The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

The US Federal government should implement a single payer health care system.

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Debate Round Forfeited
Ares-Ren has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/19/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 212 times Debate No: 94848
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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Round 1-Acceptance, Round 2-Cases, Round 3-Rebuttals, Round 4-Defense.

As pro, I will argue in favor of the single payer healthcare system.


I accept. However, I hope Pro won't mind if I define a few terms.

1. USFG: "the system of government as defined in the Constitution which is based on the separation of powers among three branches: the executive, the legislative and the judicial."
-Oxford English Dictionary

2. Implement: "to make something that has been officially decided start to happen or be used."
-Oxford English Dictionary

3. Single Player Healthcare System: "is a system in which the state, rather than private insurers, pays for all healthcare costs."
Debate Round No. 1


As Pro, I will be arguing in favor of a single payer healthcare sysem The parameters for how efficient a healthcare system is access, costs, and benefits. A single payer healthcare system outperforms the healthcare system we have now. Polls indicate that America has a population of 20 million uninsured patients. My opponent is free to proclaim support of an alternative healthcare system due to the lack of competence our current healthcare system possesses. This case will go over why the US requires a more efficient system, how single payer will be implemented, and the empirical results from other countries.

C1: America's Healthcare System

1. America spends the most on healthcare, yet acquires the least benefits required to create a stable system:

The US spends more money than the top ten biggest spenders on healthcare combined. Japan, China, France, UK, and Germany, Canada, and Brazil all outrank America when it comes to the aspects of health and mortality rates. 30 cents of every dollar spent on medical care in America is wasted, which amounts to $750 billion annually. That is the same amount the Department of Defense estimates we spent on the ENTIRE Iraq War! This $750 billion of waste is made up of inefficient delivery of care and excessive administrative costs, unnecessary , inflated prices, prevention failures, and outright fraud. The largest defrauder of the federal government is the pharmaceutical industry.Thirty-five percent of Americans have difficulty paying their medical bills, and nearly two-thirds of all bankruptcies are linked to inability to pay medical bills due to being uninsured or underinsured. Medical impoverishment is nearly unheard of in wealthy nations, other than the US, because all have some form of national health insurance.

2. Most Americans do not have access to a primary care provider:

There are 0.5 physicians per 1,000 people in teh US, but in every other modern nations' physician rate is 1.23. The consequences of such recklessness leads to surgeons not having adequete information on what blood type their patient is, and other essential information which would be crucial to the survival of a patient.

3. Fewer Americans recieve healthcare:

Americans do have shorter waits for non-elective surgeries, compared with other developed nations. Only four percent of us wait more than six months, which is considerably less than the Canadians (14 percent) or Britons (15 percent). However, when you consider how many Americans lack access to any health care at all, the wait-time advantage disappears.

Nearly one-third of Americans are uninsured or underinsured. Twenty-five percent do not visit a doctor when they're sick, due to the cost. Twenty-three percent can't fill their prescriptions. This is far worse in America than in any of the other countries surveyed. In Canada, only five percent skipped care, and in the UK only three percent.

4. Physicians are paid less for the qualiy of care they bestow on patients:
Most other countries reward physicians for good care with financial incentives. For example, in the UK, 95 percent of physicians are paid, at least in part, according to the quality of care they deliver. In Australia, it's 72 percent. The US scores lower than anyone else, at 30 percent.

C2: Single Payer Healthcare System

A single payer healthcare systems replace private insurance with public insurance. Instead of individuals having to directly pay private insurers, the public sector will assure an adequete system for doctors. A single payer healthcare sytem still allows the capablility of doctors and hospitals to be private, but hospitals and practices will recieve payment from public insurances rather than private insurances. One can see the benefits of such a system by attaining results from every other modern nation that has already implemented this system.

1. Cost-efficiency:

America allocates 8,600 dollars per patient.

Switzerland allocates 6,700 dollars per patient.

Denmark allocates 6,700 dollars per patient.

Canada allocates 6,700 dollars per patient.

UK allocates 3,500 dollars per patient.

Germany allocates 3,500 dollars per patient.

Spain allocates 3,500 dollars per patient.

France allocates 3,500 dollars per patient.

Italy allocates 3,500 dollars per patient.

