The Instigator
Pro (for)
10 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Medicare For All Should Replace the Affordable Health Care Act

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/27/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,167 times Debate No: 62355
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




The ACA is flawed legislation at best. When building anything the most important component is it's foundation. If the foundation is rotting nothing will stand on top of it for long. Our health care system's foundation is not stable and anything thrown on top is just going to add to that instability.

There are three main hurdles that the ACA fails to negotiate: it fails to cover everyone, it does very little to prevent bankruptcies due to inability to pay medical bills, and so far has done little in controlling costs. Why do we consider it a victory when the ACA has not lowered cost but merely slowed their rise?

To be able to buy insurance from an exchange you have to show a certain level of income. If your income is below the acceptable amount then you are just out of luck, especially if you also do not qualify for Medicaid. Welcome to the uninsured.

One of the most popular saying I hear on progressive talk shows is "you no longer can be dumped if you get sick." However, what they don't say is if you fail to pay your premium in full every month you can in fact (and will be) dropped and held responsible for full payment. If you have Medicare you truly don't have to be worried about being dumped because your bills will be paid.

As all health insurance cartels will tell you the formula for reducing costs is really quite simple - the more people you have to spread the costs lowers what each person will have to pay. So if you have a premium with a small company you will pay more than you would with a large company. The more you have to cut the pie the smaller piece you are going to get. The insurance cartel know this very well and they are very, very greedy. While our costs continue to rise, their profits soar into the hundreds of billions of dollars which they use to manufacture reasons for not paying your claim.

Medicare has been functioning for almost 50 years now and has proved its effectiveness in taking care of our older population very well. All we need to do is lower the age requirement to 0 years. All the billions of dollars that the insurance cartels are making off of our misery will be redirected to pay actual medical costs and not towards making unscrupulous people perpetually wealthy.

My dream is to be able to say what our good neighbors, the Canadians, are able to say, "when you go into a doctor's office here it does not matter if you are rich or poor, or even a citizen; we will take care of you." We cannot say the same. Here it is "you are on your own". We need to take the profit out of our health care system. The well being of our citizens and our economy depends on getting our health care system right. We need Medicare for all and should not let this issue fade away.


I accept the terms and conditions of this debate.
Medicare for all should not replace the ACA.
I support my stance with 3 main contentions.
1) Universal health care will not work
2)Universal health care will be too hard on doctors

Onto my first point which says that Universal Health Care Will not work.
To support this, we look at the health care system of Canada. Canada has a universal health care system. Meaning every citizen of Canada has heath care. An article from CBS says (1) "Americans who flock to Canada for cheap flu shots often come away impressed at the free and first-class medical care available to Canadians, rich or poor. But tell that to hospital administrators constantly having to cut staff for lack of funds, or to the mother whose teenager was advised she would have to wait up to three years for surgery to repair a torn knee ligament." There are extremely long wait times for those who visit hospitals. Another reason why this won't work is that there are too many people that would suddenly become insured, and the only way to pay for that is for higher taxes. A PBS article says (2) "About 44 million people in this country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance." Just to suddenly employ them will skyrocket hospital visits, hospital wait times, and taxes.

Now on to my second point which says that Universal Health Care is too hard on doctors.
A Wall Street Journal article says just that (3) "Doctors must now see many more patients each day to meet expenses, all while dealing with the mountains of paperwork mandated by the health-care law. The forecast shortage of doctors has become a real problem. It started in 2014 when the ACA cut $716 billion from Medicare to accommodate 30 million newly "insured" people through an expansion of Medicaid. More important, the predicted shortage of 42,000 primary-care physicians and that of specialists (such as heart surgeons) was vastly underestimated." There aren't enough doctors to meet the needs of all patients as it is now, much less with many more people becoming insured with the proposed Universal Health Care.
Another part of affecting doctors is that becoming a doctor will not be as good of a reward for the work. For this, a Wall Street Journal article states (4) " As patients shift to a lower-paying government plan, doctors' incomes will decline by as much as 15% to 20% depending on their specialty. Physician income declines will be accompanied by regulations that will make practicing medicine more costly, creating a double whammy of lower revenue and higher practice costs, especially for primary-care doctors who generally operate busy practices and work on thinner margins. For example, doctors will face expenses to deploy pricey electronic prescribing tools and computerized health records that are mandated under the Obama plan."

