The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

The United States Federal Government should adopt a Single Payer Health Care system

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/30/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 921 times Debate No: 77069
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




single payer health care is better than our current health care system

i am borrowing this debate from else where. please use this link to find working links in this debate

The right single payer system would cover everyone, while yielding better results, and saving money.

we spend more per capita, and get less health care results back... than any other country in the world:
-we spend 17% of our GDP on healthcare, while single payer countries spend 10%. that 7% represents a lot of money, a trillion dollars.
-the savings come from a decrease in administrative costs: insurance companies are a middleman that serves no real purpose other than spending 30% of revenue on administrative costs and profit, costs that could be just as easily streamlined by the government down to less than 5% or so. (medicare for example requires 3% for administration). The costs are higher with so many companies, because there's so much redundancy... thousands of payroll departments instead of one, for example.
-More Options:
"For a dozen years now I've led a dual life, spending more than 90 percent of my time and money in the U.S. while receiving 90 percent of my health care in my wife's native France. On a personal level the comparison is no contest: I'll take the French experience any day. ObamaCare opponents often warn that a new system will lead to long waiting times, mountains of paperwork, and less choice among doctors. Yet on all three of those counts the French system is significantly better, not worse, than what the U.S. has now"
-"Why I (an economically right leaning libertarian) Prefer French Health Care"
full article:

More from the Congressional Budget Office:

""The Congressional Budget Office and related government agencies scored the cost of a single payer health care system several times since 1991. The General Accounting Office published a report in 1991 noting that "[I]f the US were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single payer, as in Canada, the savings in administrative costs [10 percent of health spending] would be more than enough to offset the expense of universal coverage."[40] The CBO scored the cost in 1991, noting that "the population that is currently uninsured could be covered without dramatically increasing national spending on health" and that "all US residents might be covered by health insurance for roughly the current level of spending or even somewhat less, because of savings in administrative costs and lower payment rates for services used by the privately insured.[41] A CBO report in 1993 stated that "[t]he net cost of achieving universal insurance coverage under this single payer system would be negative" in part because "consumer payments for health would fall by $1,118 per capita, but taxes would have to increase by $1,261 per capita" in order to pay for the plan.[42] A July 1993 scoring also resulted in positive outcomes, with the CBO stating that, "[a]s the program was phased in, the administrative savings from switching to a single-payer system would offset much of the increased demand for health care services. Later, the cap on the growth of the national health budget would hold the rate of growth of spending below the baseline."[43] The CBO also scored Sen. Paul Wellstone's American Health and Security Act of 1993 in December 1993, finding that "by year five (and in subsequent years) the new system would cost less than baseline."[44]""

-our GDP is 14 trillion, our national debt is close to there. 1 trillion dollars a year, enough to boost our economy significantly, or eliminate our debt if we wanted (political football as to how that would be done), or at the end of the day simply keep more money our pocket.
-if the government did it right (big if, granted), it would be a self contained system (no taxes other than from those who want to join), we would not coerce people to join, and/or they could utilize 'supplemental insurance' in addition to the government's system and get more options. they wouldn't have to wait in lines then, which aren't that long to begin with. (two weeks max for most standard procedures, short for emergencies etc, and with many insurance companies worse than many single payer systems... and most citizens in single payer countries do not envy us).
-insurance companies could even still exist (they may need to retain the current regulations to cover some preexisting conditions by law, so as to prevent them from skimming off a bunch of healthy people from government plans, to ensure the pool is sufficient to cover everyone in it to a reasonable extent--the most difficult aspect of allowing insurance companies to still exist, the government's power here and the overall give and take here, is huge).
-there could be limits on the amount of care which is essentially what insurance companies already do and people understand as a necessity (eg, a 200k policy) (there would be no need for 'death panels'). the copays, premiums (or taxes), carrots and sticks, could be done so as to ensure people don't abuse the system (as they do with so many insurance plans already)


some opponents cite this source as to whether medicare would cost more, even if administration costs would be about the same...

heritage used 'justice' expenses to come to a higher per patient cost. those expsnes include nonmedicare related expenses. if you took that into consitiation....

