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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/7/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,734 times Debate No: 32175
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)




1. If you accept this debate, you are to accept and follow the following rules:

2. Failure to comply will result in a automatic win for me. Voters please keep this in mind.

3. You may come up with any reasonable debate topic. You can be either PRO or CON, I don't care. My standards are somewhat lax; just don't throw me an extremely difficult or impossible position (i.e. Prove the color purple to not be the color purple). Don't make me prove God's existence, it may seem viable, but I feel unable to do so without stealing other people's arguments.

4. I am entitled to an automatic win if you troll this debate. (Example of troll debate:

5. If I don't agree to take up your resolution in round 2 (not very likely if you are reasonable), then the debate will be tied and we'll leave it at that.

6. Round 1&2 are for the establishment of some resolution, definitions and clarifications.

7. I retain the right to call 'troll' throughout the entire debate, effectively securing my 7 point victory. My troll-calling judgment will, however, be gauged by voters. If the voters decide I am calling troll unfairly, then a 7 point victory will go toward my opponent. Voters please be as objective as possible.

Please make sure you have relatively decent debate credentials/potentials ('Confidence is key' -Willy Wonka). Again, my standards are pretty lax so don't be shy. You could have low ELO and still be a shining star. The only condition being that you don't end up forfeiting like I've seen others do (my last debater's choice was a disaster). Be prepared to spend a decent amount of time constructing arguments and rebuttals. This includes, but is not limited to, research, logical musings, etc.
I really do mean it when I'm asking for a debater of decent quality. Please be relatively certain of your debate prowess (this is a very important criterion.)

If there are any changes you feel are necessary before accepting the debate, please make some indication in the comments section

Without further ado......


I accept the rules and regulations for this debate. As someone has competed successfully on the national and local circuit in public forum debate as well as on other online debating websites, I feel I have the experience and skill to accept this debate.

The resolution I propose to Beginner is, "The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance." For this debate, I will be taking the affirmation (or Pro), leaving the negation for my opponent. Note the wording of this resolution: the negation will be for health insurance, while the affirmation will be against.

Definitions/clarifications are as follows:
"The United States" is referring to the (obviously of the United States of America) government on a federal level.

"Should not require" refers to what is known as the "individual mandate", the requirement for citizens to have health insurance or else be penalized. In essence, this resolution is referring to a portion of the "Obamacare" health care package, which requires American citizens to have health insurance or else pay a tax or fine. Thus, this debate should be discussing the merits of the individual mandate as defined by "Obamacare", and whether implementing it on a national level is beneficial for the United States.

Please note with this debate and wording of the resolution that the burden of proof is on the negation to show that the individual mandate should be implemented and can be implemented successfully i.e. that there is a significant net gain in the status quo. Should the negation fail to show a significant gain in the status quo, the affirmation should win this debate.

If my opponent intends to offer any additional definitions or clarifications, he may do so in the next post.

I look forward to a intellectually stimulating and thoughtful debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Good topic. I will accept under certain parametric conditions. I would also like to revise some of the provisions my opponent has set for this debate.
I do not, as a general rule of thumb, like to assume full burden of proof for anything. It creates a situation in which one side elicits thought-out arguments while the other picks at every little chink in the armor through a variety of assaults.
An example of a round riddled with sheer refutation:
"As China has shown the world through the destruction of its 5000 year old dynastic system due to a crippling spread of opium, drugs are extremely detrimental to national culture, work ethics and, subsequently, an aggregate economy when given free reign."
My opponent cited a document of questionable authority to point out a singular case example of drugs' potential harm to society. However, this is still not proof enough that opium was even a cause of China's destruction. The sequential nature of events doesn't necessarily give said events causal status. You're only assuming that opium was the cause. If I were to cough and fart at the same time, would coughing be the cause of farting? No it would not. This case is anulled
(*Thought*: Bullcrab)
"Drugs reduce work-place productivity and, if given over to free commercial reign, will do more harm than benefit to our economy"
Since I've already negated the case leading to this conclusion, I no longer need to provide any further refutation in this area. These are simply not true.
(*Thought*: Bro, make some cases, don't just refute my cases, you suck!)

Yes, it's a roundabout way of telling my opponent to create constructive criticism, but I needed to drive the nail home.
(It also means I don't have the entire burden of proof. That would be abusive in my opinion.)