So for these two reasons, I say that Medicare for all should not replace the ACA.
Thank You.

Debate Round No. 1


Addressing your first point; what do you mean by your statement "universal health care will not work"? If you define a working health care system by measuring the quality of care, accessibility, cost, and equity then our selective health coverage falls very short. According to Commonwealth Fund's report, "Mirror, Mirror On The Wall - 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally", the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, France, and Canada all have better health outcomes, better access, equity, and perhaps what has become the most contentious item - lower costs (1).

I would like to take a moment and clarify my position. I am advocating for a single payer system. While single payer is by definition universal coverage, you can achieve universal coverage a number of different ways (2). I have focused on single payer because of my experience in the field. I am a computer technician who was hired about a decade ago by our town's doctor to replace the network in his clinic. I will never forget the day when Dr. Van Eaton came into my office and asked if I could replace not only his computers but the software that ran his business too. He looked somewhat upset and I could not help ask why he didn't just update his existing system. What came next took me by surprise. He starting ranting about how much money he had already invested and now the software company he was dealing with wanted $50,000 more just to upgrade his software. This was for a clinic that employed one doctor, a physician assistant, three nurses, a receptionist, and four employees that handled billing and insurance. What had angered him the most was the fact that he had not been paid for over 3 months which almost drove him into bankruptcy. There was a glitch in the software that caused all the forms he had submitted electronically to be rejected.

Most people are unaware of the huge overhead expenses born by all health care providers large and small when dealing with multiple insurance agencies . The necessary software and people needed to keep things running smoothly, making sure claims are submitted correctly - if a field is left blank when it should have a code it can cause the claim to be rejected - has been adding significantly to overhead expenses long before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was even thought up. A single payer system would simplify the complicated system we have today by having one agency handle all claims and payments saving up to $150 billion in paperwork (3).

Another distinction between us the other ten countries mentioned in the Commonwealth Fund report is our health care system is for profit. The Affordable Health care Act allows private insurance companies to claim 15 percent to 20 percent overhead. Medicare overhead is estimated to be 1 to 1.5 percent. Let"s round up Medicare"s overhead to 2 percent and keep private insurance"s overhead to 20 percent because you know they will squeeze all they can out of the system. That leaves them with a healthy 18 percent profit margin. Now let"s put some numbers to it. For the sake of the argument, lets say an insurance company has 10 million policyholders (out of a possible 300 million) paying $12,000 per year in premiums. The gross collected from the premiums would be $120 billion, of which 18 percent would be $21.6 billion. That's $21.6 billion that is not going toward patient care. That's $21.6 billion a year that is instead being divided up between the insurance executives and their board members. What service do they provide for $21.6 billion a year?

So you see your second point is just a canard and has no merit. Doctors have long been hard pressed to make due with the resources they have. The ever upward spiral of overhead expenses has driven many local doctors to close their clinics and join larger organizations. Look around. Do you see any neighbor clinics like we had in the 1960's? This is a symptom of our selective health care system which the ACA does very little to address.

Over utilization of our emergency rooms have also driven many hospitals to merge with others to help control costs. The staggering savings we would gain from a single-payer system would go a long way to alleviate this crisis (3). You can also apply that to the myth of long wait periods. In countries that have non-profit universal health care experience some waits for elective procedures (like cataract removal), but maintaining the US"s same level of health expenditures (twice as much as the next-highest country), waits would be much shorter or even non-existent (3).

The health care industry would not be the only ones to benefit by our scrapping the ACA and going to a single payer system - employers would no longer be responsible for providing health care insurance to their employees. It is without doubt that today that it is the highest expense that companies have to deal with. Starbucks spends more on healthcare benefits than coffee beans and GM (in 2005) spent more on healthcare benefits than steel (4).

