The Instigator
JTSmith
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Losing
25 Points

Barack Obama's Health Care Plan is simply this... Better than McCains!!!

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
JTSmith
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/29/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,008 times Debate No: 5197
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (9)

 

JTSmith

Pro

My argument is simple as this...
Barack Obama's plan to solve our healthcare crisis is better than McCains!

1. It involves NO government hound-outs!!!
2. It balances inusrance costs by UNAVOIDABLE competition...not by the possible comptetion that McCain hopes will happen
3. Creates an enduring fence around healthcare costs that isnt hands on or government controlled. Its free-market! Unlike McCains plan, Barack's will last indefinately, not provide only immediate relief.
4. Obama's plan will cost less than John McCain out-rageously costly plan!

(Interestingly enough, both Obama's healthcare plan and tax plan seem to be more conservative than McCains...
odd...
anyway...I just wanted to mention that for all of you conservatives out there...it WILL NOT be a point of argument in this debate!)
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

Unfortunately, neither candidate's health care proposals will solve the problems with our current health care system, both will only make it worse. The present problems are caused by too much government involvement, through insurance mandates, and duty to care laws, that result in forcibly redistributing your money to people who have not earned it and cannot get efficient use of it anyway.

The positions are shortly summarized here http://www.usnews.com..., I would be glad to see more sources from my opponent too.

In essence, Mccain wishes to send out a universal 5000 dollar tax credit with which to purchase insurance. This is, make no mistake, a handout.

Barack Obama wishes not only to send out tax credits (some of which aren't specifically targeted at health care, but economics can only be properly understood as a whole), but also to expand the government's role in providing for the health care. This is, make no mistake, a handout. And unlike Mccain's solution, it also leads to jobs for dedicated health bureaucrats. These become entrenched in the system. So when either system screws up (and they both will), Barack Obama's will be harder to get rid of.

"3. Creates an enduring fence around healthcare costs that isnt hands on or government controlled."

If the government creates something, it controls it. That is how these things work. If you were electing Obama as shareholder of a private charity, you might be able to say this. Otherwise, no.

"
2. It balances inusrance costs by UNAVOIDABLE competition...not by the possible comptetion that McCain hopes will happen"

Unsubstantiated, tell me more.

"Its free-market! "
Free market means the government has NOTHING to do with it. It means, all state, federal, and local regulations on health insurance other than the prohibition on force and fraud, are immediately scrapped. Free market means, unless I've got a specific complaint for breach of contract, my health care plan should never have anyone with a government salary decide ANYTHING about it. That is most certainly not Obama's plan.

"Unlike McCains plan, Barack's will last indefinately, not provide only immediate relief."
Since both plans are socialist, and too much socialism is what caused the problem in the first place, lasting indefinitely is a flaw of the plan, not a virtue.

"4. Obama's plan will cost less than John McCain out-rageously costly plan!"

Unsubstantiated, tell me more. Especially since, so far, I haven't seen any hard math on Obama's plan (Mccain's is easy, multiply 5000 by

"
1. It involves NO government hound-outs!!!"
Obama is running for a position in the government. On the plank of applying tax money to the issue of health care. What part of that does not involve a hand out?
Debate Round No. 1
JTSmith

Pro

With no offense intended it seems that my opponent has only a very vague and limited understanding of Obama's healthcare plan. Since that is the case I will in first outline Barack Obama's plan, and then address the points my opponent made in the previous round.

Barack Obama's health plan consists of two major parts.

1. Providing Healthcare for the Uninsured
and
2. Limiting Insurance Costs

I. Providing Healthcare for the Uninsured
Sen. Obama will create a health plan created from the same framework as the plan used to cover congressmen and senators. This health plan will provide coverage to all uninsured citizens at very affordable rate. The premiums will be very affordable. There will be no deductables and no one will be denied no matter their age, their history, or because of any pre-existing conditions they may have. Everyone gets covered.
The bonuses of this plan are:
a. Barack Obama does not hand out anything for free. People are all legitimatly paying for their own healthcare from a legitimate healthcare provider. The government will literally act as a business by managing an independent insurance enterprise.
b. This costs the government no money. It earns its management costs through its profits.
c. The plan will cover birth control, pregnancy costs, and mental healthcare, so no one is getting a half deal. This will be better than a lot of privately owned insurance companies.
d. It is not temporary. This coverage will become a lasting government operation.

