The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Socialized Healthcare would be good for the United States.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,761 times Debate No: 16207
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)




Socialized Health Care:
"The provision of medical and hospital care for all by means of public funds".

Arguments will begin in Round #2.

Good Luck, and Thanks, in advance, for accepting this debate.


Another enticing debate!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you HandsofManos for accepting to debate this controversial, emotional, and very important subject. It's generally agreed upon that healthcare costs in America are out-of-control, the system is broken, and SOMETHING needs to be done to fix it!
Often, people try to focus on identifying the cause. Is it the spiraling cost of malpractice insurance due to the need for Tort reform? Are doctors and hospitals overcharging for their services due to the fact that they can, since they have such limited competition, and, are profit-oriented? Or, is it the health-insurance companies raising premiums in such a way that it could easily be seen as, "Price-Gouging"?
I would argue that the cause is, "all-of-the-above" - or, in short, a "broken system".

The way to fix this broken system is clear. It's not something new, ground-breaking, or inventive. It's called, "Socialized Healthcare" and it exists in every industrialized country in the world...except the USA.
"Oh, really, like which ones?" you ask... um, like, "Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the United Kingdom".[1]

As a country, we're like the last guy on the block that wanted to get Electricity!

I'm sure that my opponent will try to focus their argument on two platforms: 1) The costs; which I will show are negligible, at worst. (Wait until you see how much "Corporations" make off of you being sick!)
And, 2) The quality of care; The truth is that, CURRENTLY, doctors decide on your method of care based on whether or not they will get paid to do it by your insurance company.

The topic of the debate is, obviously, TRUE. (PRO) Socialized Healthcare would be good for the United States. The only question that remains what form?




Unfortunately Pro fails to deliver any argument for "why" we should have socialized healthcare, but rather states that we "should." Pro lists several countries that have social healthcare, but again fails to assert why that is a good thing. For some reason I am reminded of the old adage "if your friends jump off a bridge does it mean you should too?"

Pro started off with this round by stating various aspects of our healthcare system that are either not working as efficiently as they should or are costing far too much. Pro implies that looking for the root of the problem is absurd and we should just recogonize that it needs to be fixed. And his solution is socialized healthcare.

According to Pro's definition of socialized healthcare, which I am happy to use, though i find it a bit too vague, is as follows. "The provision of medical and hospital care for all by means of public funds". This definition is key to the argument, so lets take a closer look.

"The provision of medical and hospital care..." this seems fairly obvious, but again it is vague. I am assuming (something i hate doing) that Pro intends this to mean "all" medical care. Everything from open heart surgery, to dental exams, pharmaceuticals and anything else that could fall under the large umbrella of "medical care".

"...for all..." again I am assuming that Pro means every man woman and child in the United States, irregardless of their status as citizens.

" means of public funds". again I am assuming that pro means that the medical care should be paid for by either of the three governments methods of accruing money. Taxes, issuing debt, or the printing press.

If I have misrepresented Pro's definition I apologize.

Pro tells us that the system is broken and it needs to be fixed. He is right. Pro tells us that many other countries have adopted socialized healthcare. Again, he is right. Pro tells us the solution is to adopt socialized healthcare like so many other countries. He is profoundly mistaken.

Why is Pro so fundamentally mistaken? Because we already have a form of socialized healthcare. What? Bull, you say?

The government is currently paying for about half of all healthcare expenses. Half. That is a far, far cry from a free market system, and if it is not a free market system then it is a socialized one.
The above is the wikipedia page and below is the source they used for my above statistic.

What spending that is done privately is done through a third party system. Insurance companies. Unfortunately this as well prevents the market forces from working properly.

The problem has to do with price signaling. Prices send different signals to different individuals and groups of people. A high price of a product or service tells a consumer that they should think twice before purchasing it and possibly to look elsewhere for something cheaper. A high price lets entrepreneurs know it may be worth investing in. It tells other business owners who use that product or service that they may need to raise their prices or seek out new suppliers.

In essence when prices are artificially manipulated by either raising or lowering, they send the wrong signals.

How are they artificially manipulated? When you go into your doctor's office or the hospital, you produce your insurance card, and that company pays for the overwhelming bulk of the costs. This prevents the consumer from having any say in the prices as they are not directly paying for it. The same effect happens when the government pays for it.

