The Instigator
TheRedneckCabbie
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
CongressmanDrew
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

Mandatory health insurance participation (through private insurance companies) for all Americans.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2007 Category: Health
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,083 times Debate No: 540
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (10)

 

TheRedneckCabbie

Pro

In my opinion, the best way to make health insurance accessible and affordable for all Americans, is to require that all Americans purchase health insurance.

According to the The National Coalition on Health Care...

Nearly 47 million Americans, or 16 percent of the population, were without health insurance in 2005.

Nearly 82 million people – about one-third of the population below the age of 65 spent a portion of either 2002 or 2003 without health coverage.

In 2005, 27.4 million workers were uninsured because not all businesses offer health benefits, not all workers qualify for coverage and many employees cannot afford their share of the health insurance premium even when coverage is at their fingertips.

Young adults (18-to-24 years old) remained the least likely of any age group to have health insurance in 2005 – 30.6 percent of this group did not have health insurance.

About 20 percent of the uninsured (vs. 3 percent of those with coverage) say their usual source of care is the emergency room.

The impacts of going uninsured are clear and severe. Many uninsured individuals postpone needed medical care which results in increased mortality and billions of dollars lost in productivity and increased expenses to the health care system. There also exists a significant sense of vulnerability to the potential loss of health insurance which is shared by tens of millions of other Americans who have managed to retain coverage.

Every American should have health care coverage, participation should be mandatory, and everyone should have basic benefits.

In simple terms, about 25 years ago, before most states began requiring minimum liability coverage on automobiles, the price for such coverage was around $31 billion. If you adjust for inflation, that cost would be nearly $65 billion in today's dollars. Today, that same coverage runs around $46 billion. Why? because more people are participating.

As with car insurance, those at higher risk (fat guys like me) should pay more for insurance. The key is to make it available for everyone.
CongressmanDrew

Con

While I do agree the cost of health care in the US is too high and we must act to reduce the cost, I vehemently disagree with mandatory health insurance participation. I find the notion of forcing citizens into health insurance to be almost as un-American as the Universal Healthcare proposals of liberal Democrats. I agree the best approach is a market based approach to make health insurance more affordable for all citizens regardless of income.

Its all well and good to support all Americans having health insurance, but your argument is absent of ideas and proposals to make health insurance more affordable. Just simply saying health insurance should be affordable for all does not necessarily make it so. I am curious to hear your ideas on how to make health insurance more affordable. I suppose the biggest reason I oppose mandatory health insurance is because there are many unanswered questions and assumptions with this proposal. Are you going to use the power of the federal government to force private companies to provide more affordable insurance? If not, what incentives will you use to get private companies on your side in making the insurance more affordable?

Also just because someone has health insurance does not mean they will use it when they need it. If many families are scraping by just to pay for insurance, will they be able to afford whats left over that the insurance does not cover? If not, who will be liable to pay the difference? Clearly you have identified a problem, however I do not see any arguments or empirical data to support your proposition. At this point I will yield and wait for your responses to the questions I posed. Thanks, and good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
TheRedneckCabbie

Pro

Obviously, the insurance industry would love to have the same captive audience that it enjoys with mandatory auto insurance. Truth be told, I don't care for these nanny laws.

Yes this is just speculation, but what I would envision is the government negotiating with the insurance industry to bring prices down as well as ensuring access to all. In return, the government would deliver every man, woman and child to the industry. If you were the insurance industry, wouldn't you cooperate a little to get 47 million new customers?
CongressmanDrew

Con

In your opening argument you eluded to young adults (18-24) making up the largest percentage of those without health insurance. I would argue that many within that age bracket CHOOSE not to have health insurance because many people ages 18-24 have no health problems that need immediate coverage and do not consider health insurance to be a priority.

You also raised an argument stating that like car insurance if health insurance were mandated for all citizens the price of health insurance would drop. I do not disagree entirely, however I believe the biggest reason car insurance became more affordable was because there was more competition. If there are only a few dominant insurance companies available they will be able to set the price wherever they please due to the lack of competition. It may also be possible that once car insurance was mandated, those who could not afford it gave up their vehicle or just ignored the law entirely.

The health insurance industry is much more complex than car insurance which is why smaller firms lose the desire to get in the health insurance racket. With all the lawsuits and liability that comes with health insurance, many small business entrepreneurs lack the funds necessary to provide themselves with adequate insurance. The health industry is also heavily regulated by the government which also serves to discourage small businesses from provide health insurance.

Once again you failed to explain how to make health insurance affordable for all citizens. The viability of your proposal is reliant upon affordable health insurance, but you have failed to state how you plan for families of lower income to afford your government mandated health insurance. Also you overlooked my question regarding the cost of what is not covered by health insurance. Who is responsible to shoulder that cost?

Here is my proposal to make health insurance more affordable for all citizens. First, I would support Health Savings Accounts be made available for all citizens. It may also help if all of ones medical expenses were made tax deductible. Then I would attempt to slash much of the regulations that discourage smaller business from providing health insurance. Also, I would allow health insurance carriers to sell their insurance across state boundaries to provide people with more options. More options will yield lower insurance costs. Finally, I would re-evaluate the licensure requirements and allow more basic and common procedures to be done by nurses and pharmacists so there can be more access to serious illnesses.
Debate Round No. 2
TheRedneckCabbie

Pro

I understand my "plan" would require a lot of cooperation from the insurance companies in order to bring the uninsured on board.