Japan allocates 3,500 dollars per patient.

The numbers make the claim for themselves. The federal government is effectivly depleting money by not implementing a single payer healthcare system.

2. Access to healthcare has been dettered by capitalistic greed:
The average American spends 1,400 dollars on an MRI scan.

The average European spends only 200 dollars on an MRI scan.

3. Rankings:

World Health Organization ranked all country health care systems by their access, quality, and costs.

1. France

2. Italy

3. San Marino

4. Andorra

5. Malta

6. Singapore

7. Spain

8. Oman

9. Austria

10. Japan

The majority of the countries listed above are practitioners of a single payer healthcare system. Yet, the wealthiest country in the world with a GDP of 17.43 trillion dollars was ranked at 37th below Costa Rica and the Dominica. Our absurd system must not be held with impunity.

4. Implementation:

American Health Security Act:

Establishes the American Health Security Standards Board to: (1) develop policies, procedures, guidelines and requirements to carry out this Act; (2) establish uniform reporting requirements and quality performance standards; (3) provide for an American Health Security Advisory Council and an Advisory Committee on Health Professional Education; and (4) establish a national health security budget specifying the total federal and state expenditures to be made for covered health care services.

Establishes the American Health Security Quality Council to: (1) review and evaluate practice guidelines, standards of quality, performance measures, and medical review criteria; and (2) develop minimum competence criteria.

Establishes the Office of Primary Care and Prevention Research within the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Creates the American Health Security Trust Fund and appropriates to it specified tax liabilities and current health program receipts, including premium assistance credit amounts under PPACA.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to impose on individuals: (1) a health care income tax, and (2) an income tax surcharge on amounts of modified adjusted gross income exceeding $1 million. Imposes an excise tax on securities transactions and allows an income tax credit for such taxes.


A single payer healthcare system allows the American people to be capable of accessing many advantages such as faster waiting lines, consistancy of physicians, and better care at a cheaper cost. The United States of America is the wealthiest country in the world. America has a GDP of 17.43 trillion dollars. America's assets combined are equivilant to 225 trillion dollars, yet we are last on WHO when it comes to our mortality rates. America spends more on healthcare than the top ten biggest spenders combined, yet we recieve more disadvantages than advantages. A single payer structure would not only be beneficial towards the quality of life for the American people, but it will beneift the overall affectiveness of the distribution of tax payer money into the right ideas.

Works Cited:



Introduction / BoP Analysis
I would like to thank my opponent for choosing such an interesting topic to discuss and hope that we can have an intellectual, constructive exchange. Since Pro is affirming a change in the status quo, the BoP will be on him to demonstrate that the single payer healthcare system would be better for the U.S. should the current system be reformed. In order for Con (me) to win, I must successfully negate Pro's contentions and demonstrate that the current healthcare is more beneficial for the U.S. (and/or) establishing a single-payer health care system would be detrimental or alternatively, have little or no benefits for the U.S.

Argument 1: The Benefits of Private Insurance
Although it does seem like a wise, considerate idea at first glance, it is far from the truth. Albeit, my adversary may find this ludicrous, but the reality is that this scheme has already failed in Vermont under Sen. Bernie Sanders' supervision. But before I touch on this, I would like to concede with my opponent that the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other first-world country. Approximately, 20% of the national income is invested in healthcare. However, throughout the debate, something that my opponent fails to acknowledge (to not be considered as a counterargument) is there are several state-sponsored health care programs that the U.S. has already invested colossal sums of money in, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, military, and employee benefits. In fact, the U.S. is ranked on top for most money being allocated in governmental health care programs than any other country in the world: "We are spending almost as high a percentage of gross domestic product as every other country, just to cover a fraction of our population" (1). A variation in health coverage means differing prices, the coverages varies by age, employment, insurance companies, types of illnesses, and much more.

The U.S. needs insurance companies for a reason. Simply, the government is already covering a lot of people. Another thing that the U.S. government does is it sells augmented assets, which in turn generates discount when bought. The U.S. insurers "already buy in bulk [assets]. They cover more people than many of the countries cited as cost-control models for the U.S." (1). In essence, this is a per for the population because according to the charts, in countries with single-payer health care programs, such as my home country of Austria, not many people are insured by their companies as compared to the U.S. Americans have a higher selection to choose from.

