The Instigator
rougeagent21
Con (against)
Losing
57 Points
The Contender
MTGandP
Pro (for)
Winning
74 Points

Obama's Health Care Plan is beneficial to the United States of America

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,608 times Debate No: 9093
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (35)
Votes (25)

 

rougeagent21

Con

There will be no semantics, you know what I mean by the resolution. As usual, I will defer to the affirmative to open. Good luck.
MTGandP

Pro

I thank my opponent for initializing this debate. I have never debated this topic or any topic like it, so I hope this goes well.

Burden of Proof
My opponent must prove that the plan is either detrimental or has no effect. I must prove that it is beneficial. If neither is effectively proven, then the vote is a tie.

Definitions
Obama's Health Care Plan: http://www.barackobama.com... To be defined further during this debate.
beneficial: conducive to social well-being (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

Now let us examine the health care plan. Due to space constraints, my examination will be limited.

==========
LOWER COSTS
==========

"INVEST IN ELECTRONIC HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS. Most medical records are still
stored on paper, which makes them difficult to use to coordinate care, measure quality, or reduce medical errors.
Processing paper claims also costs twice as much as processing electronic claims. [2]"
It goes without saying that reducing costs is important. But perhaps more importantly, electronic storage is much more easy to use. Reducing medical errors is always beneficial, especially when nearly 200,000 Americans each year die due to medical errors [1]. If medical records are converted to electronic media, it could save as much as $77 billion annually [3]. This simple change could save each and every American citizen $250 a year [4].

"(2) IMPROVE ACCESS TO PREVENTION AND PROVEN DISEASE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS. [...] Over seventy-five percent of total health care dollars are
spent on patients with one or more chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood
pressure. [5]"
Obama's plan is to improve care for those with chronic conditions. The plan will "require full transparency regarding quality and costs."

"Both public and private insurers tend to pay providers based on the
volume of services provided, rather than the quality or effectiveness of care [6]. Barack Obama and Joe
Biden will accelerate efforts to develop and disseminate best practices, and align reimbursement with
provision of high quality health care. Providers who see patients enrolled in the new public plan, the
National Health Insurance Exchange, Medicare and FEHB will be rewarded for achieving performance
thresholds on physician-validated outcome measures."

"[The plan] will prevent companies from
abusing their monopoly power through unjustified price increases. In markets where the insurance
business is not competitive, their plan will force insurers to pay out a reasonable share of their premiums
for patient care instead of keeping exorbitant amounts for profits and administration."

"Prevent drug companies from blocking generic drugs from consumers." This will increase competition and lower prices.

=======================
STRENGTHENING PUBLIC HEALTH
=======================

"(1) EMPLOYERS. [...] To address employee health, an increasing number of employers are offering worksite health
promotion programs, onsite clinical preventive services such as flu vaccinations, nutritious foods in cafeterias
and vending machines, and exercise facilities. Equally important, many employers choose insurance plans that
cover preventive services for their employees. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that worksite interventions
hold tremendous potential to influence health and they will expand and reward these efforts."

"(2) SCHOOL SYSTEMS. Childhood obesity is nearly epidemic [7] [...]. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work with
schools to create more healthful environments for children, including assistance with contract policy
development for local vendors, grant support for school-based health screening programs and clinical services,
increased financial support for physical education, and educational programs for students."

"(4) INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES. Preventive care only works if Americans take personal responsibility for their
health and make the right decisions in their own lives – if they eat the right foods, stay active, and stop smoking.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will ensure that all Americans are empowered to monitor their health by ensuring
coverage of essential clinical services in all federally supported health plans, including Medicare, Medicaid,
SCHIP and the new public plan."
Though not entirely obvious, there are so many ways to go about this. Inspiration is always right around the corner; it's just a matter of finding the right corner.

============

Summary

Obama's Health Care Plan will drastically reduce costs and inefficiencies in the medical system, leaving more room for what's truly important: helping people and saving lives. The plan will increase healthfulness in the community from all angles. In conclusion, if Obama's Health Care Plan is not beneficial, then I don't know what is.

========

[1] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com...
[2] Federico Girosi, Robin Meili, and Richard Scoville (2005), Extrapolating Evidence of Health Information Technology Savings and Costs. RAND, page 79.
[3] Federico Girosi, Robin Meili, and Richard Scoville (2005), Extrapolating Evidence of Health Information Technology Savings and Costs. RAND, page 36.
[4] US Census Bureau
[5] Gerard Anderson, Robert Herbert, Timothy Zeffiro, and Nikia JohnsonChronic Conditions: Making the Case for Ongoing Care (2004). Partnership for Solutions (Johns Hopkins and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).
[6] http://www3.brookings.edu...
[7] http://www.nih.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
rougeagent21

Con

I agree with the burden of proof as well as the definitions. Lets have at it!