"So almost all of the $7.2 billion should be taken away from the allocated indirect Medicare expenses. Being generous to Book and Zycher and taking away only $6 billion reduces the per-beneficiary expense for FY 2005 from Book"s $509 to $356. That compares to $453 for private sector insurance. So without addressing any of the other questionable expense allocations, Medicare administrative expense per beneficiary is at least 21 percent lower than that of private insurance." - See more at:

assuming this is true, though, doesn't mean a single payer system isn't most economical... it means that we should not use a program that is like medicare. We could do as Europe does and have a tightly regulated insurance industry, with government involvement.
This is from the doctors for single payer link I cited above...
"The nation should listen when a prominent libertarian extolls the virtues of social insurance. Once we accept the principle of social insurance, then we can have a more rational debate over whether we want that to be a single-payer Medicare-type program or a European-style social insurance program using using private plans that are so tightly regulated that they almost function as a single payer system."

we can regulate the system to ensure redundancy and waste and not there. Basically, to be more like other single payer countries...
At the end of the day, it's well established common knowledge that single payer countries pay around ten percent GDP, and we pay seventeen percent. That's the bottom line.


Contention 1: Kant's Categorical Imperiatives
P1.The Government should only act to enforce the imperatives of Perfect Duties.
P2.Universal health care does not meet the standard of a Perfect Duty.
C1: Thus, the Government should not act to enforce universal health care.

""Kant's first formulation of the CI states that you are to “act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law... Perfect duties come in the form ‘One mustnever (or always) φ to the fullest extent possible in C’, while imperfect duties, since they enjoin the pursuit of an end, come in the form ‘One must sometimes and to some extent φ in C’" [1]

According to the above we see that Kant establishes two duties of that of the government; Perfect Duties and Imperfect Duties. Perfect Duties are those things of which the government must provide to ensure that the government and that society is fully functional. What are these things you may ask? These things are the simple things ensured under that of the Social Contract that you give up for a Civilized Society (not to kill, rape, steal, etc...). These things are indeed key as we can see that this ensures that of a Minarchy at the minimum. What that means is that the Government is to ensure that the people are safe. Everything else falls into that of the Imperfect Duties. Now note that these things may protect and benefit the public, we can see that if they're not of the Social Contract like ideals that they automatically fall into this category and SHOULD NOT be carried out by the government, but by Private entities.

“Any action is right if it can coexist with everyone's freedom in accordance with a universal law, or if on its maxim the freedom of choice of each can coexist with everyone's freedom in accordance with a universal law” [2]

We can see that if the government intervenes on the behalf on the people to infringe on that of an Imperfect duty that they would undermining humanity to achieve their due ends. We can see and must ensure that the Imperfect Duties are carried out by the Private Entites as things like people's health and Private debt is something that is to be delt with by the individual NOT the government. [3]

Contention 2: Universal Health Care is inneffective.

"Britain's Department of Health reported in 2006 that at any given time, nearly 900,000 Britons are waiting for admission to National Health Service hospitals, and shortages force the cancellation of more than 50,000 operations each year. In Sweden, the wait for heart surgery can be as long as 25 weeks, and the average wait for hip replacement surgery is more than a year. Many of these individuals suffer chronic pain, and judging by the numbers, some will probably die awaiting treatment.” [4]

Here we can see that even in nations that have this health system that it actually makes this issues worse in terms of waiting for treatment and to extend the damage we can see this hurts the freedom of the individual and that is something that needs to be preserved.