Sub-Argument: Spending

Undoubtedly, my opponent will also touch on the affordability aspect of this debate and the fluctuating prices. Apparently, state-sponsored programs in the U.S., such as Medicaid don't have a tenacious grip on fluctuating prices either. Statistically speaking, prices are relatively cheaper, however, "states set reimbursement rates that are so low that you could pay more to take your kid to Panera than the government would pay for you to take him to see a general practitioner" (1). Surely it is possible to regulate the prices or cut back on spending, but then we would have only created a new problem, medical professionals earning less, which is actually the case in my home country. The truth is spending would decrease their income (1), or as you're going to see in Sen Sanders' example, it also increases taxes dramatically.

Sub-Argument: Sanders' failure
Principally, Sanders' proposition outlines that in order to make his "Medicare for All: Leaving No On Behind" plan; he would need $1.38 trillion! Including federal spending. This would account for 8% of the nation's GDP. Being diametrically opposed to Obamacare as well, at least it didn't go anywhere beyond 900 billion (2). But aside from Sanders' exuberantly ludicrous plan that would increase the tax rate to an unfathomable level, the same plan failed in Vermont. After the legislation was passed in Vermont in 2011, in a couple of years the program caused the following issue: "an estimated $4.3 billion a year, almost the size of the state’s entire $4.9 billion budget. To make up for the $2 billion shortfalls, taxes would have to go up, a lot. Businesses would see an 11.5 percent payroll tax increase, on top of whatever they chose to provide for employee health care, while individual income taxes could jump by up to 9 percent" (3).

Argument 2: No Competition But More Federal Power
When there is no competition, there will be lesser reimbursements for medical doctors, which in turn means lesser salaries. Though I've touched on this in my former clause, I will reinforce the premise in this contention. In a governmentally sponsored system, there will only be one provider (obviously). However, in the current system, physicians have the opportunity to select insurance companies they want to work with. Plus, even in state-sponsored programs like Medicaid, private insurers have an influence on MDs as well. In essence, one system has more variety and selection, while the other offers only one scheme. Also, the single-payer system is tense in terms of its strict regulations and MDs don't have a say in what's better for their patients. An expert in the field asserts that "when physicians become essentially employees of the government, which is what happens in a single-payer system, then everything pretty much breaks down ... Only physicians are the best position to determine the quality of care. We're the number-one patient advocates" (4).

Basically, instead of professionals having a say and governance over the type of health care they want to provide their patients, in a single-payer system the government suppresses their choice by deciding what's best for the patients. The single-payer system's flaws are seen in countries like Canada and the U.K. Essentially, what happens is major cuts in hospitals, in terms of budget. Also, in Canada, some Canadians prefer to come to the U.S. because it's almost impossible to make a consultation because of the long lines to the MD, whereas the U.S. is must different and more flexible.

Numerous studies have been conducted about the salaries MDs tend to earn in countries with single-payer and nationalized health programs; it turns out that doctors in countries where single-payer is dominant "doctors earn up to 70% less than doctors here [U.S.]" (5).

Argument 3: Distinguishing America from Europe
As I've emphasized this previously with my Bernie Sanders' clause, in order for the U.S. to achieve the type of health care system like in Europe, Americans would need to pay higher income taxes to have a universal health care system. Although the British government allocates far less than the U.S. government, the rate taxed on the income in Britain from 2015-2016 was 20%, including the flat rate. Should this happen in the U.S., this would cause a "20 percent tax hike for 45 percent of Americans who pay nothing now" (6). The reality is in 2015, only 45% of Americans paid income tax, the fact that the common fraction is living in poverty, this would only worsen the financial situation of many Americans (6).

Besides limiting the doctor's choice and imposing strict regulations, if the U.S. were to attempt to convert to a universal health care system like that in most European countries, it would worsen the financial conditions of many Americans, despite the fact that a major sum of the population is already living under financial tensions. To conclude, trying to impose the single-payer healthcare system, would be highly detrimental to the economic status of the U.S. and the medical industry.

Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Darenskiy 2 months ago
Yeah, too bad that you forfeited. Hate the glitches.
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