The Conservatives always preach self reliance. Having your own health insurance is a great example of self reliance. Unfortunately, you'll never get enough people enrolled simply by saying it's a good idea.

I think that HMOs would play a big role in covering low income families. I've been covered by an HMO on a couple different occasions, and have never had any complaints on the service received.

I don't want to see more nanny laws on the books any more than you do. But part of the reason that heathcare is so expensive to begin with, is the number of uninsured people that go to the ER for the common cold.

Maybe mine is not the ultimate solution, but something needs to change, and I sure don't want Canadian style socialized medicine.
CongressmanDrew

Con

Let me first start by thanking you for the opportunity to debate this critical issue.

As far as the debate goes, all I know at this point is that you support mandatory health insurance for every man, woman, and child. I have to assume that you support an unfunded mandate for health insurance, because not once did you explain the source of funding for this mandate. You compared health insurance to the car insurance industry, however I clearly delineated the vast differences among the two and explained why your comparison is flawed. I never really got an explanation greater than, "We have a problem and mandatory health insurance is the solution." Throughout the debate I posed questions that challenged the premise of your proposal and round by round you made no effort at all to address my concerns.

The sad thing is you and I are about one wavelength off from one another on this issue. We both agree there is a problem and we also agree that socialized medicine is clearly not the solution. Similarly, we agree on a market based solution. However, the libertarian in me can not go along with forcing citizens into health insurance.

The reason health care is such a mess has nothing to do with the lack of government intervention. On the contrary, there is too much government intervention. It should be no mystery why health insurance companies jack up their prices. They do this to pay for the unnecessary burden caused by bureaucratically designed regulations that in the long run only hurt the consumers.

Personally, I do not feel the federal government has any business setting a nationwide mandatory proposal. This issue is handled better by the states and best by the individual. Accordingly, I feel we need to support policies (outlined in Round 2) that will make health insurance available and more affordable for more people without causing an undue economic burden on taxpayers. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Doright 9 years ago
Doright
Congressman, I definitely do not want government running my life but unless you've been living in a vacuum you might have noticed that government interference has increased in the past 7 years. Government is controlled by big business, lobbyist, etc. You want power to the individual. I invite you to click on the Blue Cross Tx quotes and just see what it would cost you to get health insurance. Mine was $867.00 a month for me and my wife which is almost as much as my social security check. By the way I worked for BC/BS for five years. They made a billion dollars after taxes the last 3 years and they call themselves a not for profit company.
Posted by Scyrone 9 years ago
Scyrone
Actually no she does not. Her previous doctor retired and no one will check her out unless she has money. Of course, I always am willing to pay for her, but she does not want me to.
Posted by TheRedneckCabbie 9 years ago
TheRedneckCabbie
Scyrone..

I'm assuming she gets disability because of her condition, thus qualifying for Medicare.

I don't foresee my idea effecting the existing safety net as long as it didn't expand it.
Posted by Scyrone 9 years ago
Scyrone
No. Absolutely NOT! Mandatory health insurance?

I'll take an example from someone I know. She has no job, lives with her mom and stepdad. They pay no insurance for her. She has insomnia, possible narcolepsy, anemia, multiple ovarian cysts, diabetes, and is allergic to fish, birds, and all animals (deathly allergic). She cannot work anywhere because she is too unhealthy. Even if the government lowered insurance rates, then she would still not be able to pay. And if she did not pay, we would go to jail for being too sick.

In my opinion, anyone who wants to force someone to do something that can possibly put someone else in jail for, needs to go the the psych ward.
Posted by ruth421963 9 years ago
ruth421963
Oh yeah ,
And Power To The People..30 yrs later,
I can't see it ANYWHERE, I'm all for Change,
however in the realm of reality{the poor &
un insurable people are left behind}.
Think it over and get back to me in
20 yrs, perhaps you wont find yourself
as jaded as I.
Peace,
Ruth
Posted by ruth421963 9 years ago
ruth421963
I have to run 100% with Doright.
He has a valid point. Nobody wants
the government {its clear if you are
not on their pay roll} you are nailed
and screwed to the door.
I am as far away with the good old
government as one can be{I hear you,
then why would would you want their
help}.? Because I have been around long
enough to realize who and how things are
done{much to my own detriment}.
Peace,
Ruth
Posted by CongressmanDrew 9 years ago
CongressmanDrew
Doright you seem very discontent with insurance companies controlling your life. Why are you comforted by government running your life by way of socialized medicine? We got ourselves into this problem because of too much government interference. The answer is not more government, its less government and more power to the individual.
Posted by Doright 9 years ago
Doright
Having a requirement to purchase insurance is not the answer. The insurance companies already have too much control on our lives. We need a universal health care system that allows all to be able to participate equally with the government officials and employees that get their insurance paid or subsidized by taxpayer money. If their benefits were eliminated, you can bet that we would have universal health care immediately. Mandatory auto insurance has raped the American public while the insurance companies make outlandish profits, mandatory health insurance would do the same.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
What? REQUIRE all americans to purchase healthcare? Whatever happened to individual freedom? Encourage, perhaps, require, I think not.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by ryanqq 9 years ago
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