The Instigator
govchapman
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
wingnut2280
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

Should the U.S. adopt a universal health care system?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/17/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,945 times Debate No: 1885
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (26)
Votes (15)

 

govchapman

Pro

I would like to welcome all who decided to participate in, or watch this debate, I believe that as a country, we should embrace the thought of universal health care. We should feel a moral obligation to take care of those who are less fortunate. It is sad that in a country as wealthy as the United States of America, that 1 in 7 people do not have health insurance.
wingnut2280

Con

I am going to assume, for the purposes of this round at least, that you mean a government sponsored health care plan of some sort.

The popular misconception during this election has been that Republicans don't want everyone to be covered. This isn't true. Everyone agrees that we need to reform healthcare in some way.

This applies to this debate equally. I agree that we should cover everyone. However, I don't see a government sponsored or subsidized plan working. The concept is a simple one. The government does a sloppy job. I trust the American consumer to make informed and logical decisions as to how to spend their money.

The only question remains is how do we make it possible for consumers to afford healthcare? I think tort reform and healthcare industry subsidies, as well as government oversight, rather than regulation accomplishes this much more effectively.

Tort reform is controlling these outrageous malpractice suits. Drug companies, as well as doctors, are afraid to practice medicine. They have to purchase extraordinary amounts of insurance and those costs are passed on to the consumer. If we can reform the civil suit system, we can allow these companies and doctors to practice without immense fear, while still being accountable for their actions. This keeps prices lower and practice quality at a premium.

Industry subsidies are key to lowering prices as well. Drug companies have the ability to pass costs along to consumers. Rewarding responsible businesses in the field would help eliminate this and lower prices.

Government oversight is key as well. Unlike strict regulation, government oversight allows the free market to function while holding the industry to a reasonable code of ethics.

As a citizen, I don't want the government having any more power than is absolutely necessary. I think they have shown that they do an infinitely poorer job than the free market. We need to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to get healthcare, but mandating and controlling the industry and its consumers is not the answer.
Debate Round No. 1
govchapman

Pro

The United States (the wealthiest country on earth) ranks 37th in heath care between Costa Rica, and Slovenia, with cuba not far behind at number 39. Although people not having any health insurance at all is a huge problem, I mean 18,000 people die every year because they don't have it, it is not nearly as much of a problem as those who do. You say that you don't want too much government screwing things up, but our system right now is completely backwards. Insurance companies don't get paid to treat patients, they get paid to NOT treat patients. when money is involved with heath insurance it just doesn't work. It doesn't matter who you are, if you need medical help, your insurance company WILL attempt to deny you coverage. We must rid our health care system of this deadly middleman, and make the system about treating people, not making money!

-Thank you
wingnut2280

Con

Your argument seems logic, but has large ramifications.

The problem isn't insurance companies denying claims, that plays a small part and I will address it later. The biggest problem is making it so people can AFFORD healthcare. The only reason people go entirely uninsured is because they either elect not to purchase healthcare and can afford it, or want to be insured but can't afford it. The latter is the group we need to worry about. The steps I laid out in the last round would make this possible. I guess you can just refer back to those since you don't refute them.

The smaller problem is that insurance companies make money by denying claims. The insurance industry is essentially a gamble by both sides. I pay a company a certain percentage of what I think my potential bills could be and then, if something happens, the insurance company loses out. Its an instance of both sides playing the odds. However, denying people claims that they are entitled to is AGAINST THE LAW. More government oversight, not regulation, would ensure that these things don't happen.

Government mandates would make the system worse. Look at Canada. They are famous for their low prices on pills and such, but it takes years longer to recieve an organ, or be eligible for a surgery. To be sure, quality and availibility would go down as prices skyrocket. Allowing the consumer to 'shop' for their own medical care and insurance makes for a better system.

In short, its not that insurance companies deny claims, its that people, flat out, can not afford to be insured. We need to fix this problem and government mandates would make it worse. We don't need to assign everyone healthcare, we just need to make it available and practicable for those who want it. Under correct oversight and cost control, healthcare would function just like any other market. The reason people die is because they can't afford it, not because it isn't available. Lowering costs and doing what I explained would help everyone to afford it, not MAKE everyone get something they could have otherwise.

