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Free Health care in the United States

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,383 times Debate No: 21080
Debate Rounds (5)
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Health care should be free for all Americans. Most people, even with good jobs, can't afford to be treated because of the high prices that come from seeing various doctors. These doctors then prescribe medicine that even under insurance are expensive. So most health issues go untreated. With so many health issues going untreated that can lead to a spread of diseases as well as a shortening of the life-span of our people.

For all of the taxes that we pay we should be afforded the opportunity to see those taxes go back into the upkeep of the health of those who pay the taxes. Without taxpayers the money that comes from taxes, which is how we pay for almost all of our expenses in the United States, wouldn't be as vast. So if the government issued free health care to it's people it would be a sure way of ensuring the safety as well as the upkeep of it's main beneficiaries. In fact where would the country be without its people?

Since our economy runs off of people spending money why not change what people are spending money on? There are many Americans who need insurance but can't afford it so they do without. Then, there are those who are middle class but spend so much money on Health care that they spend less on what drives the economy. So if the government invested money in the people by ensuring Health care more people would be tempted to embrace Health care, or at least healthy lifestyles. When the people's lives are ensured they not only will be healthy now but that will lengthen the life span of our people. The increase in life span means that we are spending more money on just buying things, not only that we need but what we want. With life-spans increasing that means that there will be even more people to buy things for a longer period of time than we currently have.


Health care most assuredly should not be free for all Americans. Most of the reasons why health care is so expensive are reasons that can be solved not by providing the health care for free, but through more stringent regulations upon insurance providers, hospitals, etc.
There are indeed many problems with health care in this country today. Almost all these problems are factors in driving up costs of the health care. The reform that is needed in this country however is not that it should be free, but instead must reform the system to make the process simpler, more easily understandable, and more competitive so consumers can make wiser, more informed decisions.

In this debate I will be arguing that our countries problems with health care can be solved while still keeping the market "private." I will use statistical and literary evidence to support my claims and will do so clearly and concisely with sourcing to verify my claims. I look forward to this debate as well as look forward to clarification upon your assertions and evidence that supports. Thank you for creating a debate with such a great topic.
Debate Round No. 1


Healthcare should be offered to every America for free because many jobs now don't offer healthcare. They give out benefit plans for their employees to split multiple ways between different things such as pension, sick leaves, and continuing education. We as humans have so many needs that are essential right now and in the future that we are forced to sacrifice to provide a means of living in the future. Yet despite all of the sacrifices that we have to make to put food on our tables, save money for retirement, and other things of that nature we still have to allocate funds towards our health now so that we can live in the future. This is something that jobs find to be easier and cheaper when it comes to benefit plans but we as the people pay.

So since we pay a large portion of our money to Uncle Sam why should a portion of the money that he gets be allocated to improving the lives of those who provide for him? Most of our money now, even with the value of a dollar being less than many other countries, for the average American doesn't stretch and cover all that we need it to health-wise. According to the CDC, on a study that they conducted between January 2008 and March 2008, there are 30.4% of Hispanics, 17% Blacks, and 9.9% of Whites do not have health insurance. Of course this statistic does not represent all of our diversified people but the logic behind their statement still stands.

There are also many fees that people still put out for with healthcare. Those fees consists of the high co-pays that can vary based on whom you're being treated by. Those who have co-pays and go to see their primary care physician usually wind up paying more when they have to be treated by a specialist and/or are are treated at a hospital. The medicines that these doctors prescribe then cost more money. It's so expensive for most people to go to the doctor that many people don't go because they can't afford it. Everyone should have the right to free healthcare.


Buddamoose forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Free health care is very much needed in the United States because it is important to ensure the welfare of our people. Many people today, due to economic reasons, are unemployed. They have no income coming in as to which they can spare to pay their monthly premiums along with their co-pays and any other bills the acquire for things such as medicine. There are unemployment benefits in which you can sign up to receive in each state but it depends on many factors. With so many people being laid off these resources are strained with having to provide for so many. So our government should find a way to make healthcare more absolute and free.


I apologize for not posting anything in Round 2. I had no idea it was even due.

Starting, my peer has stated,

- "There are many Americans who need insurance but cant afford it so they do without. Then, there are those who are middle class but spend so much money on Health care that they spend leas on what drives the economy." I can only assume my peer understands that the health care industry is part of the economy... Moving on, what my peer has stated here is actually a perfect example of one of the reasons why our health care system is not working properly. The fact that it is expensive is a symptom of many terrible practices within the health care industry.

Most people assume the U.S. Health care system is fantastic, when in all actuality, its rather average. If not sub-par as compared to other nations. Which doest make any sense considering that we spend the most per-person on health care then any other nation. My peer is suggesting we should just throw even more money at the health care industry, in way of making it universal. She also fails to mention the government supplied health care we have available now, Medicare and Medicaid. So the disadvantaged can still receive health care. So we have been throwing money at it, and yet, no improvements, in fact its just gotten more expensive over time. What my peer suggests we do by making health care free, is merely what's called "treating the symptom" in medical terms. The largest problems with the health care industry:

- Its extremely wasteful,
"Down the drain: $1.2 trillion, That's half of the $2.2 trillion the United States spends on health care each year, according to the most recent data from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute."(1)

Half of the money spent on health care is wasted, this is supposed to be good for prices? This is supposed to make it more affordable? This is doing exactly the opposite, and all that waste, the added cost of that is shifted to the consumer. Hence why its so expensive.