Also, I believe my side of the resolution to be something along the lines of: "Individually mandated healthcare [as outlined in the Obamacare package?] will effect more good than harm to our nation's people (possibly the nation in whole)."
My opponent's side: "Individually mandated healthcare will bring about more harm than good and has no substantial practical or theoretical benefit to back its implementation. It, therefore, should not be implemented."

All definitions have already been provided by Mr. Awesome PRO
If my opponent agrees, we can start the debate! My opponent can either accept the conditions and have me post the first round, or he can start constructing his case (implying his acceptance of the above-outlined conditions).

If my opponent disagrees, the debate shall result in a tie.

I look forward.


A couple of starting clarifications:

The official debate resolution is: "The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance." This resolution is, in essence, discussing a concept known as the "individual mandate", a requirement included in several state and international health care packages, including in the infamous "Obamacare" package. The resolution is not necessarily discussing the mandate as defined by Obamacare, simply a requirement for all citizens to have insurance, or pay a fine, nor the individual mandate as specifically defined by any other package. Each side of this debate may discuss the effects of statewide/international mandates, however, but this debate is not specifically tied down to one mandate.

Each side will be discussing the merits/effects of the mandate, and whether or not it is rational to implement. In basic terms, I more-or-less agree with the sides as underlined by my opponent--the affirmation (myself) will be stating that the individual mandate brings more negative than positive effects, with the option of using previously implemented mandates or hypothetical impacts (such as stating that the mandate violates the Constitution--it isn't necessarily a hard impact), with the negation (my opponent) stating that the individual mandate brings more positive than negative impacts, using the same impacts as I just stated.

This resolution does place a burden of proof on the negation--the negation must show that the individual mandate has significant benefits--but the affirmation will be providing arguments/a case as well. In other words, I won't be simply rebutting my opponent; I'll provide my own arguments that aren't simply rebuttals.

Definitions are the same as before, with the added addition that the resolution doesn't specifically talk about any individual mandate in particular; just a requirement to have health insurance or face a penalty. As previously mentioned, the effects of the individual mandate as done by states or international countries can be discussed and accessed, along with the effects of the Obamacare mandate, but this debate doesn't specify one or another form of the mandate. It should be noted that we are not discussing the whole of the Obamacare (or any other healthcare) package--thus, neither side can access impacts relating to the Obamacare package, only specifically the individual mandate.

If my opponent has no other qualms, we can start this debate next round with opening arguments! I look forward to an awesome debate!
Debate Round No. 2


Let us refer to my opponent's very first post. The resolution he proposes, provided here in verbatim, runs thus:

"The resolution I propose to Beginner is, "The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance." For this debate, I will be taking the affirmation (or Pro), leaving the negation for my opponent. Note the wording of this resolution: the negation will be for health insurance, while the affirmation will be against.""

This is an extremely clear, explicit resolution pertaining only to health insurance. Individual mandate was only a potential correlation outlined later in this round:

"Should not require" refers to what is known as the "individual mandate", the requirement for citizens to have health insurance or else be penalized. In essence, this resolution is referring to a portion of the "Obamacare" health care package, which requires American citizens to have health insurance or else pay a tax or fine. Thus, this debate should be discussing the merits of the individual mandate as defined by "Obamacare", and whether implementing it on a national level is beneficial for the United States."

This means that my opponent's previous post, which attempts to convert the resolution:
"The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance; [requirement(s) being in the form of individual mandate(s)]"
"The United States should not require its citizens to do anything; the United States should not impose any form of individual mandates whatsoever."

Although I didn't set this tenet in round 1, I'm sure it is fair for me to expect a relative level of consistency in the resolution's outlining. The proposition in round 2 changes the resolution much too radically. I suggest this to be completely ignored (even though I benefit by the change due to the affirmation's very anarchical status; anarchy's argumentative base is nearly nonexistent).