In my final argument for this round I would like to address the naysayers that contend a single payer system would be impossible to implement. First, Americans do not understand the definition of impossible. One only has to look to the great state of Vermont. The Vermont plan largely derives from Harvard economist William Hsiao, who described it in a 2011 Health Affairs paper. He estimated that single-payer would save 25.3 percent over current state health spending, cut employer and household health care spending by $200 million, create 3,800 jobs and raise the state"s economic output by $100 million (5).

Aside from the savings we would gain from taking the private, for profit insurance companies out of the picture there is an assertion made by conservatives that seems counter to their religious belief they hold so dear. And that is to take care of only those who can afford to pay extortion to the almighty insurance cartel and leave those less fortunate to fend for themselves. I find this unacceptable as everyone has a right to health care. Vermont is the first state to take the necessary action to cover all their citizens - wealthy or poor - and with determination I aim to make Washington State the second. We need Medicare For All.



mcalcara forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Since my opponent failed to give me anything to rebut, I've decided to post an article that I wrote for our local newspaper.

No to health insurance cartels, yes to Medicare
1:10 pm April 16th, 2014

On the surface, some of the benefits being touted by Obamacare supporters seem to be a significant improvement over current conditions. One such claim is "insurance companies can"t drop your coverage when you get sick." At first glance, one might be led to believe that if you are stricken with an illness that causes you to miss a significant amount of work and are worried about being able to pay your insurance premium, that you have no worries. Your medical bills will be paid. You would be very wrong and need to read the rest of the statement:

Insurance companies can"t drop your coverage when you get sick. Americans no longer need to fear that their insurance company can rescind or take away coverage when they get sick because of an unintentional mistake on an application.

Oh, I see what they are saying. What they really mean is, for instance, you start having seizures and find out that your cousin Vinny and Aunt Susie also suffered with seizures. Under the new law, your insurance company cannot deny payment for treatment for a condition that has not previously been disclosed if you can prove you did not know of the condition and did not intentionally leave it off your application. If you cannot make your premium payment, you will be responsible for 100 percent of the costs for your treatment, which you will not get if you can"t pay. Heed United Healthcare"s warning: "Remember that your plan can deny claims, not verify your coverage with a doctor or stop your coverage for missed payments, so it"s best to keep health insurance premiums paid."

While the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) forces the health insurance cartel to treat its victims more humanely, it fails horribly in providing healthcare access to everyone " so far only covering about 7 million out of 48 million uninsured. As to more people with a "pre-existing" condition now being able to obtain a health insurance policy, I have to ask what is the difference between being denied coverage and not being able to afford it? There is no way the ACA can succeed, because the foundation it was built over is already rotting and needs to be replaced.

The Affordable Care Act is going to quickly become an oxymoron (much like military intelligence). As long as the health insurance cartel keeps its corporate hands in the till, we will never see a meaningful reduction in insurance costs. The only reason for the health insurance cartel"s existence seems to be to suck up money from the bottom and give it to their CEOs and shareholders, using any means necessary. We, the premium holders, are the means to their ends, which is creating perpetual wealth for their heirs. Again I have to ask, what are we getting in return for our sacrifices? What service or benefit do we receive for the billions we are paying the insurance cartel? Why do we let them continue to suck the life out of our country?

Say no to Obamacare and the insurance cartels. Say yes to Medicare for all. Call your representatives and tell them you want Medicare for all. Keep calling them until they hear us.


mcalcara forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by mcalcara 2 years ago
I am unable to complete the round because of unexpected school events. I am sorry, please vote for PRO
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
Word of advice: change the topic to "Medicare for All should replace the Affordable Care Act". As it's written, all your opponent has to do is show that the Medicare for All idea is never going to pass no matter how hard we fight, and that the Affordable Care Act is better than nothing. It seems what you'd rather do is just replace one with the other, so make that your advocacy.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeits. As to arguments, Con's forfeits basically mean he presented almost no case--all he had was his opening constructive, which Pro responded to. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.