prices into the ground say $200 per year all other competition will be eliminated and everyone will be happy to only pay 200 per year. Now lets say the company wants to make some bigger profits, they will evidently raise the price to say $500, however now other companies will compete again all for a lower price, giving the consumer the best price possible. (10) Some may know of the prisoners dilemma problem, here is how it goes".

This applies to economics and healthcare because it is in the best interest of the insurance companies to get the least amount of time (charge the least) to try and eliminate its competition, thus the cheapest way to get healthcare is to flood the market with competition and plummet the prices for the goods.

V- In a government run healthcare system the choice of your doctor is very limited, I"ll put it this way. Who in this room would simply close their eyes and open the phonebook and choose a doctor at random??? Not very many I"m sure. So what would you go off of??? Reviews? Friends, and family? Other experiences? This is a perfect example of how the private system works, rather than in the public where you have little to no choice in your doctor/ surgeon. However in a private system people choose their doctor off reviews and other past experiences that they or others that they know have had with that male or female. (11) Many times peole will not choose a doctor or physician who has had malpractice suits filed therefore he will no longer practice and thus eliminating the problem of "bad" doctors.

VI- Many think healthcare is a right, however nothing could be farther from the truth here is why". When you look at a lot of political philosophers, you will find that the three basic human rights are life, liberty, and property. If something must be taken from one person to be given to another, it is not a right. Therefore, if one must be forced to pay into a system that provides free universal healthcare, it is not a right, because you must deprive one person from their right to their property. There is a big difference between a need and a right. Health care is a basic need that everyone is free to pursue. This means that the government cannot infringe on our right to pursue health care but no one owes us health care. Health care is a good just like food, clothing, and shelter. Positive rights contradict the very notion of rights. The so-called right to health care infringes on negative rights by imposing forceful obligations on taxpayers and health care providers. What about the right of the taxpayer to keep the fruit of his own labor? Should a doctor ultimately decide whom he treats"or should he be forced to treat everyone whether he likes it or not?
To say that we have the right to someone else"s time and services takes us back down a dark path in American history. Those who reject the idea that health care is a right are not dismissing the importance of health care. Quite the opposite is true. Health care is too important to be left to the incompetent federal government. Due to a lack of proper incentives, government generally destroys everything they touch. The government has never been able to run anything more efficiently than the for-profit private sector. (12)(13)(14)(15).

VII- In a private system where the government does not say what drugs are "safe" and "not safe" the consumer has much more freedom in the drugs and treatments he wishes to have. Now what happens in the USA is PRIVATE firms evaluate drugs on say a 3 star rating system, so suppose there is a drug- the only one available but the firm only gave it a 1/3 star rating, this means success rate=33.3% and you have a 66.7% chance of dying. The cancer is terminal, who here would take the drug?? Many would often say "I would" and the reason is because to you that"s a 33.3% better chance than what you have, now what would happen in say Canada"s system is the government would say it is not "safe" enough and not allow the drug to be on the market. Is that right?? The main reason I say it isn"t is the government has no right telling me that I can"t take a drug that could potentially save my life! Now in regards to people being afraid the firms would say lie in the rating and say it is a 97% success rate when it is really only 23%, that company will be sued and out of business so they have no reason to lie other than to short term possibly make more money even though they would soon be sued and out of business. More government regulation is never the answer. The USA also has a FDA which help inn the evaluating process and thus eliminating abuse of the system. (16)(17)(18)

VIII- A major misconception about the American healthcare system is that people are denied treatment, nothing could be farther from the truth. Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act requires hospitals to treat acutely ill patients, whether or not they have medical insurance. Any hospital that does not treat ill patients regardless of the financial status, are breaking the Hippocratic oath as well are subject to lawsuits and malpractice suits as well loss of license. People however have the right to DENY treatment or help, that is not the same as a hospital denying someone healthcare because of no insurance. (19)(20)