In sum, I expect the resolution to remain, as explicitly outlined by my opponent in round 1:
"The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance."
This debate is not about individual mandates, it's about required health insurance or, as my opponent put it, individually mandated health insurance. The Obamacare package is then only an optional, supplemental outlet through which both PRO & CON can substantiate a case or rebuttal

Without further ado, let's begin:

Contention 1: The American way of life
1.The clearest benefit of health insurance is the financial opportunity given to the less economically capable to actually receive medical care to potentially crippling, even life-threatening, medical problems. Medical bills are expensive. This is an irrevocable fact in the United States (a simple orientation session with a doctor may cost hundreds of dollars). My middle-class, high-school economics teacher, thanks to health insurance, was able to waive several hundred thousand dollars in a life-saving heart operation. Such a fee would have crippled his family (he has a wife 2 children), put them in debt and destroy his lifestyle (the only economic detriment to his household is the increased insurance bill). Applying this case example to the entirety of US society, it is reasonable to assume that health insurance actually sustains the American lifestyle, providing life-saving benefits to those who need it.
Imagine a scenario in which a lower-middle class or poor citizen had a heart attack. The only way to save his/her life is to give her/him a three hundred thousand dollar surgery. The average total Americans' total assets (numbered at around $93,000 [1]) doesn't even number a third of such an immense number! After being given surgery, this poor citizen would immediately be forced to renounce all assets, potentially putting the family into bankruptcy. Due to financial circumstances, this citizen may not even be eligible for surgery. The result would be death. Health insurance saves lives. By mandating health insurance, the government is insuring the lives and livelihood of its people.

One can easily argue the issue of money. Who pays? This is actually a non-issue. The insurance company obviously foots the large bills that are within their insurance quota. The insurance money receives money from those who pay for its services. It is basically a massive system of money reallocation. This system works under two conditions:
1. there are enough people paying for insurance
2. the rate of 'accidents' are low enough such that the insurance company is able to pay occasional large sums without falling into debt/bankruptcy.

This means that the larger an insurance company is, the better. Both conditions are easily satisfied with the paying patrons footing only a small monthly/annual sum. Every middle-class citizen is financially capable of purchasing insurance. If a child happened to be born in the family of one of these 50,000,000 voluntarily uninsured people, what would happen to this child in the case of health-related problems (actual and financial)? By enforcing a health insurance mandate, our society makes sure that such children receive the necessary medical treatment they would otherwise be denied under the reverse circumstance.
Health insurance should be mandated for the simple socioeconomic reasons outlined above.
There are no significantly plausible reasons against a health insurance mandate that overrule its benefits.



There appears to be some misunderstanding involving the resolution of this debate. My opponent has misunderstood the purpose of this resolution. As mentioned previously, the resolution is, "The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance." This refers to a concept called the "individual mandate", which is a mandate included in several health care packages that requires citizens to buy health insurance or face a penalty. The debate, then, would be centered around the rationality of the mandate and whether its positive or negative merits outweigh one another. Unfortunately, my opponent has misunderstood this, and stated that I have tried to convert the resolution. Yet, this is exactly what the resolution is referring to, the individual mandate. I was not attempting to change the resolution to saying that nothing should be forced on citizens. In hindsight, I should have provided a source showing what I was saying was true, but alas I failed to do so. Because it's so late in this round and because of my opponent's misunderstandings, I am going to step away from this debate and ask for a tie or no vote from voters. I admit that this result is almost entirely my fault. I should have tried to clarify the resolution and made it more specific beforehand. I apologize to my opponent for the missteps I took regarding this debate, and I wish him the best regarding his future debates. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3


If this was about mandates, why in the world did you put 'health insurance' and not 'individual mandates' in your original proposition? It looks more as if you are trying to slink away from fulfilling your obligations. I do not accept my opponent's retreat and urge a strong vote for con. If my opponent had truly meant this debate to center around individual mandates (meaning health insurance was only a potential supplementary example/premise), then his original resolution should not have said: "The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance."
As such, I do not believe a word of his claims.

Sorry for being harsh, but I feel such deception cannot be ignored.
I wish my opponent well in future debates and urge a victory for CON.