Finally, and I believe most importantly, is the issue of big government. I don't want the government in my life any more than absolutely necessary. Truth be told, the government doesn't NEED to be in healthcare. We just need to make sure that everyone can get it if they desire. With government oversight and lower prices, this market would function just like others do and provide everyone with healthcare without crippling the medical field as we know it.
Debate Round No. 2
govchapman

Pro

I do realize that some people believe that government should not have their hand in more than it already is. However, it is important to note that government run health care systems do much better for getting everyone the proper care that they deserve. Despite the fact that Canada's health care system is under funded, they still rank much higher than the U.S. in overall health care (according to the World Heath Organization). Universal health care would solve much more problems than we might think. First of all it would give EVERYONE the proper coverage they deserve. But there is one more thing that most people don't think about. Relieving costs on individuals and small business. Imagine how much easier it would be if no one had to worry about health care. Just think about how much simpler it would become to start a small business without having that extra cost of your employees heath care, as well as your own.

-Thank you
wingnut2280

Con

Again, I totally agree that the current system isn't a good one. I do not defend the status quo. Canada is probably ranked higher because the current system is bad. The steps I laid out earlier would solve the problems. You don't refute any of this.

We SHOULD have everyone covered, I agree. Government mandate is a bad idea, though. I have laid out all of the reasons why above. You don't refute this. The only argument you give is that its OK to have government controlling aspects of our lives, as long as we don't have to worry about it. This is a bad argument. First, bigger government is bad. The government is sloppy, leading to lower quality and standards. Everyone may be covered, but quality and availability would go down. We see this in everything the government runs. They always manage to do an infintely worse job than the private sector. Look at Walter Reed and FEMA. Also, government mandated health care wouldn't solve problems like the fearful doctor I explained earlier. Tort reform and price drops do this.

Government mandated health care is not only an infringement on civil liberites, it is bad for the health care market in general. People want health care, we just have to make it available to them. We can do this by modifying the private sector, as I explained earlier and you don't refute.
Debate Round No. 3
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
If you're still following this debate, here's the link to the debate I started on universal health care based on a single-payer system.

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
A healthy private catastrophic market. It would kind of be like life insurance. You don't know when you're going to need it. You probably won't need it for a long time. But if you get into an accident, you'll be happy as hell that you do have it.

Themaverick brought up political opposition among those to contribute to politicians. Lets take a look at that. GM has always been in favor of a single-payer system, largely because they are currently responsible for over $55 billion in medical liability. They have already said that around $1,400 is added to the price of every car because of their medical liability. You're already paying for GM employee's coverage, so why not everyone else, including yourself? Obviously, businesses and the chamber of commerce would be in favor of this plan. I already listed why hospitals and doctors would love this plan, so there's the AMA. Creditors would love the plan since 51% of all bankruptcies are due to medical reasons. Theres every bank and credit card company. Healthy and secure workers are happy workers are productive workers, so the economy overall would get a huge boost. There's wall street. Obviously, there would be a lot of support to fight against insurers and Pharma.

Oh, and tying coverage to paying taxes would keep most illegal immigrants from using the system, so that should make immigration conservatives happy.

Let me know if I left any stone unturned.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
percentage. I'll use an example that the executive director for heart and vascular services at the hospital I worked at gave me. I'll use numbers that are easy to understand. Say a procedure costs a hospital $8,000 to do and Medicare pays $10,000 for it. The hospital makes $2,000 profit on it. But HMOs, being able to only pay a percentage of what Medicare would, only ends up paying 30% of Medicare. That means the hospital only makes $3,000 from the procedure that cost it $8,000. So, just to make ends meet, the hospitals has to jack up their prices 300% so that the $3,000 the HMO paid turns into $9,000. The cost to the hospital stayed the same, but the price to the rest of the industry skyrockets. This is the PRIMARY reason for medical inflation in this country.

HMOs cut the legs out of doctors and hospitals, who then have to fight back just to make ends meet. Under the plan I proposed, this wouldn't happen. All insurers also have a ton of other ways to denying payouts and cutting their costs that hurt patients and hospitals, such as mot paying any part of a bill, even if an error in charting exists in one part of the bill.

You think we don't have a ton of private bureaucrats now? Why do you think drug makers spend over 30% on advertising and administration? How do you think insurers can find any little error in your medical history and deny you benefits? All of that cost is built into the system as it is. A single-payer system would eliminate that cost, driving the price of health care down and making it much more affordable. Administrative savings, as well as better negotiating power on the part of the single-payer would drive down costs across the board. Throw in a country-wide risk pool, and that's how the taxes I proposed would pay for the plan.