II. Limiting Insurance Costs
Sen. Obama will create what will be called the National Health Insurance Exchange. The purpose of this organization will be to indirectly manage the cost of healthcare by spurring competition. The NHIE will lay down a set of requirements to earn its "thumbs-up" or "stamp of approval". These requirements would include things like premium maximums, coverage for all ailments both mental and physical, perhaps coverage for birth control; almost replicating the governments own provided insurance. With the creation of the new NHIE, the American demand for NHIE approved insurance companies will be very high! Insurance companies, jumping at the chance to get a head start on meeting that demand will reorganize their current policies and win the NHIE's approval, becoming part of the organization. Other insurance companies will be forced to meet the NHIE's requirements just to compete against the companies that have already joined the NHIE. Before long most insurance companies will be following the NHIE's guideline completely out of their own free will and their desire to be competitive.
The NHIE will be a permanent institution, not a short term relief program. It will manage healthcare costs simply by spurring competition.

Now to address my opponents arguments.
Barack Obama will not be handing out government hand-outs. The closest thing to what you are describing is Obama's tax plan that cuts taxes on 95% of the middle class signifigantly. Thats not a hand-out and it is unrelated to Obama's healthcare plan.
Barack Obama's plan is not socialism. Its completely based on the free-market. John McCain on the other hand, just wants to hand out $2500-$5000 checks to everybody in the country to help pay for their inusrance. This does not manage healthcare costs! This just feeds the monster!
Obama's plan will not give government hand-outs, and will calm the very monster that McCain wants to feed.

I stand by my point that Obama's plan costs less than McCain's. Obama's universal coverage plan pays for itself. The cost of funding the NHIE will be nothing compared to McCains plan. Its just like my opponent said. Multiply $5000 by every family in America! Ouch! (and this same man [McCain] wants to continue funding the war in Iraq and give oil companies large tax breaks?!?! Where's that money coming from??? The Iraq war alone will cost us 500 billion dollars over the next 2 years!)

It seems to me that Sen. Obama's healthcare plan is almost flawless. It certainly beats the heck out of McCains!

Obama-Biden, 2008!
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"a. Barack Obama does not hand out anything for free. People are all legitimatly paying for their own healthcare from a legitimate healthcare provider. The government will literally act as a business by managing an independent insurance enterprise."

This would be legitimate... IF it were profitable, and wholly decoupled from ANY financial gurantee by taxpayers. This is not the history of government projects however, with the possible exception of the postal service, and even then it didn't start that way. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were supposed to make their own profits too.... except one problem. When they didn't, the government decided it was high time to save their butts, at enormous cost. Do you doubt a government run health agency would work the same way?

"
b. This costs the government no money. It earns its management costs through its profits."

I wanna see a business plan that proves such profits. Especially since Barack Obama has no background whatsover earning profits anywhere (neither does Mccain, but Mccain doesn't claim it will be profitable). And it has to do it on it's own right for your notion to be true, i.e., it can't get interest free or otherwise lower than usual interest loans from the government, startup capital would have to be private, or it's still a handout, and an anticompetitive one at that.

"c. The plan will cover birth control, pregnancy costs, and mental healthcare, so no one is getting a half deal. This will be better than a lot of privately owned insurance companies."

A lot of private insurance companies do not offer those, because, they are not PROFITABLE to offer in an affordable plan. Just putting a government, run by people with no background in business, in charge of a thing, will not suddenly make it profitable, as you have now burdened yourself to demonstrate. Indeed, it makes it less likely to.

"Sen. Obama will create what will be called the National Health Insurance Exchange. The purpose of this organization will be to indirectly manage the cost of healthcare by spurring competition. The NHIE will lay down a set of requirements to earn its "thumbs-up" or "stamp of approval". These requirements would include things like premium maximums, coverage for all ailments both mental and physical, perhaps coverage for birth control; almost replicating the governments own provided insurance. With the creation of the new NHIE, the American demand for NHIE approved insurance companies will be very high!"

That's not competition, that's oligopoly by way of subsidized approval mechanisms. Since the NHIE is taxpayer funded, it will have a negative effect on competition by non NHIE things. You don't seem to understand what competition means- it does not mean a race for subsidized approval mechanisms, it means a race for customers with no government involvement.

You are, essentially, proposing an FDIC like agency, except for insurance agencies, not banking agencies. This does not have the effect of increasing free market competition. Instead, it has the effect of all "approved" companies being essentially government controlled entities, increasingly over time. That is, ultimately, the result of Obama's plan is not competition, it's the ability to choose between apples and apples.

"
Barack Obama will not be handing out government hand-outs. The closest thing to what you are describing is Obama's tax plan that cuts taxes on 95% of the middle class signifigantly."

Giving out tax credits that are higher than the amount of taxes people pay, one, is a handout. Two, it's primary effect is on the poor, the effect on the middle class is slightly less dramatic. Three, since he's not reducing spending, it's an outright expropriation from anyone not defined as the middle class, and therefore constitutes a handout because the middle class still gets the same services, without paying anything for them.