Another problem that upon fixing would increase affordability:

- Antitrust exemption:
"For some reason, way back when someone thought it was a good idea to give the health insurance industry exemption from federal antitrust laws. The result, as a recent NY Times op-ed says, is that a small pool of insurers have been able to dominate the market, and customers have few other places to turn. WellPoint, which has drawn attention for 39% rate hikes in California, is the largest insurer in that state, and also controls 60% or more of the market in Maine, Missouri, and Indiana. The scene is one of very limited competition, which leads to more expensive health care for everyone."
1) Kavilans, Parija "Health care's big money wasters" 10 Aug. 2009
2) Tuttle, Brad "Why Is Health Care So Expensive? Let Us Count the Conspirators" (2010)
Debate Round No. 3


Although my opponent believes that Health Care makes up part of the economy he has to understand it still doesn't make up the bigger picture. Health Care is an investment in yourself that many people can't afford to make. The whole point of making, at least, yearly visits to the doctor is for "preventative medicine." If many people aren't making these visits because they either have no insurance or can't afford it there are many things that could possibly be going undetected and in some cases are at risk for being spread. Also, the spending that comes from consumers to boost our economy occurs on various items. That spending is what drives the economy but if the price is so high, for all of the components on a whole, that people can't invest it does us, as investors, no good.

Out of all the taxes that Americans pay they should be afforded health care. There are many people that may have enough money to see a primary care physician but can't afford to receive treatment from dentists and etc. All of these things are still apart of health care. Even if the taxes were raised but everyone was afforded the same health care if and when they needed it would be in the best interest of our people. As my opponent said Medicare and Medicaid are forms of health care that we have available but what he doesn't know is that not everyone can receive these services. In order to receive Medicaid you have to be either pregnant, child/teenager, aged, blind, or disabled. This health care service mainly just applies to those that are under the age of 18 or over 65. Those that are able to receive Medicare have to be either 65 and older, have a spouse, or yourself, worked for Medicare, be eligible for social security, or have end stage renal failure. These requirements very much limit who receives health care according to my opponents references. What about those who don't fit into any of these categories, especially the working class?


Although my opponent believes that Health Care makes up part of the economy he has to understand it still doesn't make up the bigger picture."

"Health care spending 17 percent of economy."(1)

Let me begin by saying that seventeen percent is quite a large percentage of the economy. Almost 1/5th of all spending is done on health care, and yet, the system is still not improving? I think my peer can take a valuable lesson in economics from this. That when a certain market has prices raise dramatically to where many people can't afford it anymore, or the quality is poor, what is likely to occur? People wont purchase from that market. Indeed the problem with our health care system is not just that it is too expensive but rather,

"For example, behavioral economists would tell us, among other things, that in the world of health care: (1) consumers have personal fears and lack of information that don't exist with food and fuel, (2) they equate cost with quality, turning the idea of rational markets upside down, (3) individuals' decisions regarding wellness affect the rest of us, (4) rationing is necessary but difficult to achieve, (5) there is an agency problem when neither payers nor providers (including pharma) are penalized by higher costs, (6) there is a "fee for services" vs. a "fee for results" payment system, (7) the U.S. has too many high-cost specialists performing work that could be performed more effectively by general practitioners and registered nurses, (8) high levels of liability encourage the practice of "overly-safe" and expensive medicine, (9) providers have fragmented and often incomplete information, and (10) consumers either have too little information with which to make rational decisions or don't make good use of the information they have."(2)

Indeed all of those points mentioned equates to higher prices for consumers. When, if ever, has an insurance company or health care provider even stated how much certain aspects of treatments, such as MRI's, etc. even cost? With such little knowledge about what their money is even being used for, how are consumers to make educated decisions on where to receive their care? Keep in mind that its not as if consumers have much of a choice, as insurance and health care are exempt from antitrust laws. No competition= suppliers can set whatever price they please as consumers have no choice

. The fact that U.S. health care is a "fee-for-services" system instead of a "fee-for-results" system. A fee-for-results system would encourage better quality of practices, and thus lower costs because many of the high costs in this country with health care are simply because doctors/nurses/specialists are not treating problems well enough and just as my peer is stating we should do, simply treat the symptom and not the underlying cause.


2) Heskett Jim "Why Americans Can't get Health Care Right?" 2009
Debate Round No. 4


Aysia forfeited this round.


In closing, I will say that the health care system in this country is indeed in major need of reform, but that reform need not be universal heathcare. There are many problems that make the health care we receive not only of average quality, but more expensive than any other nation. I thank my peer for such an excellent debate.
Debate Round No. 5
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