$20,000 is a good number because 97% of everyone who sought health care spent just over $21,000 in a year. $20,000 would cover about 96% of everyone who needs coverage, leaving room for a...
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
If you did pay any in taxes toward it, it would be a lot smaller than what you current pay for coverage and the coverage would be a lot better. If you could get coverage better than the best PPO for the price of the least expensive HMO, wouldn't you want it? You wouldn't pay any taxes to it in the first place if you were middle class or poor since the health care tax would be imposed progressively. If you would be taxed because you're rich, then I don't give a damn. You pay for everyone else not having coverage as it is. Insurance rates go up higher to make up for the lack of risk pool that the insurer can draw on, and hospitals jack up their prices to make up for all the services they provide that don't get reimbursed. You might as well pay into a system that covers everyone, including yourself.

Hospitals and doctors would be reimbursed more often and at higher rates under the system I proposed. The main draw for them would be to never have to deal with an HMO ever again. As much as you want to bad-mouth government programs, doctors actually prefer to deal with Medicaid and Medicare because at least doctors and hospitals get paid at a fair rate. Not only that, but sine everyone would be covered, doctors and hospitals would be reimbursed for everyone that seeks service, providing even more stability than there is now.

You obviously have no idea how the system actually works, so let me fill you in. Pharmaceuticals don't spend nearly as much on R&D as you think. In 2005, the industry spent an average of 13% of revenues on R&D, 17% they claimed as profits, and over 30% on advertising and administration. Both hospitals and insurers as a group only made just over 5% profit in the same time period. There is no more profitable industry in the Forbes 500. But the price for drugs does not come from R&D, it comes from advertising.

Here's why hospitals and doctors hate HMOs. Most insurers only pay a percentage of what Medicare pays. HMOs pay only a tiny...
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
I read the articles you posted. That sounds a lot like here. People complaining about sitting in an emergency room for a few hours and thinking its too long? I've worked in a non-profit, top 50 hospital on and off for the last 8 years. Someone is lucky if they get in after 5 hours of waiting. I've heard stories of people waiting over 8 hours.

I never said our hospitals were as bad as Cubas. I said that a lot of stuff happens in hospitals that should only happen in Cuba. But unfortunately, it happens here all too often. I've seen it myself.

Walter Reed is the total and complete failure of the Bush Administration, as well as its disgusting hypocrisies. How anyone can claim that he ever gave a damn about veterans or current service people is beyond me. One of the first things he did when he got into office was cut budgets for the VA and benefits for veterans. I'm actually listening to Fox News now, and they just brought up how the VA charges families of people who have died in Iraq to repay education expenses that were part of their GI Bill. These failures rest on the shoulders of Bush and no one else. But that doesn't mean that the system couldn't work just fine under competent leadership. You can't blame government for failing when conservatives starve it as much as possible.

As for the rest of your comment. I'm sorry I forgot to mention children. They would be covered by their parents' coverage. People could combine their $20,000 when they get married, which would provide an incentive for people to get married, which should make pro-marriage conservatives happy. Children would be covered by their parents until they start paying their own taxes.

Thanks for assuming that I said health care is a right, because I do believe that. Yes, I do think people have been denied their basic rights up to this point. First, under my plan, if you did pay any taxes towards the national plan, it would be canceled out by what everyone else paid towards yours...
Posted by Themaverick 9 years ago
Themaverick
Thank you a voice emerges from the depths of reason. We are so far from these systems but I will comment.I don't like wellfare right now and how its abused what makes you think I want to pay to pay for people that put there car, drugs or nightlife before there need to get healthcare? 20,000$ come on peter pan grow up and get real. Also as Goldspurs said what then about the children? Alright again as i said you want more money don't look to the middle class to tax look higher. But there is our catch who contributes to our elects? Do you think they are going to take a raise sitting down I doubt it. Is there something that could work to lower healthcare costs? Yes and we will strive for that. Also even if there is affordable and good coverage with it do you really think people would buy it? No, I don't think so at all. As I said before healthcare for everybody isn't logical at all period.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
Now to tear apart your plan.

"We should have a single-payer system up to $20,000 per tax-paying person."

What about children? They don't pay taxes. Who will ensure they get the $20,000. Do I have to pay for someone else's child to receive medical care?

"Medicare would provide catastrophic coverage for the old and Medicaid would do it for the poor."