==========
Lower Costs
==========

-Electronic Conversion

This is simply a non-unique argument. Offices are already doing this without being forced to by the government. We would be spending more money by making companies do this, while they are already doing so. We would just be spending money to enforce what does not need to be.

-Better care for chronic patients

Quality cannot be forced. Quality occurs because of competition. This is simple economics. If doctors have to compete for patients, they can lower their prices, and increase the quality of their work. If there is competition, there is quality. If there is no competition (under Obama's plan), there is lower quality. If doctors are paid the same, there is NO incentive to increase the quality of their work.

The remaining parts of the "argument" are simply excerpts of the plan that I have addressed. I will address one more segment though.

"'Prevent drug companies from blocking generic drugs from consumers.'"

This is ridiculous. This will not lower prices since drug companies already sell generic drugs. They lower prices BECAUSE they already sell generic drugs. If they did not, they would hurt themselves. If Wal-Mart stopped selling generic Ibuprofen, Walgreens would profit. This would not be wise for Wal-Mart, and thus has never happened. This is another non-unique argument.

=======================
STRENGTHENING PUBLIC HEALTH
=======================

Once again, there is no argument made. My opponent simply spouts verses from the HC plan.

"'(1) EMPLOYERS. [...] To address employee health, an increasing number of employers are offering worksite health
promotion programs, onsite clinical preventive services such as flu vaccinations, nutritious foods in cafeterias
and vending machines, and exercise facilities. Equally important, many employers choose insurance plans that
cover preventive services for their employees. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that worksite interventions
hold tremendous potential to influence health and they will expand and reward these efforts.'"

Pay close attention to the last line. Whenever the President "encourages" or "rewards" a certain action, it means more money being spent. Obama has already promised not to raise taxes on people who make under $250,000 a year. With such a large part of the population not being taxed higher, the US starts to lack funds. (Anyone notice we are already in trillions of dollars in debt?) If he is going to reward these actions, he needs funds. Where are the funds coming from? If not from taxpayer dollars, then he can resort to either extreme taxation on the upper-class, or printing off more money (which he has already done). Then we are left with either extremely disproportionate taxes (which discourages achievement) or inflation. Do any of these options sound like a good idea? If we let the free market do its thing, the best interests of the economy and the American people are brought to the surface.

"'(2) SCHOOL SYSTEMS. Childhood obesity is nearly epidemic [7] [...]. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work with
schools to create more healthful environments for children, including assistance with contract policy
development for local vendors, grant support for school-based health screening programs and clinical services,
increased financial support for physical education, and educational programs for students.'"

Once again, note the term "increased financial support." Where is that money going to come from?

"'(4) INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES. Preventive care only works if Americans take personal responsibility for their
health and make the right decisions in their own lives – if they eat the right foods, stay active, and stop smoking.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will ensure that all Americans are empowered to monitor their health by ensuring
coverage of essential clinical services in all federally supported health plans, including Medicare, Medicaid,
SCHIP and the new public plan.'"

Here is what this section is really saying: The smart people who take care of themselves are going to be paying for the dumb, lazy people who rely on taxpayer dollars to live. Plain and simple. With this plan, we award stupidity. People work hard for their money. If they want healthcare, they will buy it. If people do not work, and do not make money, they will not buy healthcare. If the working class is forced to pay for the health of the lazy class, then there is absolutely NO incentive to be a hard worker! How is that good for anyone, much less the economy?

=========================
Bad news for those with Healthcare
=========================

Obama's health-care plan is drawing criticism from one of his own advisers, Harvard University's Martin Feldstein. In today's Washington Post, Feldstein warns that "For the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, the Obama health plan is bad news. It means higher taxes, less health care and no protection if they lose their current insurance because of unemployment or early retirement." Obama's plan would "cost more than $1 trillion," and raise the top federal "income-tax rate from 35 percent today to more than 45 percent." That certainly doesn't sound like it helps the American people. Are we going to disregard that 85% of Americans?

============
My Conclusion
============

If we go with Obama's HC plan, we have two major issues.
1-Insufficient funds
2-Extremely detrimental effects to 85% of Americans

To me, that sounds more than enough to deject the HC plan. The resolution is negated.

============
Sources
============

http://www.hovservices.com...

http://www.openmarket.org...

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com...

http://www.barackobama.com...

http://www.mlive.com...
MTGandP

Pro

Resolved: Obama's Health Care Plan

=========
Lower Costs
=========

Electronic Conversion
I do not see that my opponent has provided any references for this claim. He says that actively trying to convert to electronic records would require spending more money, but this claim is baseless. According to the designers of the plan, it will save $77 billion each year.

