The Instigator
Con (against)
2 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
15 Points

National Health Care

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,594 times Debate No: 17325
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)




I am arguing that National Health Care should not be allowed in the United States of America.

There will be four rounds: the first round will be each side stating a position, the second round will be each side presenting evidence and arguments, the third round will be each side pointing out flaws in the other side's arguments and evidence, and the fourth and final round will be closing arguments.


I would like to thank ConservativeRepublican for posting this debate. For the purposes of this debate, I will be advocating for an American system of nationalized health care. I want to stipulate that this is not a debate specifically about the recently passed piece of legislation referred to by many republicans as Obamacare. Nor is this a debate about Romneycare. This is a debate about "National Health Care."

To avoid a semantic argument I think it's also prudent to establish what we mean by "National Health Care." For the purposes of this debate, I propose that "National Health Care" and "Universal Health Care" be interchangeable -where both mean the implementation of a system whereby health care is provided to a majority of citizens by private or non-private means as a result of governmental action.

Again, I thank ConservativeRepublican for the debate and I look foreword to its commencement.
Debate Round No. 1


I agree with your definition of National Health Care, and that it is a result of governmental action. Good Luck to you.


Good: something manufactured or produced for sale
Service: contribution to the welfare of others

First I will provide an overview of my arguments for this topic:

Premise 1: National Health Care is not a right it is a privilege.
Premise 2: National Health Care will negatively affect the quality of care patients receive.
Premise 3: National Health Care is bad for economic productivity.
Premise 4: National Health Care will lead to further debt in our country.

Premise 1: National Health Care is privilege, not a right guaranteed by the government.

Based on the definitions listed above, nowhere does it say that a good or a service is considered a right.

If we look at one the most famous American documents, The Declaration of Independence, it guarantees the right to pursue happiness, not to be confused or misunderstood as the right to pursue happiness through free medical services.

Therefore, the responsibility lies with the individual, not that of the government's, to ensure personal health. Diseases and health problems, such as obesity, can often be prevented by individuals choosing to live healthier lifestyles.

Premise 2: The quality of Service will decrease under National Health Care.

By guaranteeing health care as a right, it will lead to an increase in demand for health care that will decrease the quality of care because health care professionals will be overstretched by the demand.

Under a National Health Care, doctors would be paid less, and in turn would leave the country for better wages elsewhere. This can clearly be shown in Canada, as many doctors have come to America because of our high wages for doctors due to our privatized health care system.

Guaranteeing everyone health care will lead to longer wait-times for patients to receive diagnoses and treatment of illnesses, as is the case in Canada, which could potentially deny patients with chronic diseases timely medical care.

Allowing health care coverage to be driven by the free market without government intervention increases competition as well as the incentive for providing higher quality medical technology and service.

If health care is considered a right and not a privilege, then government bureaucrats will be making health, life, and death decisions that should be up to the patient and their doctor to decide upon.

Premise 3: National Health Care leads to decreased economic productivity.

Providing free health care reflects that of a socialized system, and encourages people to be lazy, decreases the incentive for people to strive for excellence, and thus inhibits productivity. So, knowing that, and with our economy's current status, we as a country cannot afford to limit our productivity.

Providing health care to everyone is a huge expense and may result in tax increases thereby further harming the economy and individual pocketbooks because time and time again higher taxes has resulted in decreased spending by consumers.

Premise 4: Our country cannot afford any further debt that would be caused through National Health Care.

History has shown that granting health care as a right would lead to greater government deficits. Every time the government intervenes in health care there is a greater redistribution of wealth and greater government spending that results in a debt increase.

Knowing that we are already in 14 trillion dollars worth of debt, it seems common sense that we cannot keep pushing off repaying the debt and keep spending further and further, as we will see consequences for his later on.


National Health Care is a danger to our country and the way that our country functions. By allowing National Health Care, we will see many negative effects on our country and on its citizens.


