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

THW not provide healthcare to smokers

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/3/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 482 times Debate No: 79322
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Public healthcare, refers to the safety net provided by the government to ensure the well-being of the health of citizens. They are aimed to establish a harmonious, just and healthy society. According to the World Health Organization public healthcare refers to organized measures to prevent diseases and the public healthcare is aimed for the whole population, but NOT individual needs. As smokers are the "individuals", this motion should definitely stand.

Before going onto my substantials, I would like to point out that the prohibition of the usage of public healthcare of smokers are only limited to smoking-related diseases.

To begin with, smokers have their choice to choose smoking or not. Since young, schools have been educating the young the importance of health and how smoking would damage their body both physically or mentally. As educated persons, they should be able to differentiate between the good and the bad, what they should do and what they shouldn't. As they have chosen to walk on this path to the pit of misery, they should take up their own responsibility and solve their own problems, instead of relying and wasting the social resources. Moreover, the government has been devoted a lot of resources on setting up advertisement to discourage smoking and they have even printed the side effects of smoking on the boxes of cigarettes. Being told thousands of times not to smoke, if the smokers insist to smoke and value the pleasure of smoking over the importance of health, they should definitely depend on themselves when they get smoking related diseases - asthma, lung cancer..

I will continue my second point in the next round


I accept the debate.
This round, I'll post my constructive case and rebut Pro's single contention.

== NEG CASE ==

C1) Goal of Public Healthcare

Pro states that the goal of a public healthcare system is to "establish a harmonious, just and healthy society". If this is the case, then providing healthcare to smokers should be a *top priority* of a public healthcare system. Consider that in the United States (which does not have a public healthcare system), more than 16 million people are suffering from a smoking-related health ailment at any given time, more than 480,000 people die of such ailments every year, and society loses more than $156 billion dollars in lost productivity from the premature deaths of smokers [1]. Clearly, smoking-related conditions severely hinder a 'harmonious' & 'healthy' society, and therefore public healthcare *must* cover for smokers.

C2) Preserving Equality

"The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection of the law to all people. This guarantee is replicated in Article 14 of the European Convention and in the constitutions and declarations of many other countries. We treat people with equal respect because of their status as human beings, without regard to their looks, gender, race, creed, or any other incidental trait. This commitment to human equality is grounded on the belief that all human beings innately have dignity and are worthy of respect" [2]. Thus we conclude that just governments have an obligation to preserve equality. However, it is a clear violation of that obligation to grant a universal public service to everyone in society except smokers; making such an exclusion essentially reduces smokers to the status of sub-humans. There is no tenable argument that maintaining an unhealthy habit somehow strips someone of their personhood and innate value as a human being. Because smokers are people too, the government is obligated to extend public healthcare to them just like they would to anyone else.

C3) Counter-Plan

I propose that rather than unjustly exclude smokers from public coverage, governments should ban smoking and utilize the public healthcare system to provide former smokers with addiction recovery therapy, thereby virtually eliminating both supply and demand for cigars. Thus, my CP would effectively mitigate the enormous harms of smoking listed in C1; meanwhile, Pro's plan would just exacerbate those harms by reducing smokers' access to medical care. There's no contest to be had here -- my plan is obviously preferable.

== AFF CASE ==

Pro's argument seems to be that society has no obligation to subsidize the healthcare of those who have inflicted their health conditions upon themselves. I have three responses:

How exactly smokers' health conditions came about is wholly irrelevant; all the death, suffering, and opportunity cost which comes from smoking still negatively impacts societal welfare, and according to Pro's given purpose of public healthcare, that is sufficient reason for healthcare benefits to be extended to smokers.

The social stigma against smoking, along with the widespread movement to caution children against it, actually came about relatively recently, and even still it hasn't fully permeated to some economically disadvantaged areas with poor education systems; thus, many smokers were actually *not* really educated on the extent of harm that smoking can do (before they became physically addicted), and therefore they cannot be held solely accountable for their ailments.

The majority of health conditions are at least partially self-inflicted. For example, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and related ailments are often rooted in poor long-term eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle, both of which can quite easily be improved upon. Thus, the fact that smokers are also partially to blame for their own problems isn't really adequate reason to specially exclude them from receiving the benefits of public healthcare.

The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 1


Allow me to do a few rebuttals.

1) Aim of Health care
I concur that healthcare system refers to the establishment of a harmonious and healthy society. But you might have missed one of the keywords i mentioned above - general picture. The government should never prioritize the smokers as in the general picture- the non-smokers make up the majority. Moreover, by implementing a prohibition of using healthcare on smokers, a deterrent effect can be casted on them. As healthcare system plays an integral role in a citizens life as they provide basic medical service that help maintain health and life, if we take this away from them, they would be forced, or more appropriately, motivated to quit smoking. Quitting smoking will inevitably improve there standard of heath and eliminate third party harm (second-hand smoker) and thus meets the goal of healthcare - establishing a just and healthy society

2) Equity
Not giving healthcare services to smokers might seem to be unfair to them, but in reality, it isn't.
Side Opposition mentioned that smokers should be *prioritized* because they are suffering for smoking-related problems.
So will it be unfair to the non-smokers if they are prioritized ?
Smokers chose to value the momentary pleasure of smoking more than health and they chose to harm themselves.
On the other hand, non-smokers did NOTHING to harm themselves and damage themselves.
If we prioritise the smokers, would it be unfair to the non-smokers? Yes it would be unfair. They should be granted the healthcare services first as they did not"choose" to get this kind of disease.
Therefore, for the sake of preserving the spirit of equity, this policy should be enforced.