“The employee is better off to charge a $50 doctor bill to the insurance company—even if the [insurance] company spends $20 to process it—and have the employer pay the extra $70 in a higher premium to cover the bill and the processing cost. The alternative—having the employer pay [the employee] an extra $70 in cash– yields the employee only about $42 [because of federal income, social security, and Medicare taxes] and costs the employer $75.36 ($70 + $5.36, the employer’s portion of the social security and Medicare tax on $70).” [5]

Here we can see that the affects of the Universal Health Care is disasterous to our economy as the costs are keeping pace with that of one of the Top US economic movers. We can see that this will severely harm our nation and that this law will cost our nation a total of 2.9 MILLION jobs. [6] This is abserd, because instead of focusing on national healthcare it would be better for our nation to focus on economic growth and advancement, but this is doing the exact opposite by killing jobs for the sake of a lost cause as this doesn't ensure that you will get better treatment. No, it's a loss of jobs, economic growth, and finially a great loss in Medical Treatment. This is something that my opponent cannot account for, because even if it's free to get your brains blown out it doesn't mean you're going to do it and you sure wouldn't want to do it. The only economic growth you may see is that on the insurance companies side due to the federal government colluding with Insurance Companies to require that everyone purchases their product. [7] Even at that the Insurance Companies are finding themselves down in profits by 0.3% in late last year from the year before. This is another threat to freedom as the federal government is creating an economic monopoly which poses on Economic Freedom. Here I would like to quote Economist Milton Friedman on the matter, "There is no special role for government in the medical care field at all. There is the same role for government in this area, as there is in every other field – to enforce laws against fraud and deception, to help some people who are in dire distress. For ordinary medical care, there is no case for government financing at all. The costs of ordinary medical care are well within the means of the average American family. And the problem of sometimes it being large and sometimes it being small is readily handled through the availability of private insurance arrangements." [Youtube video]

Here we can see that the federal government, nor any nation's government, should involve themselves in this field as for it harms the economic freedom by limiting the choice of health care and this is the type of collusion that Saul D. Alinsky would support.

The system my opponent is purposing is a form of price Control and price controls can harm a buisness for one of two reasons.

1. That the Government sets the price to high and the public buys less and less of the product and as a result this harms the buisness and the economy and it shows that the people do not want said product. This product's price then raises again in order to make up for the lack of growth forcing the government out of buisness.
2. The governemtn sets the price to low and people will buy the product out and there will be a shortage of said product. [8]

Many people state the rising premiums is due to the collusion of the private industry, but one can see that this isn't due to the collution of the Private Companies, but this is more or less the collecting and merging of Private Industry in this industry. We can see the lack of Competition harms the pricing and option as with more competition there are more companies competitng for lower prices to get custumors who try to get a better deal. We can see that this merging has harmed the economy and that Nationalization will harm it even more. [9] Furthering we just need to look at the Yugos which is a car from the former Yugoslavia. Due to the industry being Nationalized we can see that the quality of the car never improved due to no incentive to improve buisness due to the lack of the market competition. The same thing can and will happen to the health care if you nationalize it.

Contention 3: Rand Paul Counter Plan Solves.

I'm afraid that I'm running out of character space and room here so I'll have to be brief on this.

-Federal Employees have better health care options and choices than the average American.
-Federal Employees have over 150 Health Care Options.
-Offer Average Americans these options instead of 1 insurance mandated by the government as their main care.
-Private citizens may also selected a secondary care if they wish and it would be separate from their premier that would be from their job.
-This would thus solve Disadvantages of my opponent's case while solving the free market issues that his causes. [9] and [youtube video Milton Friedman]

Debate Round No. 1


con says health care isn't an imperitive function of government. i just have to disagree. i think it's part of that social contract mentioned by con. it's up there with making sure people dont kill etc.

con mentions long lines and other examples of poor outcomes. but, he doesn't provide any USA data to compare it to. i at least have anecdotal evidence with that right leaning libertarian who admitted that France was better than the USA in terms of paper work, wait lines, etc.

im not sure what con is referring to with the 70 in cash v 50 etc.

