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The Contender
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The United States should adopt Universal Healthcare

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 966 times Debate No: 77986
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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1st round is for accepting the debate
2nd round is to argue points
3rd round is for rebuttals
4th round is for further rebuttals and closing statements


Universal Healthcare:

Universal health care, sometimes referred to as universal health coverage, universal coverage, or universal care, usually refers to a health care system which provides health care and financial protection to all citizens of a particular country. It is organized around providing a specified package of benefits to all members of a society with the end goal of providing financial risk protection, improved access to health services, and improved health outcomes.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you Con, I look forward to an interesting debate.

In my argument, I'd like to lay out the multitudes of ways in which a Universal Health Care system, which we can see in countries like the United Kingdom, Sweden, Japan, and pretty much every other industrialized nation in the world, is superior to the health care system we have at this time or at any time before.

C1: More people get more affordable coverage

As it stands right now, 12.9% of the United States' population is uninsured. [1] The main reason for this surprisingly high number? According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, "In 2013, 61% of uninsured adults said the main reason they were uninsured was because the cost was too high or because they had lost their job." The simple fact is that people don't have the money to pay for the extremely high costs of health care in America. Staggeringly. medical bankruptcies account for 57.1% of all bankruptcies in the U.S., and a 2013 study estimated that 56 million Americans would have trouble paying their medical bills. [2] As it stands, the United States pays $2.9 trillion a year on health care.

The solution to this problem is Universal Health Care. A study done by Health affairs analyzed 26,000 low income individuals before and after enrollment in a community health program in Richmond. After three years, total costs per capita dropped from $8,899 to $4,569 with concurrent drops in the number of ER visits (25%) and increased primary care visits (50%). [3] The reason for this is quite simply - prevention. When a patient has no health insurance and suffers a serious injury, a hospital is required to treat that person whether or not they can pay their medical bills - this is the cause of the extremely large number of medical bankruptcies we see in the United States. By providing government subsidised healthcare to those who are unable to buy it on their own, money is actually saved through a decrease in medical debt and ER visits. Additionally, a detailed analysis of the Universal Health Care system implemented in Taiwan in 1995 concluded that "Taiwan’s single-payer NHI system enabled Taiwan to manage health spending inflation and that the resulting savings largely offset the incremental cost of covering the previously uninsured. Under the NHI, the Taiwanese have more equal access to health care, greater financial risk protection, and equity in health care financing...Evidence from the first half-decade of universal coverage in Taiwan suggests that overall costs do not rise because of increased use of services." [4] As the study concluded, the protection given by Universal Health Care completely offsets any cost of subsiding insurance for those without coverage, and provides financial risk protection and equity in health care financing. More people are covered and the government doesn't lose any money. It's a win-win.

C2: Universal Health Care saves and prolongs lives

According to a 2009 study from Harvard researchers, "lack of health insurance is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths per year," which translates into a 40% increased risk of death among the uninsured. [5] Another study found that more than 13,000 deaths occur each year just in the 55-64 year old age group due to lack of health insurance coverage. [6] A 2011 Commonweath Fund study found that due to a lack of timely and effective health care, the United States ranked at the bottom of a list of 16 rich nations in terms of preventable mortality. [7] In Italy, Spain, France, Australia, Israel, and Norway, all countries with a right to health care, people live two to three years longer than people in the United States.

Additionally, a study done by the OECD found that the United States ranks 42nd in life expectancy, behind almost every other industrialized nation the world, despite paying more money in health coverage per capita then all of them. In comparison to countries that have implemented Universal Health Care, the United States definitely falls far, far behind.

C3: Universal Health Care benefits economic productivity

A Mar. 2012 study by researchers at the Universities of Colorado and Pennsylvania showed that workers with health insurance miss an average of 4.7 fewer work days than employees without health insurance. [8] According to an Institute of Medicine report, the US economy loses $65-$130 billion annually as a result of diminished worker productivity, due to poor health and premature deaths, among the uninsured. [9] Universal Health Care gives workers the ability to treat small problems before they become big, and as research has shown, reduces sick days and increases worker productivity.

Additionally, a study from the Council of Economic Advisers found that health care reform would benefit the economy in multitudes of ways:
  • "Slowing the growth rate of health care costs will prevent disastrous increases in the Federal budget deficit."
  • "Expanding health insurance coverage to the uninsured would increase net economic well-being by roughly $100 billion a year, which is roughly two-thirds of a percent of GDP."
  • "Reform would likely increase labor supply, remove unnecessary barriers to job mobility, and help to "level the playing field" between large and small businesses." [10]
The evidence points to the fact that the lower health insurance costs and the more people who are health and covered, the better an economy performs.

C4: Universal Health Care creates jobs

Health care costs in America as is cost more than 17% percent of the GDP. Most of that money -- about 54 percent -- comes from the private sector. That's $1.13 trillion dollars that American companies are spending on health care each and every year. This is more than the national budgets of France, Canada and the UK combined. With a universal health care system, companies would keep that money and would have a healthier and more productive work force, along with other economic benefits. For example, job lock occurs when people stay at their current job solely for the health care benefits paid by their employers. One study showed that, in California alone, in 2002 job lock affected 179,000 people, with $772 million in foregone productivity. [11]

Not only does universal health care stimulate industry, but it creates massive amounts of jobs in the health care sector. The growth in jobs produced through the health care industry has been astonishing in recent years, adding 2.6 million jobs. [12]


Universal Health Care has innumerable benefits over our current health care system. These being:

  • Providing more people with insurance coverage
  • Lowering public and private spending on healthcare
  • Increasing economic productivity through preventative coverage and removing unnecessary barriers to job mobility
  • Increasing societal health and life span
  • Saving lives
  • Creating jobs in the health care sector
  • Lowering the federal deficit
Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Andrew P. Wilper, Steffie Woolhandler, Karen E. Lasser, and Danny McCormick, et al., "Health Insurance and Mortality in US Adults," American Journal of Public Health, Dec. 2009 [5]

J. Michael McWilliams, Alan M. Zaslavsky, Ellen Meara and John Z. Ayanian, "Health Insurance Coverage and Mortality among the Near-Elderly," Health Affairs, July 2004 [6]

Kimberly J. Morgan, "America's Misguided Approach to Social Welfare,", Jan-Feb. 2013 [7]

Allan Dizioli and Roberto Pinheiro, "Health Insurance as a Productive Factor,", Mar. 2012 [8]

Board on Health Care Services (HCS) and Institute of Medicine (IOM), "Hidden Costs, Value Lost: Uninsurance in America,", 2003 [9] [10] [11] [12]



I would like to apologize to my opponent as I am unable to continue with the debate. Issues in my personal life have come up and those take precedence. Once again I'm sorry to my opponent, hopefully we can have a more successful debate in the future.
Debate Round No. 2


Not a problem at all. We all understand when stuff like that comes up. Best of luck to you and thank you for being honest.



shinethedown forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3



Vote Pro


shinethedown forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by brianjustin3709 3 years ago
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