I thank my opponent for his thoughts, and note that pursuant to his outlined structure (stated in round 1) I will reserve refutation for round 3. In this round I will only be "presenting evidence and arguments." Onto my case.

I reluctantly agree with Winston Churchill, when he observed that "public health insurance is the worst alternative -except for all the others." (1) Health Care is a service that the government ought to provide because doing so is the moral and pragmatic choice. Like police protection, education, our nation's armed forces, social security, welfare, fire protection, water, waste management, electricity, and infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) health care is a service, and one that "15 percent of the population younger than 65 years of age" does not have. (2) An article from the Berkley Law Review observes that "The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act... directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a minimum level of health benefits, called the essential health benefits, that must be offered by certain health plans, including all plans participating in the individual and small group health insurance markets." (3)
Our current system, however, is dramatically flawed because health care is a service that the government ought to provide because in doing so, coverage will be extended to the 40 million of Americans who would currently pay out of pocket for medical treatment, were it to become necessary (4). Even for the insured, as the Berkely Law Review notes "Health insurance premiums have skyrocketed, more than doubling from 1999 to 2008, while the scope and generosity of private coverage have plummeted." (1) In fact, most "Americans who have insurance yet lack adequate protection against medical costs has increased dramatically." (1).

So, then, what ought to be expected of a health care system? While our health care system is innovative, America has one of the highest rates of child mortality and shortest life expectancies in the industrialized world (5), (5a). A recent analysis of our nation's health care system originating from the University of North Carolina highlighted that "A national survey [conducted by the Kennedy school of Economics at Harvard] found that 53% of respondents chose to forego medical care because they could not pay their deductible, 29% could not make a doctors appointment, and 25% could not leave work or find childcare in order to visit a physician (5). Surely, we can achieve better. In a nation that devotes, as the Harvard Business School observes, "about $2 trillion per year" to a service that "is on track to consume 40 percent of the gross national product of the world's largest economy by the year 2050" one would think that our life expectancy might be higher than "the other twenty-one countries... all of whom have some form of taxpayer-financed, single-payer system" that out rank us in a global comparison (5). The unavoidable truth is simple: our system is broken. Others have better coverage that extends to more people at less of a cost to the nation as a whole.

The French system of health care "is compelling for two reasons: it seeks to modernize the health care sector and increase the quality of care, and it promises to control costs by increasing the efficiency of resource allocation within targeted expenditure limits" (2). The French model costs less than the US system, only consuming 9.7% of France's GDP, whereas the United States spends 14.6% (2). The French model covers 99% of French citizens, whereas 40 million Americans have no coverage (2). French life expectancy exceeds that of the United States by more than two years and the French infant mortality rate is 2.6% lower than that of the US per capita (2).

The French Model does not preclude private competition, however. In contrast it embraces it, as the recent health care legislation passed in the United States attempts to do following the French. The Berkley Law Review further notes that "For the competitive and learning advantages of public-private competition to be realized, public and private plans must compete side by side on a level playing field." (1) Competition among health care plans is essential, but "it is important to recognize that the potential benefits to [competing] health plans [both national and private] go beyond monetary savings to include the value of better health and well-being that such measures may produce, insofar as enrollees recognize these broader benefits and reward health plans for them" as the French have so meticulously demonstrated (1), (2). Oddly enough, on a per capita basis French citizens are even more satisfied with their health care system than Americans (based on a comparative analysis of satisfaction surveys taken from both nations) (2).

Not only can national health care work, but when allowed to compete with private health care the benefits of both systems can be maximized. National health care can be provided more efficiently, more cost effectively, and elicit higher degree of satisfaction than our current system while extending coverage to the 40 million people that are presently uninsured. For each of those 40 million, this could mean the difference between getting a life-saving heart surgery so that a family doesn't loose their father who can't afford the expense of even getting the MRI that would indicate blockage in one of his main arteries -as opposed to dropping dead of a heart attack without warning. For a child, this means dental care to ensure good oral health for a lifetime. For a mother who works three part time jobs just to make rent but doesn't stay at even one long enough to merit benefits, this means the difference between annual screenings for breast cancer and finding a lump as she returns home after a long days work. In the richest nation in the world, we can do better than we are now; for the insured, for the uninsured, for every American man, woman, and child. We can do better.