"Thats not a hand-out"

You have a very superficial understanding of economics.

"And it is unrelated to Obama's healthcare plan."

And this proves it. EVERYTHING in economics is related to everything else. For crying out loud, the housing crisis had the effect of increasing our exports of high-quality metal kitchen supplies. Bet ya wouldn't think that's related either. :D

"
Barack Obama's plan is not socialism. Its completely based on the free-market"

Creating a taxpayer subsidized approval agency, that implicitly guarantees all the underwritten policies, and having the government sell things which are impossible to make a profit off of (unless the government doesn't have to play by the same rules as private entities, which has the effect of a monopoly), does not constitute a free market. The term "free market" means Barack Obama does not have his hands on it. And neither does John Mccain.

"ohn McCain on the other hand, just wants to hand out $2500-$5000 checks to everybody in the country to help pay for their inusrance. This does not manage healthcare costs! This just feeds the monster!"
The government regulations created the current health care costs. Obama's plan, as a government regulation, will make them worse.
Mccain's plan does not "manage" (i.e. make worse) health care costs- but it is OPEN, HONEST, TEMPORARY and TELLS YOU WHAT IT COSTS. Obama's plan tells us things that anyone with the slightest understanding of economics knows are just plain lies, does not apparently tell us what it costs, pretends to be a free market plan while contradicting everything that word means, and most importantly, would be a pain in the arse to get rid of.

"
I stand by my point that Obama's plan costs less than McCain's. Obama's universal coverage plan pays for itself.'
Again, this is wishful thinking of the highest sort, precisely what Obama is famous for. There is a reason the things he offers are not presently offered. THEY ARE NOT PROFITABLE TO OFFER. The only reason they might appear to be is if the government agency is immune to taxes... but guess what? That's another cost, because that's a monopolistic business practice, and puts competition out of business, therefore reducing overall revenues because there will be no taxes collected on that industry! Which would be fine- if it were not tantamount to legally forbidding any private entities from competing by the same rules.
Debate Round No. 2
JTSmith

Pro

To begin, the prediction that Baracks plan will fail in being profitable is fair, but still just an assumption. It is no more than a guess. The government has never attempted a government run insurance provider and until it does, we will never know. It could fail in being profitable, or it could be a success like the Postal Service. We wont know until it happens. Either way, it will be better than John McCains plan, which WILL UNDOUBTEDLY cost us money.
The US Census Bureau put together a chart listing the number of households, families, and married couples in the United States ranging from 1960 until present. According to this information, John McCains plan would owe at least $2500 to 118,683,058 units (families, married couples, or independants). That means the John McCains plan would cost at the absolute least $296,707,645,000. That is almost 297 Billion Dollars at the absolute LEAST! McCain's plan could cost as much as $593,415,290,000!! Almost 593 and a half BILLION DOLLARS!

http://www.census.gov...
http://www.census.gov...

What's more, is that this is not a one time lump sum! No, this is Annually! That is twice as much as the Iraq war costs annually; he same war that McCain would keep paying for! Barack Obama's plan would not cost nearly that much! Obama's plan could even be profitable! Thats INFINITLEY better than McCain's!

My opponent also claims that Obama's plan could never be possible being run by a man with no business or economic experience. Obama wants to create this organization, not manage it. Someone qualified to run this business would be placed in charge. It would be someone with experience. Furthermore, a whole organization of qualified and experienced people would operate this enterprise. Not Obama himself. Obama's job will be President of the United States not "CEO" of "Government Inusrance Inc."!

Since my opponent has attempted to discredit my economic understanding by claiming i dont understand competition, I will define competition and explain again how the subsidized oligopoly is still competitive.

Competition- Rivalry between two or more businesses striving for the same customer or market.
http://www.debate.org...

My opponent stated:
"You don't seem to understand what competition means- it does not mean a race for subsidized approval mechanisms, it means a race for customers with no government involvement."

Now that I know what competition means, lets compare it to my opponents assertions.
The inusrance companies will race for the NHIE's "subsidized approval" BECAUSE of competition.
Its a simple example of the Law of Supply and Demand.
With the creation of the NHIE, the DEMAND for NHIE approved companies will increase signifigantly. As the demand goes up, insurance companies will race to meet that supply. A treasure of free and winnable clientele will be waiting at the end of the finish line to be won over by the companies who first meet the DEMAND by meeting the NHIE's requirements. Competition, itself, will spur the change.
It is true that ultimately, most insurance companies will be similar, but NHIE will not be too specific and will allow certain differences. That being aside, the lack of differences matters very little. The cost of healthcare goes down either way and the "subsidized oligopoly" will be successful. Its all spurred by competition and its all fair game.