To recap, all of the problems of the healthcare system are not a result of a failure of capitalism or of the free market. It is a failure of the socialist policies that have been adopted that prevent capitalism from working.
Debate Round No. 2


I'd like to thank my opponent for his responses in round one. As he readily agreed, I am correct. The system IS broken and needs to be fixed.

To quote my opponent, in his recap he stated that, "all of the problems of the healthcare system are not a result of a failure of capitalism or of the free market. It is a failure of the socialist policies that have been adopted that prevent capitalism from working." He is simply wrong. The problems are caused by the failure of capitalism and the free-market. And, the very source that my opponent used to resource his facts, state that exact thing.

For instance, the article points out that physician wages in the US are double those of European doctors - because of the limited supply - which is a major reason for the more expensive health care.[1]

According to the article, The U.S. Census Bureau reported that a record 50.7 million residents (which includes 9.9 million non-citizens) or 16.7% of the population were uninsured in 2009. More money per person is spent on health care in the USA than in any other nation in the world, and a greater percentage of total income in the nation is spent on health care in the USA than in any United Nations member state except for East Timor. Although not all people are insured, the USA has the third highest public healthcare expenditure per capita, because of the high cost of medical care in the country. A 2001 study in five states found that medical debt contributed to 46.2% of all personal bankruptcies and in 2007, 62.1% of filers for bankruptcies claimed high medical expenses. Since then, health costs and the numbers of uninsured and under-insured have increased.[1]

In 2004, an Institute of Medicine report observed "lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States." While a 2009 Harvard study estimated that 44,800 excess deaths occurred annually, in the US, due to lack of health insurance.[1]

ABC news reported in a 2010 article, that in the midst of a deep economic recession, America's health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent in 2009, a year that saw 2.7 million people lose their private coverage.

The nation's five largest for-profit insurers closed 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion, according to a report by the advocacy group Health Care for American Now (HCAN).

"The outsized earnings are a vivid reminder that without comprehensive national health care reform, the gatekeepers of our broken health insurance system always will put the short-term interests of Wall Street before the needs of millions of patients and a national economy plagued by joblessness," the report said.[2]

It's obvious, this is, in fact, a "Failure of Capitalism"!! In the U.S., we spend more money on health care than any other industrialized country and yet we rank in the bottom half in the quality of service we receive.[1]

Do you REALLY believe we should have a 'for-profit' health-care system? If so, do you think should have "for-profit" police protection, or fire protection too?

I have personally witnessed patients dying after being denied life-saving procedures simply because their insurance didn't cover the procedure - is that really how we want our health care system to determine plan of care? I think it's atrocious!!



Pro has yet again failed to present any arguments for why a socialized healthcare system is the soltuion. Pro simply states that capitalism has failed and that socialism is the answer.

Pro has given only one argument as proof that capitalism has failed. Pro quotes the article on Wikipedia as follows. "For instance, the article points out that physician wages in the US are double those of European doctors - because of the limited supply - which is a major reason for the more expensive health care.[1]"

His argument above is that due to the limited supply of doctors demand has increased which has increased the cost. Its true that his basic theory of supply and demand is correct. As supply goes down, demand goes up, as does the cost. However the above is not the result of capitalism or the free market. Pro failed to mention the entire section of the artile he quoted. Allow me.

The first sentence is where he got his quote. Here it is in its entirety.
"American Medical Association (AMA) has lobbied the government to highly limit physician education since 1910, currently at 100,000 doctors per year,[100] which has led to a shortage of doctors[101] and physicians' wages in the U.S. are double those in the Europe, which is a major reason for the more expensive health care.[102]"
Pro did an ok job of quoting the above, but he failed to mention that the AMA has lobbied the government to limit the number of physicians educated. That is a perfect example of the government manipulating the market.

Pro completely leaves out the following:
"An even bigger problem may be that the doctors are paid for procedures instead of results.[102]"

And of course pro leaves out the final paragraph:
"AMA has also aggressively lobbied for many restrictions that require doctors to carry out operations that might be carried out by cheaper workforce. For example, in 1995, 36 states banned or restricted midwifery even though it delivers equally safe care to that by doctors, according to studies. The regulation lobbied by AMA has decreased the amount and quality of health care, according to the consensus of economist: the restrictions do not add to quality, they decrease the supply of care.[100][103] Moreover, psychologists, nurses and pharmacologists are not allowed to prescribe medicines.[clarification needed] Previously nurses were not even allowed to vaccinate the patients without direct supervision by doctors."