5 A) World Health Organization. 2004a. Available:
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for your thoughts. Now onto my rebuttal.

Now, as you mentioned, providing National Health Care my be a moral choice, but, nowhere does it say that the government must be the one to provide the service, making it the responsibility of each individual to afford health care. If they cannot afford it, that is not the governments fault to have to pay for that. Now another point brought up was that the private health care industry is becoming more and more expensive, and less and less generous. While I do agree with that statement, if one is to complain about this, there happens to be a simple answer that does not include whining to the government to provide, the answer is simply not buy the insurance.

I agree the fact that America does have one of the highest infant mortality rates, and that it has one of the shortest life expectancies in the world, but what is to blame, our privatized health insurance or the lifestyle people choose to live? It is fact that if we provide health insurance to everybody for no cost to them, they will be more inclined to take risks and live less healthy lifestyles, knowing that the government will pay for their bills.

I find that Canada and France have very similar health care systems and both work in the same manor, inefficiently. As you mentioned in your arguments, the French do consume less of a cost for their health insurance than the U.S. does, but, that is because France is also a much smaller country and must provide for much less people for the U.S. If France was the size an had the same amount of people as the U.S. then I guarantee they would pay more than we do.

In the next paragraph, you mention that the French system embraces private competition. Knowing that Canada and France have very similar systems, it can be shown through Canada and most likely France, that doctors are being driven out of the country due to the low wages they are paid, therefore this system does not really embrace private industry, but rather drives it out. Next, you mention that French citizens are more satisfied with their system than the Americans are, which can quite obviously be shown because everyone in France is provided for,so it seems common sense that they would be happier with their system.

In your last paragraph, you argue that national health care can be provided more efficiently, more effectively, and to more satisfaction than our current system. Now we know this not to be true because under national health care doctors will be more stressed for time, as they will have more patients to provide to, which thus results in slipshod work. You also mention that it will be more efficient, but compared to what? France and the United States can not be compared because the population in France is much smaller than that of the U.S. and will of course be more efficient as they have less people. Lastly, you mention examples of the lives that could be saved under national health care. The truth I actually the reverse of what you mentioned. More lives would not be saved under national health care because in reality, it leads to longer wait times, and cold potentially deny patients care who truly need it most. So you are absolutely right we can do better, by not allowing national health care.


My opponent keenly observes that at present, if people cannot afford health care or the insurance to pay for it that they are unable to purchase it. Is this really how it ought to be, though? I tend to agree with my opponent that health care is not a right, but it is a service that ought to be provided -especially considering that to do so would not only be more practical than the current system we have and more effective if done properly. While I share my opponent's distaste for "whining" my sense of empathy is a bit more compelling because of the high value that I place on human life. The present system is broken because, as I mentioned earlier, it leaves more than 40,000,000 people without coverage -that figure says nothing for the underinsured however (those who have insufficient medical insurance to meet their needs). Indeed, as my opponent agrees, the cost of health care is high and that could be attributed to a variety of factors. The Harvard Business School (a source I mentioned earlier) attributes that, in part, to "the $98 billion of excess administrative costs... for insurance company marketing and underwriting." (4) The same study that found those results observed that "it would cost "only" $77 billion per year (or about $1,900 per person) to provide healthcare to all of America's uninsured." (4) By merely eliminating the administrative waste characteristic of private health care (waste that would not plague government provided health care) that health coverage could be extended to every American presently lacking coverage (1), (2), (4). Wether health care is a right or not is irrelevant; most of the services provided by our government aren't rights at all -but that doesn't mean that the government shouldn't do it.