Sounds great except I don't want to pay for someone's health care. It isn't my responsibility. Give me a good reason I have too. You claim medical care is a right. If that is so did all people before the modern era have their right taken away? People do have to claim responsibility for themselves. This country has to many opportunities for one not to have a decent job. Maybe if we stop giving handouts poverty won't be as big of a problem. I hate to sound heartless but I refuse to give my money to someone who sits on a bench and panhandles all day.

"It would be funded by taxing hospital and doctor income like Schwarzenegger wants to do in California and putting a sales tax on the advertising and lobbying bills of drug and device manufacturers since it is those amounts that make drugs and devices so expensive"

So let me get this straight. We are going to tax the private companies and doctors more because they are in the business of helping people. You have failed to show that taxing them would be enough to pay for the whole thing. As far as taxing the pharmecutical company I must ask why? This is a capitalistic country. After investors put their money into researching a drug they have every right to do with it what they wish.

" Such a system would create a number of jobs since the industry would be a lot more stable for doctors offices and mainly hospitals."

How would it be more stable? Because mindjob said so? What is so unstable about the it now? As far as more jobs, you would probably have less doctors due to the high taxes on their profession and ALOT more beuracrats.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
Mindjob,
yes they were good reads, but not what I asked for. I was asking for evidence that American hospitals are in as bad of condition as Cuban. You have failed to provide that. If you look at these links you will see the same incidents happening in your loved Canadian hospitals. In my opinion it is far worse. Have a woman waiting 21 hours for a surgery she desperately needed. She ended up dying.

The second link describes how a woman died of a heart attack. The coroner listed a lack of beds and staff as the cause.

http://www.canada.com...

http://www.cbc.ca...

I have more if you want them.

You cannot deny that the quality of care is much more advanced than any of these places that use socialized medicine.

One question I would like asked is have you seen the controversies surrounding Walter Reed, which happens to be goverment ran? I am in the military and receive "free" medical care for my family. Its not really free seeing as I pay into a type of insurance every month. I will admit that for seeing a doctor on a routine visit isn't horrible, it isn't as good as if I was civilian, but it is adequate. If I need any special care you are talking about a nightmare. Do you want this same goverment to now handle everybodys' health care?
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
The only people I hear coming up with any decent solutions are Democrats too. The only thing conservatives seem to do is whine and complain about everything without providing any solutions that show any understanding of the problem. I'm surprised they don't sprain their knees more often from all the jerking they do.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
Kiddo? I'm as old as you are. And yes, I do have a solution. We should have a single-payer system up to $20,000 per tax-paying person. Private insurance companies can provide catastrophic coverage above that, which is what they want to move towards to anyway. Medicare would provide catastrophic coverage for the old and Medicaid would do it for the poor. Hospitals and doctors in the top 10% of outcomes and patient satisfaction would get paid an extra 10% for the procedures they do. Those in the bottom 10% would be paid 10% less. Hospitals and doctors would also be private, ensuring competition for patients based on how well they take care of patients.

There would also be a three-strike policy for defrauding the system. The first strike would be a big fine. the second strike would be a much bigger fine. The third strike would be taking the offending doctor's license or a hospital losing its accreditation. It would be funded by taxing hospital and doctor income like Schwarzenegger wants to do in California and putting a sales tax on the advertising and lobbying bills of drug and device manufacturers since it is those amounts that make drugs and devices so expensive. Anything needed beyond that would be taxed on the top tax bracket first and working its way down if needed.

Such a system would create a number of jobs since the industry would be a lot more stable for doctors offices and mainly hospitals. Insurance companies would still be in the game, so there wouldn't be too many jobs lost there.

I have no idea where you got those tax numbers. You also seem to think we all pay in the same tax bracket, which is pretty telling of your lack of information and knowledge. If health care is ever going to be affordable, we all need to pay into it. Otherwise, adverse selection will always make it revert to the dysfunction we have now. Universal coverage isn't tree hugging. GM prefers it, so it can't be that bad.
15 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Darth_Grievous_42 9 years ago
Darth_Grievous_42
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by redinbluestate 9 years ago
redinbluestate
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Bitz 9 years ago
Bitz
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by lindsay 9 years ago
lindsay
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by thelemite 9 years ago
thelemite
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by govchapman 9 years ago
govchapman
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by NonZeroBubble 9 years ago
NonZeroBubble
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by PinkiePinkerton 9 years ago
PinkiePinkerton
govchapmanwingnut2280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03