Onto my case.

1. Harmful effects of smoking
It is undeniable fact that smoking affects the health of human beings. Cigarette contains numerous toxic substances that would accelerate the coming of death. Nicotine, cyanide... and countless bad contents that would not only harm our health today, but also in the long run due to addiction. Addiction, is the main problem of smoking. It deepens our pit of misery and make us suffer even more by provoking us to smoke more and killing our self softly in a self-destructive way. Smoking not only affects individuals, but also breaks up families, partnership and even being laid off by employers. More importantly, smoking leads to another huge social problem - second hand smoking. Second hand smoke is the smoke exhaled by smokers which contain the same content of the tobacco and has the possibility to cause cancer to the person inhaling this gas. So the truth is out - smoking causes third party harm. As a responsible and effective government, it should take up the responsibility to STOP smokings from smoking and implementing deterrent policies - the policy mentioned in the motion is definitely significant in motivating smokers to stop this "poisonous act" and in the long run, facilitate a healthy, just and positive society.

This is why this motion should STAND


Romanii forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


in response to my opponents forfeit, haha, it's ok.

So Ladies and Gentlemen, we can now clearly see that side opposition failed to give us an extensive explanation on why the prohibition of healthcare to smokers are damaging equality . Before I draw my conclusion, i would again like to point out that the ban is only eligible for SMOKING RELATED diseases and other diseases will be treated.

The main clash of todays debate is on the equality issue. We have been debating on whether implementing a ban of healthcare on smoker is unfair for the smokers or the general public. Side oppositions constantly bombards us with quotes from UN, stating that equal protection should be given to all people. Yes, indeed. Equality is vital to society. We are actually enforcing equality by providing healthcare to non-smokers before smokers providing that the smokers have smoking related diseases. Since birth, the government and authorities have been providing the entire population with equal opportunities of getting medical service, and they are also given the right to choose. Side Opposition specially emphasized on the importance of equality and rights and the government has been devoted in providing that. Rights are given and free choices can be made. Smokers chose to smoke and fall into the pit of misery. As freedom comes with responsibility, they should solve their health problems themselves independently, instead of compromising the ability of the government to help the patients who are really in need and those who didn't "intentionally get sick".

Therefore, for the sake of equality - this policy promotes equality and thus should be enforced.

Countries around the world have been devoting tons of resources in helping smokers to quit smoking - all because smoking is obnoxiously bad to their individual health and damages the social atmosphere in a whole. Now we have in front of us today is a perfect policy that could force smokers to quit smoking once and for all effectively, so what are we waiting for? Are we giving up this opportunity just because of some baseless principles and theorems.

Humans are intellectual, they should know how to choose wisely and intelligently.
Health is gold.
Time is running short.
Time to act,

That is why side prop takes the debate


Due to my forfeit, it would be unfair of me to respond to what Con has said in his last two rounds, as he would never get a chance to defend himself. However, that does not preclude me from pointing out all the arguments he has failed to address.

Firstly, Pro has not even attempted to respond to my counter-plan (banning smoking and utilizing the public healthcare system to provide former smokers with addiction recovery therapy). As I explained, my CP has an enormous advantage over Pro's plan in that it actually mitigates the harm which smoking inflicts upon society, whereas Pro's just exacerbates it by restricting smokers' access to medical treatment. Treat the drop as a concession on Pro's part that my plan is superior to his.

Furthermore, Pro flat-out ignores all three of my rebuttals, each of which independently undermine his case -- (1) that the cause of people's health problems is completely irrelevant, given the stated goal of a public healthcare system, (2) that smokers do not have as much autonomy over their smoking habits as Pro claims they do, and (3) that most health problems are at least partially self-inflicted, so it doesn't matter that the health problems associated with smoking are too.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
whoops... sorry about the forfeit
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro due to Con's forfeiture. Sources to Con concidering that he's the only one who used sources. As for arguments, I'm going to have to award these points to Con. The reason being is that Con fails to address Con's counterplan which solves for the standing resolution. This is what costed Pro the debate. Spelling and grammar also go to Con on the grounds that Pro made several grammatical errors in Round 2. Such as fragments and uncapitalized words that should have been capitalized. If you have any problems with this RFD feel free to PM me.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF = Conduct to Pro. As for the arguments, Con's CP really just steals away all of Pro's offense. I don't really see what is unique about Pro's case--under Con's world smoking would stop, but smokers would also get healthcare treatment to help them deal with withdrawal and to wean them off of their addiction. Additionally, since all medical conditions are partially self-inflicted, I cannot buy into the notion that causality is relevant to the provision of healthcare services. Thus, Con wins. As for feedback, Pro should work on trying to address each argument made by the opponent, and should try to identify which arguments are the most important in the debate, so that these arguments do no go un-rebutted. That being said, I applaud Pro's effort here on one of their early debates. Good job!