My opponent expresses concern that people would be more inclined to abuse a national health care system if it were readily available, assuming (I imagine) that people would loose the incentive not to hurt themselves if they were ensured remedy by law. I find this proposition baffling, because all people desire to avoid pain and discomfort naturally -one does not need a law to stop them from jumping off a cliff. There are, however, legitimate question that ought to be asked about the way people live and what impact a system of universal health care would have. A good way to determine how people's lifestyle choices would be effected by a system of universal health care might be too look at nations that have similar policies in play at present. The French live longer, are less obese, have fewer heart attacks per capita, and are comprehensively more healthy than Americans in general (2). Similarly, to curtail unsavory lifestyle habits, the French heavily tax alcohol, tobacco, and other substances that are widely recognized to contribute to poor health as a means (and an effective one) of prevention (2). If the French were "abusing" the system, per se, wouldn't the cost of medical care go up? The French spend almost 5% less of their GDP than Americans on health care as a nation. If they were leading unsavory destructive or unhealthy lifestyles, would their life expectancy exceed ours (as it does (2))? Doubtful... One of the cannons of a system of universal health care is prevention. Through preventative measures, heart disease, diabetes, and other ailments that so plague both insured and uninsured Americans can be treated before they lead to heart attacks, death, or dismemberment for lack of treatment -or treatment that comes too late.

While I am sure that my opponent would not be so brandish as to make a statement without a thorough time allotment for research and consideration I find it tremendously difficult to believe that he, by his own expertise, possesses the credibility to opine as to the efficiency of the Canadian or French health care systems as he did here: "I find that Canada and France have very similar health care systems and both work in the same manor, inefficiently."

The most remarkably odd thing about it is, though, that the French health care system is, according to the World Health Organization, among the best in the world. In 2001 France, in fact, was determined by the WHO to have the best health care system in the world (2), and it continues to improve. The United States, by contrast, yielded less than impressive results. Presently, we are 37th -behind Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Portugal, Oman, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, and (of course) France just to list a few. Strange, considering we are supposed to be the richest nation in the world -and even stranger considering how much more of our gross domestic product we spend on health care on a per capita basis that we can't even make the top ten.

Indeed, doctor's wages in France are lower -substantially lower even than those of the United States. Doctor's wages are lower because medical school is paid for by the French government, ergo no student loans to pay off for doctors. There is no French Medical Association (unlike the AMA) artificially deflating the supply of doctors in the work force to ensure that costs (and wages) remain high. If anything, the French model is more competitive than the American system because there are more doctors competing for what a fair market value ought to be for medical care (2). French society views doctors more as public servants than as private purveyors of product, though, and that is a cultural difference -but not one that could be overcome in America.

As I mentioned earlier, the supply of doctors is a problem. Where supply of any good or service is artificially low but demand is exceedingly high, prices tend to be astronomical -as we can empirically observe in the American health care system. Merely legislating to provide people with health insurance coverage isn't going to solve the problem -and anyone with even a bachelors degree level understanding of economics can tell you that. In order to implement a system of universal coverage, we would need to dramatically expand our existing medical infrastructure. We would need to graduate more doctors from medical school, build more medical facilities, and the like. These things would take time, but they are achievable. If the French can do it, then so can we.
Debate Round No. 3


Thanks to my opponent for a great debate with many good ideas. Now onto my conclusion.

In conclusion, socialized medicine, by means of the government providing health care to all is a major threat to our country. National health care drives out doctors, encourages unhealthy lifestyles, and endangers the lives of those who need it most.

In addition, national health care will only further increase our never-ending debt, driving us further and further down a road we are not prepared for.

It may seem easy to readily compare France and the United States about how much each spends on health care and the amount of satisfaction, but the truth is our health care system can not easily be compared to that of many socialized countries, such as France, because the population difference is so great.