IX- One of the main problems with the public system is you pay for treatments you may find morally wrong such as funding cancer treatments for someone who smoked. In Canada, taxpayers pay for all abortions. In British Columbia, Alberta, , Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland, abortion is paid for under the publicly funded system whether it is performed in a hospital or private clinic. One of the most controversial issues is FUNDED BY TAXPAYERS even those who DISAGREE with it completely. (21) Sex-reassignment surgeries are also paid for in all but one province (PEI), even though many people find that unmoral we are FORCED to pay for those things, something that would never happen in the USA. (22)




A. Access/Equity: In Canada everyone is universally covered country wide; while in the US 13.3 % under 65 have no healthcare coverage [1]. Even with insurance in the US, benefits are based on your ability to pay.

There are no issues with insurance portability when changing jobs in Canada. If you have a preexisting condition and change employment in the US, you can be denied coverage under your new employers insurance. Job opportunities missed due to worry of not gaining medical coverage.

B. Costs: Medical costs are 10.4% of Canada’s GDP, US 16% [2]. The US healthcare system is the most expensive in the world and under-performs in healthcare results compared to Canada [3]. Canada per capital medical expenditures is $4,522 compared to US $8,508.

More than ½ of personal bankruptcies in the US are attributed out of pocket medical costs relating to a serious illness or injury. Most of filerswere average age of 41, with some college education having children within the middle income bracket; not the poor. Medical bankruptcies arenot possible under the Canadian system [4, 5].

Over the last decade there has been a shift to higher % paid by employees in employer based health plans [6]. Between 2010-15 health insurance costs had risen by 27%, out pacing inflation and wage growth burdening both employee and employer. Average cost of a family plan is $17,500 per year, not including co-pays or deductibles [7]. In Canada, the health care system is funded by income, sales and corporate taxes that, combined, are much lower than what Americans pay in premiums.” [8]

C. Mortality/Longevity

Lower Infant mortality rates 4 per/1,000 in Canada, 6/1,000 US [9].

Longevity rates in Canada is 81.76 years vs. US which ranks 43 globally at 79.69 [10].

Canada has fewer deaths vs. the US for treatable conditions [11].

D. Open System/Administration

Canadians have are no restraints on doctors or hospitals. If an emergency should arise when traveling there’s no bill to pay upon your return home. US insurance companies require in network doctors and hospitals; anything out of network is out of pocket. In Canada a person can choose whatever doctor they wish to see without a physician’s concern with a patient’s ability to pay.

Canadian doctors are private and for fee based. Instead of dealing with hundreds of different insurers as in the US, they deal with only one insurer leaving more time for patient care over administrative tasks. Canadian admin. cost is 3% vs. US at 20-30% [37] The US has varying fee schedules, co–payments and eligibility requirements which beget higher costs [12].

The term “rationing” of healthcare services that is so demonized by US media is a fallacy. The rationing is based on need, where as in the US rationing is based on cost [13]. US insurance carriers routinely decide what tests and procedures are covered or not.

E. Coordination and Continuity of Care: Canada has better medical IT systems for quicker access to information and care coordination. US doctors have difficulty receiving information in a timely manner and bogged down with administrative tasks [14].


I. Wait times: Canada’s General Accounting Office of Congress, "patients with immediate or life-threatening needs rarely wait for services” [15]Wait times (WT) are weighted by priority of need. Those who seek ELECTIVE procedures wait the longest. [38]. Considering mortality rates for treatable medical conditions is lower in Canada it appears that WTs have little bearing on outcomes [16]. In the US 45,000 deaths annually are attributed to lack of insurance [17]. WTs are growing in the US; more expensive and elective treatments have the shortest WTs vs. chronic conditions; profit motivation [18]. Wait times under US Medicaid and Medicare are rising with times between 2 wks-2 mo. [19].

II. Medicaid & Medicare: Medicaid does assist those just above and below the poverty line (PL), 16.4% of the population, and Medicare for the retired [20]. To be eligible for Medicaid earning must be at or below “$29,700 for a family of four.” [21] With this income threshold 10.4 % of the population are still uninsured [22, 23].