Better Care for Chronic Patients
My opponent correctly states that competition increases quality. However, government intervention has been found to actually increase market competition (http://www.floridataxwatch.org...). In addition, full transparency will not evolve through competition, but Obama's plan will ensure it. Transparency may seem minor, but is not to be overlooked: it provides incentives to eliminate pork barrel spending and eliminate inefficiencies. Problems can be found and solved much more easily.

The free market is mindless. It cannot be left to its own ends or trusted to accomplish all that is necessary. It is a powerful force, but still limited in its abilities.

Drug companies do sell generic drugs, but the supply is limited. Drug firms are known to block generic drugs and artificially raise prices (http://euobserver.com...). In this case, the government will prevent drug companies from artificially raising prices, allowing competition to naturally lower them.

==================
Strengthening Public Health
==================

I quoted large portions of Obama's plan because it largely speaks for itself.

(1) "If he is going to reward these actions, he needs funds. Where are the funds coming from? If not from taxpayer dollars, then he can resort to either extreme taxation on the upper-class, or printing off more money (which he has already done)."
This is a false dichotomy. The simplification of the healthcare system will save a great deal of money. Simply converting to electronic storage is predicted to save $77 billion a year. Also, Obama has a plan to pull out of Iraq. The war in Iraq costs $720 million each day (http://www.washingtonpost.com...); eliminating that expense will be a relief.

(2) "Once again, note the term 'increased financial support.' Where is that money going to come from?"
Various sources, such as raised taxes. Higher taxes may be painful, but in the long term it will pay off. Additionally, money will be acquired by increasing the efficiency of Medicare, as well as some other miscellaneous sources (http://www.thehealthcareblog.com...).

(4) "The smart people who take care of themselves are going to be paying for the dumb, lazy people who rely on taxpayer dollars to live."
That's an unfair oversimplification. Bad eating and smoking habits are not necessarily indicative of intelligence or laziness. The very purpose of this policy is to help educate the uneducated and move more people towards the smart and self-sufficient side.

"If the working class is forced to pay for the health of the lazy class, then there is absolutely NO incentive to be a hard worker!"
Simply providing national health coverage will not cause everyone to become lazy. That is an absurd claim.

=======================
Bad News for Those With Healthcare
=======================

My opponent's paragraph is quoted word-for-word from his second source. It is not surrounded in quotation marks. This could be construed as plagiarism.

The Obama administration plans on paying for the plan by repealing the Bush tax cuts. They estimate that the plan will cost closer to $50 billion a year; while formidable, this is an acceptable expenditure. His plan is estimated to save $2500 per American family (thehealthcareblog.com/the_health_care_blog/2008/03/a-detailed-anal.html). Martin Feldstein's estimates differ, but are not as authoritative. Even if 85% of Americans end up having to pay more, imagine how much good it could do for the other 15%. Resolution affirmed.
Debate Round No. 2
rougeagent21

Con

I apologize for the lack of time. I will post in the comments.
MTGandP

Pro

Resolved: Obama's Health Care Plan

Due to limited time, my opponent has only responded to some of my points, and in the comments section. I will let the judges decide the implications of this. For convenience, I will quote my opponent's arguments.

***************
(quote)
Due to my tardiness, I will only post a short amount in respect to my opponent. Final round is a go.

==============
Lower Costs
==============

If my previous arguments are not enough, here is a simple way that the free market system is superior to universal healthcare. My friend has a hearing condition that requires him to wear hearing aides to be able to hear at all. He has multiple medical bills regarding his ears every year. Under the free market system, he is allowed to buy healthcare that fits his needs. Companies can tailor their services to meet his needs. That is currently what they are doing for him. Obviously, everyone needs different healthcare. I have no hearing problems, and it would be ridiculous for me to get my friend's healthcare. I can save money by not buying the healthcare that he needs. If the government is going to do a decent job providing healthcare, they could not force someone to buy healthcare that would not fit their needs. They would need healthcare that would cover everyone. Then I end up paying for healthcare that I don't need. How on God's green Earth does that save money?

=============
Bad news for 85%
=============

My opponent hardly touches this topic. Here is the only real counter he gives:
"Even if 85% of Americans end up having to pay more, imagine how much good it could do for the other 15%. Resolution affirmed."
Whoa whoa whoa! What happened to LOWER taxes for the middle class? (the 85% of America) What happened to NO INCREASE in taxes? Does my opponent not contradict himself here? First he says we will lower costs and keep taxes low, then he says that we will pay for it by raising taxes? Decide for yourself, but that hardly seems rational.