Finally, I believe that national health care is just one more step towards socialism and away from capitalism. Capitalism is the very way we run our country and is what allows us to remain the worlds best economy, and runs on the idea that you must work hard to get what you want, and have things provided to you by the government.

Once again, thanks to my opponent for a great debate.


I mirror my opponent's gratitude for an interesting debate.

Many arguments have been covered in this debate, and I will do my best to both concisely sum them up while not taking up all 8,000 characters allotted.

The current health care system in the US is worthy of improvement because it leaves 40 million people without health coverage and millions more underinsured, a I have noted above. While health care is not a right by any means, it IS a service that ought to be provided by the government -to set the standard for minimum health coverage for every American.

The French model proves that it can be done, done right, done efficiently, and done effectively. The World Health Organization ranks the French health care system the best in the world, as further proof that quality of health care (rather than declining) will only improve across the board.

By implementing a system of universal health care similar to the French model, we do not limit competition -rather we encourage it. Private insurance will still be legal and readily available, but government health insurance will be extended to all -closing the coverage gap permanently while ensuring that all premiums stayed at a competitive market price. Because governmentally provided insurance/health care would set the industry standard, private insurance companies would out of necessity be forced to lower their costs and increase their coverage -as opposed to the current trend of raising costs and depleting coverage (4).

Presently we spend more on health care than any other nation in the world on a per capita basis, meaning that the ratio of capital to people is higher here than anywhere else in the world. Population has nothing to do with our ability to extend coverage, if anything it will make us more able to expand the necessary infrastructure to implement such a system. Because we spend so much on health care, all that would really be required to change is to redirect the money. To put this in perspective, if private health insurance providers stopped spending money on advertising and administration they could cover the 40,000,000 people who concurrently lack health insurance (4). The burden of advertising wouldn't be a problem for a government entity. Less waste = more efficient system = better coverage for all.

At present, if someone doesn't have health care insurance, they only can receive emergency medical care -care that is often received too little too late. Emergency medical care is, oddly enough, infinitely more expensive than preventative care for reasons that can be attributed to resource demand. As I have mentioned above, prevention is one of the cannons of universal health care -e.g. it is always better to prevent a heart attack than treat it after the fact (for both the system and the patient).

No system is perfect, but a dualistic system of national health care where governmentally provided health care and private health care compete is far better than all the alternatives for all the reasons that I have cited, and as the French have proven. The numbers are irrefutable, and have not been refuted in this debate. My opponent has offered neither evidence nor substantiated or qualified rhetoric (that which can be backed up by sources), and this is not a topic that lends itself to rhetorical dialogue alone. I have offered a litany of evidence, all of which is well grounded and I maintain that because of the empirical proof of success offered by the French model that the United States should follow France's lead. It won't be easy, but nothing worth doing is. Accordingly, the evidence and outcome of the debate compel an affirmative ballot.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ConservativeRepublican 5 years ago
Correction: i the last line of my conclusion i state: and have things provided by the government which should be: and not have things provided by the government.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
Grammatical Correction:

"French society views doctors more as public servants than as private purveyors of product, though, and that is a cultural difference -but not one that could be overcome in America."

*-but not one that couldn't be overcome in America.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:25 
Reasons for voting decision: This was fairly lopsided, Pro's only weak point was the ought of health care which however was weakly contested. YYW strongly countered with the successful France model and the only rebuttal was they don't have as many people. Con also tended to make a lot of assertions (socialism = lazy) with vry little justification, just stated as if it was to betaken as self-obvious. 5:2 Pro
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Good arguments from both sides. However Pro uses many more facts and supported his argument with sources. Con refutes Pros points with many assertions and ideological stances without providing support, and stands on many general ideas that are in dispute. For example there is much disagreement of the balance between capitalism and socialism that is currently beneficial for America but Con asserts that America should be more capitalistic without providing a supporting argument to demonstrate why.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro refuted con and actually used sources. I don't feel con refuted Pro well