con quotes friendman, but he was speaking a long time ago, and said medical was acessible cost wise. he might think different now. he should, anyway. the fact he mentions it's accessible must mean accessibility is an issue worth mention.

con mentions a bunch of stuff about price contorls and supply and demand. most of his thoughts are just abstract musings. but in reality, he doesnt respond to the idea that we spend 17 percent GDP while single payer countries spend 10. he doesn't account for the fact that insurance companies spend thirty percent of costs on adminstration and profit, but medicare is less than 5 percent.

i dont know enough about federal employee options to talk about it. but you know even rand paul is endorsing the government be in health care. it seems the main point is whether it's mandatory or not, cause you know people will take health care like federal employees get, if they can.

i fear con just copy and pasted too much from past debates to really engage in good debate.


I will now go over much of my opponent's argument that is relvent.

My opponent brings up our nation's $14 trillion debt, though it's now approaching $18 Trillion, and how a single payer system would boost the economy and she brought up no source to back this. We can plainly see that this will have the direct opposite effect. The government is favoring and contracting 1 health care Company and that is the only health care that could be purchased. Say for example that the government chooses Medicare for instance, all other Health insurances would be forced to close their doors. Medicare would have no reason to innovate since they have no competition. We can easily see this in the Yugos of which I brought up last round. Innovation is better for the economy, meaning that it has better products, prices, and deals, all of which are better for the consumer. [1] My opponent argues against this by limiting the market field. She also states that the theories of Milton Friedman are outdated, but if that is so then why is the Gold Standard gone, or why are we now able to buy and sell gold, why are his theories in practice? We can easily see that he is still a valid source to still be used today. If what my opponent is saying is true then we could see that her argument about the Social Contract would be invalid, because it would then be an outdated principle. My opponent has created a contradiction here and must choose which side to go with here.

My opponent brings up an outdated argument about Medicare, but I also am against Medicare (I brought up Rand Paul Counter-Plan), in a recent study we have found that 52.3% of doctors do not accept Medicare nor Medicaid. [2] This is due to a lot of the trouble that the Government controlled agency does to the doctor's offices. Thus this can be easily extended to a Single-Payer system where the Government once again would be controlling the market harming docters. Note that in my opponent's first round that she concedes that a Single Payer System isn't the best Economically.

My opponent conpletely skips over my Kant argument. She ignores that Health Care is NOT a Perfect Duty and thus by logic should not be controlled by the government. She then states that it's on the same level as safety, but this is something that can easily be protected by the Private Sector and the only part of the government is to ensure that they stay out of the private sector. Sure they may have a Health Care option, but should to co-erce people into their option. Violating the Freedom to choose is one of the greatest crimes of our time and should not be ignored.

My opponent complains that I do not have any evidence reguarding the US, but the US currently does not have a Single Payer System and thus isn't a good source. We would have to look at a place that does have it and I showed Britan whom of which how a terrible side-effect of using this system.

My opponent states that she doesn't know what the cash argument, it is simply shows the price increase for a simple $50 doctor's bill and the cost of it to the employer under both systems.

My opponent attempts to slam my argument due to Public Spending, however, she fails to realize that the system that I purpose is completely privitized. Meaning that there will be no Public Spending on Health Care. Rand Paul's plan offers the large varriety of the 180 Health Care Options that only government employees get. This is compared to the minimal amount of only 32 the rest of us can recieve. We can see that this frees up the market and exspands our Right to Choose. Note that the difference of what we see here is that Rand Paul is endorsing the exspandsion of the market by supporting options only the government employees get, NOT government health care. [3]


1. (

2. (
3. ( Paul, Rand. Taking a Stand. N.p.: Center Street, n.d. Print.)