Thank you opponent for the debate, and judges for your time.
(/quote)
***************

========
Lower Costs
========
This is a misrepresentation of the universal healthcare system. Universal healthcare does not mean that all healthcare is the same, only that it is run by the same organization. You and your hearing-impaired friend might both have insurance from Big Health Care Company, but your policies are still different. Likewise, policies can be different in universal health care as well. In fact, due to its size and government backing, universal healthcare is even MORE mutable than traditional privatized health care.

============
Bad news for 85%
============
"Whoa whoa whoa! What happened to LOWER taxes for the middle class? (the 85% of America) What happened to NO INCREASE in taxes?"
What a delicious case of quote mining. I recommend that the reader re-read my last paragraph in round 2 to get the context and to understand why this point is already answered.

========
Conclusion
========
Obama's Health Care Plan will lower costs for the average American by making the system more efficient. The Plan will strengthen public health by providing better healthcare to employers, school systems, and individuals and families. Even if half of the plan is unsuccessful, it can still be shown that overall, Obama's Health Care Plan is beneficial to the United States of America. Resolution affirmed. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MTGandP 4 years ago
MTGandP
True, I do. I was only looking at Brandon's vote, but you're right, there have been some 7-pointers on both sides.
Posted by rougeagent21 4 years ago
rougeagent21
Haha wow, I'm reading over the comments again and this got pretty intense! I must have been pissed at something else when I was writing those, sorry dude. Just to clarify though, you have had a fair amount of vote-bombers on your side as well though...
Posted by MTGandP 4 years ago
MTGandP
Brandon, I respect your opinion, but please vote based on how well the debaters did and not on what you already believe.
Posted by Brandonmaciel333 4 years ago
Brandonmaciel333
Last I heard It's Obamas fault why we have an EXTREMELY high debt
it was already high but not its just worse
Posted by MTGandP 4 years ago
MTGandP
1. Read the debate. I spell out the reasons why it's a good thing.

2. America is all about the individual? Check again.

3. Obama may be a fad, but I support him for his political policies and not for his "inspirational" or "cool" way of being. I supported him before I even knew what he looked like. (That sounds hard, but it's actually pretty easy when you never watch the news.)
Posted by TaylorJ 5 years ago
TaylorJ
Doesn't universal healthcare go against one of our core democratic values of personal freedom?? Last time I checked, America was all-about the decisions of the individual, not the cast of one man's decision.

Obama was/is a fad,
Taylor
Posted by ZT 5 years ago
ZT
That being said, it would be nice if pro explained how this would actually happen-- there's a lot of complicated law surrounding pharmaceutical pattents, and even more rabid lawyers and lobbyists ready to leap to the industry's defence.
Posted by ZT 5 years ago
ZT
""'Prevent drug companies from blocking generic drugs from consumers.'"

This is ridiculous. This will not lower prices since drug companies already sell generic drugs. They lower prices BECAUSE they already sell generic drugs. If they did not, they would hurt themselves. If Wal-Mart stopped selling generic Ibuprofen, Walgreens would profit. This would not be wise for Wal-Mart, and thus has never happened. This is another non-unique argument.
"

No, it's not rediculous. The Pharmaceutical companies who develop new drugs-- so called "big pharma" are disctinct from the companies that convert patented drugs into generics when the patents expire, which drasticly lower prices. The dispute is over tactics "big Pharma" uses to extend thier pattents, or pattent very similar drugs that they advertise to the consumer as being better but aren't really.

However, NEITHER type of company is Wal-mart or Wallgreens. They're simple retail pharmacies that buy drugs in bulk and fill prescriptions (or over-the-counters) for a profit.
Posted by rougeagent21 5 years ago
rougeagent21
1: MTGandP is a guy
2: School starts on Monday, and I will be in Estes Park until then. Once I have a feel for my homework load, I would love to debate this again.
Posted by RagingDonkey 5 years ago
RagingDonkey
While I thoroughly agree with Pro on the subject, I did not feel as though she provided a convincing argument. There are far stronger points to make which would appeal to Con's economic approach to this argument. The United States spends 15% of GDP and twice as much per capita as any other country in the world. What does this spending get us? 37th in the world. For anyone to argue that health care reform is unnecessary is unfathomable. Con also consistently argued against "Universal health care" which proves that Con has not reviewed any of the proposals that have been submitted by the Senate HELP committee or the House Tri-Committee. There are currently no proposal for a Universal health care or socialized health care system such as the United Kingdoms system. I assume that Con is referring to the public option which will be used to compete against private insurance companies. By Con's own admission, competition will create an atmosphere for higher quality and lower cost. Con has made an effective argument for the very proposal that he is against. Con, I would love to debate you on this subject. Please let me know if you are game, and I will set up the debate. Have a great day!!
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