Due to the maze of admin duties and low reimbursement rates, many physicians refuse to care for Medicaid/Medicare patients, lessening options for those who are ill. The US system is over bureaucratic and de-incentivizes physicians to care for this sector of the population [24, 25]. 15% under Medicare live below the PL and can’t afford supplemental health insurance to fill in the gaps of Medicare. Often seniors don’t fill prescriptions due to lack of prescription insurance coverage. This furthers exacerbates health conditions and contributes to higher costs to Medicare for otherwise treatable issues [26].

The fee schedule for Canada’s Medicare is far less complex and is negotiated by province; even with this physician’s earnings remain higher than the general public and are competitive with US [27, 28].

The majority of middle class Americans with employee sponsored plans pay 10% of their income goes toward insurance; individual plans 22% of income. Many are underinsured or fail to seek medical help due to expensive co-pays and high deductibles that weigh heavily of family budgets [29].

III. Specialization: (See video top of round). Less than 1% of Canadians seek care in the US [30]. More recent than your 1998/1999 study explains the causes of rising medical cost, 2016. Drugs and new technologies are the major causes of rising costs. New technologies do not always result in better outcomes. Administrative cost has risen to 20-30%. Nowhere in your citations studies does it state that Canadians are seeking specialized services in the US. PRO:“Now had it not been for the private system these advancements would not have been made and the life expectancy would not have thrived …”Life expectancy in Canada is higher than in the US.

IV. Cheapest Prices/Competition: As stated earlier, the US spends more money on healthcare than any other country. It’s competition in pricing is within the framework of what the market will bear, especially with drug companies, [31] as well as the push for new trendy treatments that might not have a higher benefit over the old in an effort to be completive with other hospitals; new is not always better, but certainly more expensive; marketing of medical services over actual medical value [31].

V. Doctor Choice: In the US insurance policies dictate the selection of doctors within a network of providers. Seeking doctors out of network will result in uncovered total out of pocket expense. In Canada anyone can see any doctor without restriction, a doctor or hospital’s reputation on care is easily accessible for any Canadian’s to review [32, 33].

VI. Health care is not a right? An opinion. If you have a sick or injured child and cannot afford medical attention, as a parent aren’t you denying this innocent his right to health and well being? We are all a part of a society and must contribute to the welfare of its whole for stability, as we do with police, fire, and public works. Not caring for members of a society who fall ill increases burden upon others and lowers productivity of all involved. Society bears higher costs for an unhealthy population than a healthy one. A doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath to benefit the sick above all else including payment for services. To deny health services due to lack of ability to pay is inhumane. What will the result be? Are we to put down the poor ill like dogs when their burden of care becomes overwhelming [34]?

Canada has done a fine job of eliminating the middleman of insurers to keep costs down; there is no profit incentive so costs are held low. See above for the GDP of Canada’s cost of health care over the US. It speaks for itself.

VII. Drug Availability: As you stated the US has the FDA which has an intensive drug approval process to determine if drugs are safe prior to distribution [35, 36]. Canada has a similar process. I fail to see the point here.

VIII. Refusal of Treatment: Yes, hospitals cannot turn away patients based on their ability to pay. Again, due to the numbers of uninsured this places a financial burden on these institutions that have to make up the loss in revenue on the backs of those who have insurance. This is not an issue in Canada. Also, many doctors are refusing Medicare/Medicare patients due to low reimbursements rates and bureaucracy lessening the availability of doctors of individuals in these systems.

X. Paying for things you find morally wrong: This again as is in healthcare as a right, is a personal value judgment of morality which is subjective and metaphysical in nature, not one based on secular notions of what is best for a society as a whole.







































Debate Round No. 2


Hunts forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Hunts forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by migmag 3 months ago
what really matters is that EVERYONE has healthcare, and in the US they do NOT, in Canada they DO, so Canada wins
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