Here were several examples of regulation adversely effecting the market. Why did Pro leave these out? As you can see, the above shows clear examples of how government regulation, intervention, and attempted control, have increased the cost. Keep in mind that socialized healthcare is healthcare that is completely regulated and controlled by the state.

Pro then gives us some more examples of problems we have in the system but fails to address how socialism will help.

Pro asserts that we spend more than any other country but receive a substandard quality of care. I don't know what he is basing the level of care on, but he is mistaken.

I do really believe we should have a for profit healthcare system. I do not believe we should have privatized police and fire, even though there are many private companies that do offer that service. There are many private security firms, as well as paid on call fire departments. They do a fine job. But last time i checked this debate was about whether or not socialized healthcare would be good for the U.S. So far, Pro has only told us that it is, without giving any arguments as to how it will be better, or any different from the system we currently have.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent asks, how Socialized Medicine is the solution to our broken health care system. Here's how:
  1. As I stated before, currently, it is estimated that 44,800 excess deaths occurred annually, in the US, due to lack of health insurance. Socialized Medicine will provide medical benefits to everyone. So these excess deaths will not occur.
  2. Socialized Medicine will allow doctors to determine a patients treatment based on their needs, instead of the financial concerns that they currently have to consider.
  3. Since approximately half of all bankruptcies are due to medical debt, Socialized Medicine would eliminate these tragic, life-altering, experiences.
  4. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that a record 50.7 million residents (which includes 9.9 million non-citizens) or 16.7% of the population were uninsured in 2009. Socialized Medicine would provide medical benefits to these people.

As my opponent pointed out, the amount of new physician education available is currently limited to 100,000 doctors per year. The point that he misses is that it's AMA (physicians trade group) that's lobbying for those limits. They're not the government. They're the, "for-profit", physicians - that's Capitalism failing.

Yes, as my opponent pointed out, I could have quoted even more of the wikipedia article. Everything in the article reinforces my point that we need Socialized Medicine.

My opponent disagreed with my assertion that we receive a sub-standard quality-of-care. The World Health Organization, in 2000, ranked the U.S. health care system as the highest in cost, first in responsiveness, 37th in overall performance, and 72nd by overall level of health (among 191 member nations included in the study). Life expectancy in the USA is 48th in the world, below most developed nations and some developing nations.[1]

As I've illustrated above, it's clearly evident that having a National Health Care (Socialized Medicine) plan in the USA would be good for the country. It will allow doctors to make decisions based a patients needs. It will give access to the 50 million currently uninsured residents. And, it will save approximately 45,000 lives a year! What more can we ask for!?!?

The decision is easy... VOTE PRO!




As i stated before, we already have a socialized healthcare system. It is impossible for the free market to work when half of all healthcare payments are made by the government. Socializing it further will only exacerbate the problems.

Pro stands on the idea that if we socialize healthcare completely then all the problems will go away. He has not given any foundational reasons as to why and how that would happen.

I have given you a few of the basic reasons for why the system is broken, and how freeing the market will correct them.

A lobbying group working for more regulation that helps companies bottom line is not capitalism failing. It is corporatism succeeding. In a free market no company, no matter how many lobbyists they had, would receive preferential treatment. On the other hand, in a socialized system, by the very nature of the system companies would receive preferential treatment. If the government controls all expenditures, then the government controls who gets what.

What more can we ask for?

How about a system that does not rely on force. How about a system that relies instead on the free exchange of thoughts, services, and goods, to the mutual benefit of all involved in the transaction.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by HandsofManos 7 years ago
thanks for the encouraging words. why cant you vote falcon?
Posted by Silver_Falcon 7 years ago
US and Canadian health care problems compared:

"20/20 Sick In America"
Posted by Silver_Falcon 7 years ago
Nice work Con. You would have my vote if I could vote.
Posted by smc_gamer 7 years ago
Con ran a nice debate here. It'll be interesting to see who wins in the votings.
Posted by Phoenix_Reaper 7 years ago
After my first encounter with you I wish the Con good luck!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Odd debate, Pro waited until the last round to give specific reasons, which were just an outline and Con made a few comments and outlined an-cap as superior with no real warrant. 1 pt to Pro
Vote Placed by Dawg_Face 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I think CON made the better argument even though I'm a firm believer in the US. needing socialized healthcare.