Debate Round No. 2


i cited my sources in the first round, and reiterated the following in the second round, but got no response from con. con mentions a bunch of stuff about price contorls and supply and demand. most of his thoughts are just abstract musings. but in reality, he doesnt respond to the idea that we spend 17 percent GDP while single payer countries spend 10. he doesn't account for the fact that insurance companies spend thirty percent of costs on adminstration and profit, but medicare is less than 5 percent.

i didn't ignore the kant argument, i just said i believe health care is a right. or if you want to use that langauge, a perfect duty. it is part of the social contract. it needs to be affordable and accessible.

con didn't respond to the waiting lines in the USA v elsewhere. he just showed it isn't great or perfect elsewhere. he gave no frame of reference, i did with the liberatarian admitting france is better than the USA.

im surprsied rand paul is endorsing that plan. it actually indirectly sounds like obamacare. it might not be government as the insurer with single payer, but it would surely involve buying plans in the insurance market. a bottomline is the insurance companies are a big problem, spending thirty percent of their income on adminstration costs and profit. medicare spends liess than five. i cited this in teh first round, to which con hasn't really responded.


Time for the last round of the debate. I shall refute my opponent's points, bring up what she's dropped, and then wrap things up.

My opponent continues to go on and on that my Milton Friedman arguments are just for nothing, but they are key in this debate. We cannot look at this debate without looking at the economics aspect and any attempt to do so is flawed. We can see that the single payer system harms the economy, which my opponent has dropped, by creating inaccurate price controls and destroying innovation, which my opponent dropped. My opponent states that I dropped her Spending argument, but I did indeed refute it. Here's the quote from Round 2, "My opponent attempts to slam my argument due to Public Spending, however, she fails to realize that the system that I purpose is completely privitized. Meaning that there will be no Public Spending on Health Care," then after that I go into my Rand Paul counter-plan. So we can see that my opponent dropps refutation on this argument, so I'll extend it across.

My opponent states that Health care is a perfect duty, but has no proved it this entire debate, I showed that by my definition in Round 1 that a Perfect duty is escentially that of a Minarchy and we can see that Single Payer system and Government intervention in the economic system is not a duty that a Libertarian nor a Minarchist would support. [1]

My opponent continues to complain that I dropped the argument about Single-Payer in the US, the thing is that, as I stated in the second round, is that the US doesn't have a Single-Payer system and thus any attempt to source the US as an example is flawed. I gave a European example of which they have a Single-Payer system and would thus be a better example.

My opponent is again misunderstanding Rand Paul's plan. He's not requirng people to buy government nor private health care. He is simply opening the markets to more options that only government employees get.

Things my opponent dropped.

Single Payer system harms the economy through harming innovation and restricting Freedom to Choose.
- Perfect vs. Imperfect Duty
-Single Payer System is harmful in Europe
-Public Spending harms Private Sector.
-Price Controls = bad.
-Rand Paul Counter-Plan solves Pro's Disadvantages.
-Single-Payer Health Care is more costly and looses American jobs.

For these reasons the resolution is negated and I urge you to vote Con.

Thank you.

1. (
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by bballcrook21 3 years ago
I agreed with Con before and after the debate. Both sides had equally good conduct, and it was a rather respectful debate. Con had better spelling and grammar; there were many instances of the Pro side not capitalizing the first word in a sentence.

"con says health care isn't an imperitive function of government. i just have to disagree. i think it's part of that social contract mentioned by con. it's up there with making sure people dont kill etc."
As you can see, none of these are capitalized.

Both arguments were well put, but due to personal bias, as well as the fact that Con had more factual evidence, I have to go with Con for the more convincing debate. Con also had good counter-arguments, and at the end Con stated arguments that Pro did not use.

Both sides used sources, however some sources could be considered biased. Nevertheless, both used reliable sources, so it is a tie on that.

In all, Con had better grammar, punctuation, and a more cohesive argument.
4 points awarded to Con, 0 awarded to Pro.
Posted by Domr 3 years ago
Who had better conduct? TIE
Who had better spelling and grammar?TIE
Who made more convincing arguments?CON
Who used the most reliable sources? TIE

Pro and Con both used numerous reliable sources, appropriate language, and had well articulated arguments. This is why those categories are listed as a Tie.