Develop your case in round 4. Rescind the attempt at withdrawal and take up the case against government-required health insurance as explicitly stated in your original proposition. All rules still apply.
Anything other than that will be considered an implied forfeit, resulting in an automatic victory for CON.
Have at it! :)


I really have no idea how to react to my opponent. I have tried as diplomatically as possible to leave this debate, but my opponent's attacks on my character have left me rather dumbfounded. I feel I have made it rather clear that this debate was about the individual mandate, and I think it seems rather clear that there was some sort of misunderstanding with my opponent. My first round post spells out rather clearly that this debate was about the individual mandate. I felt my opponent had slightly misunderstood the resolution so I clarified the resolution further in my next post, basically using the same language as before, showing what this resolution was about--the rationality of the mandate. Yet my opponent somehow felt I had changed the resolution in his next post. I'm not entirely sure how he reached this conclusion. That it is the reason why I tried to leave--because I didn't feel he had an adequate understanding on the resolution at hand. I feel that I could have done steps to make it more clear, but alas, here we are. I want to mention I do not blame my opponent for the way this debate has wound up, but I feel that my opponent's demands and attacks on my character are unfounded. I just wish we can go our separate ways and end this debate fairly.

If you are still curious as to why the resolution was worded the way it was, I refer you to

I again request a no-vote from judges.
Debate Round No. 4


"The resolution I propoise to Beginner is, "The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance""

I'm sorry, but this is much too explicit to ignore. What youa re doing is akin to this:

Example: Resolution I propose to me is: "The United states should not put a ban on smoking cigarettes"

Bad interpretation 1:
PRO position: The United States should not put a ban on smoking, This does not have to have anything to do, specifically with cigarettes
Position imposed on CON: The United States should put a ban on smoking.
Analysis of bad interpretation 1: Why in the world did you put cigarettes in the resolution? Whacko..

Stupendously Horrible interpretation 2: The United States should not put bans
PRO position: The United States should not put bans. This has little or nothing to do with smoking or cigarettes, but these are potential outlets for argumentation
Position imposed on CON: The United States should put bans. Again, little or NOTHING to do with smoking cigarettes unless PRO or CON choses to use it.

Analysis: Wait, wait, wait, didn't you just write 'smoking cigarettes' in the resolution? So.. it has nothing to do with smoking cigarettes. What you're saying is, bans may apply to smoking or cigarettes but it isn't part of the resolution. But it is.. (just look at it, it's a blaring pixelated coding sittting right there explicitly indicating its status as part of the resolution!)

Application to current debate: The example resolution is synonymous to the one presented by PRO. I seriously hope PRO understands how hopeless his case really is. It is made even worse by his ignoring the redemption opportunity and digging further into his argumentative grave.

Upon viewing the link PRO has provided, I've come to the verdict that, indeed, the resolution was worded correctly. The mistep happened in round 2, when my opponent attempts a contradictory recant by dropping health insurance completely.

I'm very sorry for the condition of the debate at this very moment, but I feel violated in a sense.

As such, I request a full 5 point victory from the obvious misconduct, lack of any contention or premises whatsoever, and lack of credible premise-augmenting sources.



I refuse to accept my opponent's atrocious attacks on my character. I think my opponent is being over-paranoid and is over-reacting to this circumstance. I have tried to be as respectful as humanly possible when it comes to this debate, and yet I have been attacked again and again and again. I have tried my best to work with this resolution, yet my opponent still seemed to misunderstand, so I shied away. I have tried to be diplomatic; I am not trying to shy from responsibility. I am not trying to leave. I am trying to end this sad experience with as much dignity and respect for both me and my opponent as humanly possible. Just don't vote.
Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by eastcoastsamuel 5 years ago
I understand your side of the argument and the way you are currently thinking; in your shoes, I would probably be doing the same thing. I'm willing, with your permission, of course, to start another debate, this time with all five rounds devoted to debate, about the individual mandate, considering that I know now you have a grasping of the topic. The topic would cover the individual mandate, with the affirmation for its implementation and the negation against. The sides and definitions would be the same as before. Fair enough? I'll start it as soon as you give permission.
Posted by Beginner 5 years ago
I'm even going to go as far as take the cynical approach and assume that the ultimate reason for the drop is to avoid developing a case against an overwhelming opposition.