Moving on, I will address Obama's supposed "tax credit/handout".
Obama plans on giving families a $500-$1000 tax credit. This is NOT a handout.
1. Americans pay more than that in taxes every year. They are not recieving tax credits that are "higher than the amount of taxes people pay". No one is being given free money. They are only being given back part of what they have paid, so again, no hand-outs.
2. These are signifigantly less than McCains hand-outs even if the $500-$1000 were government bonuses and not tax credits.

This is a Slam-Dunk for the Obama Campaign, and McCain should be embarrased of his overly simplistic and outrageously expensive healthcare plan!
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"To begin, the prediction that Baracks plan will fail in being profitable is fair, but still just an assumption."

An assumption based on the laws of economics, specifically, if there is an increase in costs, and no increase in prices, profitability lowers. Since margins are already fairly low...

"It could fail in being profitable, or it could be a success like the Postal Service. We wont know until it happens. "

If I shoot you in the head point blank, you could die, or a miracle could result. The laws of physics and human anatomy tell us the former is far more likely. The Postal Service operates under fundamentally different circumstances, as it is a monopoly. It has no competition :D.

"Either way, it will be better than John McCains plan, which WILL UNDOUBTEDLY cost us money."

How is an unknown cost superior to a known cost? Mccain's plan costs us a finite amount of money. Since Obama's plan does not have any risk reduction mechanisms, and implicitly backs an enterprise to take unlimited losses...

"Barack Obama's plan would not cost nearly that much! "

This an an absurd statement when costs are not specified.

"Obama wants to create this organization, not manage it. Someone qualified to run this business would be placed in charge."

If Obama tells them what they have to cover, it doesn't really matter what their business qualifications are. Qualified businessmen are not able to fulfill impossible wishes.

"
Competition- Rivalry between two or more businesses striving for the same customer or market.
http://www.debate.org......

My opponent stated:
"You don't seem to understand what competition means- it does not mean a race for subsidized approval mechanisms, it means a race for customers with no government involvement.""?

I should clarify: MARKET competition. Not political competition, which is what Obama's plan fosters.

"
The inusrance companies will race for the NHIE's "subsidized approval" BECAUSE of competition."

How so? Does the NHIE have competition? That plays by the same rules?

"
With the creation of the NHIE, the DEMAND for NHIE approved companies will increase signifigantly. As the demand goes up, insurance companies will race to meet that supply. A treasure of free and winnable clientele will be waiting at the end of the finish line to be won over by the companies who first meet the DEMAND by meeting the NHIE's requirements. Competition, itself, will spur the change."

Again, that's political competition,. not market competition. They are not competing to offer a better service... they are competing for the approval of a bureaucrat.

"
It is true that ultimately, most insurance companies will be similar, but NHIE will not be too specific and will allow certain differences. That being aside, the lack of differences matters very little. The cost of healthcare goes down either way"

This is not demonstrated.

"and the "subsidized oligopoly" will be successful. "

Successful at creating an oligopoly. Not successful at reducing the real cost (including taxes) of health care.

"Its all spurred by competition and its all fair game."

Barack Obama stealing MY money to pay for a program that Barack Obama wants but I do not is not fair game.

"
Obama plans on giving families a $500-$1000 tax credit. This is NOT a handout.
1. Americans pay more than that in taxes every year. "

SOME AMERICANS. But, the credit is "Refundable." This means, EVEN AMERICANS who pay less than that, or pay no taxes at all, receive the money. By definition, a handout.

"They are not recieving tax credits that are "higher than the amount of taxes people pay". "
http://online.wsj.com...
In other words, yes they are.

"
2. These are signifigantly less than McCains hand-outs even if the $500-$1000 were government bonuses and not tax credits."

I was not claiming the contrary. But the immediate size of technical handouts is not the issue. The long term costs are. And long term, Obama's health care plan involves backing of an agency that, any economist could tell you, cannot possibly be profitable. Unlimited backing. This means, potentially, unlimited debt.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by scissorhands7 8 years ago
scissorhands7
Hmm Obama's National Healthcare Plan? Don't you mean the Working Classes Tax Money's National Healthcare Plan.

Check out Denmark with their national healthcare. 54% of their income is taken away by taxes. And from what my friend tells me, you wait for months, sometimes years to get surgery because of all the demand that the government cannot cover.

Plus the government really managed social security well huh why not give them healthcare to handle too?
Posted by attatae 8 years ago
attatae
i dislike democrats. usually they cannot spell very well, a sign of other things as well. ah but of course...
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