Con had more in depth arguments, some of which were dropped altogether by Pro. For example:

"We can see and must ensure that the Imperfect Duties are carried out by the Private Entites as things like people's health and Private debt is something that is to be dealt with by the individual NOT the government"

and "Single Payer system harms the economy through harming innovation and restricting Freedom to Choose."

These points by Con give him a more convincing argument
Posted by JB7520 3 years ago
Without bringing Kant into the debate, I still reject the contention that a single payer system is the most optimal way to organize the financing of health care services. It is correct that most countries spend less of their GDP on health care than the U.S. It does not follow from simple metrics, such as infant mortality rates or life expectancy that one can conclude the current U.S. system delivers less bang for the buck. Most of the metrics used to reach the conclusion that the U.S. health care system does not delivery better care for most cost are very misleading because many factors determine outcomes in addition to the amount spent on care.

One can conclude that U.S. health care financing and health delivery organization were in need of reform without opting for a single payer system. One can also believe that the rate of growth of health care spending as a percentage of the GDP was unsustainable. without concluding that a single payer system is the best answer.

Single payer systems shift decision-making away from the bedside and from health professionals to centralized decision-making bodies. These centralized groups cannot possible acquire and update the amount of information needed to make informed decisions on particular cases. Yet, if these centralized decision-makers do not exert some form of rationing, health care spending will be more unconstrained than it was before the reform. Managers of the single payer system face stark choices regarding rationing. Some treatments will necessarily be limited. Value judgments on the worth of individuals' health, and frequently, their lives will be required. These judgments will have to be based on incomplete information.

If the population resists seeing their loved-ones go without care, they have only a few choices. Go somewhere that care in available( e.g., Canadians to the US); lobby for increased budgets; do without. They are likely to lobby for larger budgets and get them.
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
R1 Sources
1. (
2. (Lectures and Drafts on Political Philosophy, translated Frederick Rauscher and Kenneth Westphal (in preparation). Relevant contents: "Naturrecht Feyerabend" course lecture, fragments on political philosophy, and drafts of works in political philosophy.)
3. (Johnson, Robert. "Kant's Moral Philosophy." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2012.)
4. (Tanner, Michael, and Michael Cannon. "Universal Healthcare"s Dirty Little Secrets." Los Angeles Times. 2007.)
5. (Hsieh, P and Zinser, L. "Moral Health Care vs. "Universal Health Care"" The Objective
Standard. 2007. Pg. 4)
6. (
7. (
8. ( Commanding Heights the Battle for the World Economy. 2004.)
9. Paul, Rand. Taking a Stand. N.p.: Center Street, n.d. Print.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
i'd rather debate the current title, as i might suspect there are plan with high deductible and low premiums that are even more efficient. but i will concede to your wish.
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
Could you change the resolution to "Resolved: The United States Federal Government should adopt a Single Payer Health Care system."? I can already tell you that ACA sucks, but I hate Single Payer even more.
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
Can I argue that Single Payer is bad all together. I don't support ACA nor Single Payer, if you wish to debate please challenge me.
Posted by mfigurski80 3 years ago
Of course, this is the buisness of insurance companies. Rip you off, then once you actually take the money, they fight over it, and once you manage to win, they have you pay it back. These things would've gone banckrupt a long time ago if they weren't held as mandatory by the government.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by greatkitteh 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: S&G : Pro forg uses all caps when makong his titles, Whilst con uses Bold. ALL CAPS LOCK Is an obvious Grammar mistake, whilst bold is not. ALL CAPS LOCK also doesnt grab better attention then bold. Arguments:Not only did Pro Not comprehend Rand Paul's Idea, But pro Drops Many points, Whilst con did not.Pro never answers too Alot of Con's arguments, Mostly the one about Price controls. Rabd Paul's counter-plan is also drastically sifferwnt from what pro thibks it is. Thus, i vote con.