I'm mean, I know, but I also believe I happen to be right and that I deserve this win. :'(
If any of you readers who deigned to delve into this agrees.. please, even if you hate my guts and disapprove of my being such an aweful jerk.. give me that grudging vote for the sake of argumentative objectivity.
Posted by Beginner 5 years ago
The sentences were too inconcisely worded for such an assumption to be made. Furthermore, if that were the assumption, then you should not have dropped my round 3 contentions at all since they correlate precisely with it.
In which case, I didn't misinterpret the resolution at all, I only misunderstood your interpretation. A misconstrued interpretation of non-parametrical interpretational clauses do not merit a drop of the debate.
Both cases show that you did not present any plausible reasons for retreating from the debate. I feel that:
a) my argument was wasted, I just wanted a counterargument.. I love reading counter arguments..
b) this win goes to me for your presenting me with such an appalling lack of effort and for dropping an entire round of contentions for one single, insignificant reason. I very specifically asked for someone who would actually spend time on the debate, not make a complete. utter drop based on irrelevant clauses.
Posted by eastcoastsamuel 5 years ago
I had included the "this debate is not tied specifically tied down to one mandate" statement at the end of a paragraph discussing the individual mandate and health insurance as well. I'm afraid that I assumed that you would see the context, but alas, here we are.
Posted by eastcoastsamuel 5 years ago
I wrote, "This debate is not tied specifically tied down to one mandate," with "mandate" being "version of the individual health mandate". I understand what I went on to say, but as I stated before I was merely repeating the comments/definitions that I made in the first round, to which you showed no objection to (initially, that is). The main issue as to why I left in Round 3 was because I thought didn't understand the resolution. That was all. I again simply wish to end this debacle.
Posted by Beginner 5 years ago
Either my opponent is guilty of an error in diction and an incorrect brand of irrelevance, or I am guilty of misconstruing very obviously defined parameters (which aren't obvious at least to me, but I may be a singular case)
Posted by Beginner 5 years ago
Upon rereading the debate, I realize I look like a win-harping jerk, but I did ask for maximal objectivity: vote on the one who appears to be most correct. The vote should not be based on personality. I still don't see your or Gondun's point of view, and I'm not 100% sure I am correct. Again, there might be something I've missed, but I've covered all that I could see with the limited scope of my analytical vision.
Posted by Beginner 5 years ago
deepened my belief that you had, indeed, strayed away from your original proposition since you were, in essence, rejecting contentions that ran parallel to its construct.
Posted by Beginner 5 years ago
No, no, I don't find you in any way offensive.. I never had and probably never will.
I think I see what the problem is: You want to center the debate around individual mandates, I know this. You mentioned this, but this wasn't your inconsistency. Take a look at my round three contentions. I was arguing under the assumption that the resolution covered BOTH individual mandates AND health insurance/care. My position was: The government should require its citizens to buy health insurance. Put in another way (as you originally indicated in round 1): Government should set an individual mandate requiring that its citizens purchase health insurance. This is completely synonymous to your proposition: "The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance."
My intended position lights on both the 'should not require' and subsequently the idea of individual mandates AND the 'health insurance'. Basically, I cover both assets of the resolution.
You, on the other hand, began touting the former (individual mandates) and dropping the latter (health insurance).

When you wrote:
"this debate is not specifically tied down to one mandate."
You were basically stating that your resolution pertains to all mandates. This means that health insurance really is only an optional premise.

You then further on going to say:
"my opponent--the affirmation (myself) will be stating that the individual mandate brings more negative than positive effects...stated."
This paragraph removed health insurance from the resolution and focuses on this idea that the individual mandate is a notion negative than positive effects and vice verse, whereas the resolution I had originally pictured is inclusive of both individual mandates and health insurance together:
'The government should mandate individual health insurance purchase'
By further rejecting my round 3 contentions which pertain to this very notion, I believe you had wrongly branded them irrelevant. It also..
Posted by eastcoastsamuel 5 years ago
I'm sorry, I really don't mean to be offensive in any way Beginner, but can you explain how exactly I was being unclear or inconsistent? I explictly mentioned in my first post that the "should not require" referred to the indie mandate, which I simply repeated in the second post. I truly thought I had made it clear--but then again, here we are. I want to say again that I am truly sorry for what happened. If you can please just let this debacle end we can move on. I just want a fair tie--I don't want to win this--and I just want to move on peacefully.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Gondun 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Well, Con demanded a vote, so here it is. I don't know where Con got off with his understanding of the resolution and individual mandate. It made perfect sense to me. For Con's huge overreaction and personal attacks, this debate goes to Pro.