The Instigator
asp1007
Pro (for)
Losing
11 Points
The Contender
UnFascism
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

The United States should have a national health care system

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
UnFascism
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,146 times Debate No: 11812
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (5)

 

asp1007

Pro

he United States claims to be based upon a laissez faire free market system in which free exchange spurs internal growth and creates increasing wealth. If this is indeed the goal of the USA Americans must recognize that free exchange cannot exist in the health care industry without regulation. The creation of a government option in the healthcare industry is needed in order to prevent against patients being taken advantage of by their physicians.

While I certainly agree with the premise of the laissez faire economic system, I believe that there are certain sections of society that do not conform to this theory. The idea of free trade is based upon the ability of individuals to make rational decisions and make pricing comparisons. An individual facing an urgent medical condition does not have the time to investigate alternative treatment prices and locations. Furthermore, transport to another location in order to receive treatment drastically increases the financial burden in receiving care.

As a citizen of Canada I receive health care through a national insurance program and elements which are not covered are left to our own expenses. Doctors are paid by the government program which sets an agreed upon rate for certain procedures. Any procedure not covered by the insurance program is paid by the individual. While this system is not ideal I believe that it has prevented patients from being turned away with serious conditions due to their inability to afford a particular doctor's set price. The United States could easily create a superior health care system where doctors are mandated to allocate a percentage of their time to working under a national health care plan while still enabling them to run their private practise and see patients who wish to accelerate the process.

The current health care system in the United States has numerous flaws which can be remedied by implementing a Government Option or another version of a national health care system.
UnFascism

Con

First, I would like to thank my opponent for posting this topic. Healthcare is a VERY big issue right now in the US, and should be discussed by what I believe to be a very intelligent society on this site.

Now, I shall provide a framework upon which this debate ought to be measured. The Aff must provide adequate reason for either why the status quo is bad, public option will do more good than harm, or both. The Neg must provide adequate reason for either why the status quo is good, public option will do more harm than good, or both.

asp1007 talked about the Laissez-Faire economic system and then about how healthcare cannot exist under this system without physicians taking advantage of the general public. The following argument shall be based upon the following: All physicians shall do what will benefit themselves the most; All individuals seeking care shall go to the cheapest provider; All care providers provide equal quality care for the same price; Price dictates quality of care (lower price, lower quality). If this is the case, then all care providers would lower their prices for competition the same way any store would hold a sale of any other commodity. To support this claim, I provide the mathematical model for economics and decision making, game theory. [1]

"Furthermore, transport to another location in order to receive treatment drastically increases the financial burden in receiving care."
This point is irrelevant; public option would not change the coverage provided at a specific hospital. Hospitals are equipped differently and by changing coverage, equipment will not change.

In regards to doctor salaries, in 2006, the Canadian Medical Association Journal said, "The average gross annual income for a specialist in Quebec is $233 000 — $100 000 less than the national average [in the US]." Given such statistics, it is obvious why Canada's doctor shortage problem is getting worse by the year. [2] This is a huge problem with public option. My opponent say that "doctors are mandated to allocate a percentage of their time to working under a national health care plan while still enabling them to run their private practise and see patients who wish to accelerate the process" might fill this financial gap, but $233k-$100k (USD) is a very wide gap, and doctors cannot provide the same quality care if most of their time is delegated to public healthcare.

Meanwhile, only 46 million people remain uninsured within the US. [3] This is the number, the raw statistic. What it does not account for are the people that do NOT WANT to be insure because of the costs. It is then safe to assume that there is no need to fix a problem that is only a problem to a minority of the population.

=====Conclusion=====
1 healthcare is already not a part of the Laissez-Faire economic system and does not require government intervention.
2 A shortage of doctors will become a problem within the US should public option be enacted.
3 There is not enough people that need this for it to be a national problem.

=====Sources=======
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org... (wiki is just FYI. If the legitimacy of Gtheory is questioned, I can provided info in a later speech)
[2] http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com...
[3] U.S. Census Bureau. Issued September 2009.
Debate Round No. 1
asp1007

Pro

My argument is founded upon a flaw in the laissez faire economic system in regards to healthcare.
I first want to state that I'm very impressed by the comprehensive argument put forth by my opponent and look forward to exploring this topic further.

I will agree with my opponents premise that all physicians shall do what will benefit themselves the most however I cannot concede that all individuals will seek the cheapest provider based simply upon the fact that more experienced physicians charge more for their procedures and higher levels of care can be attained for higher cost. To state that someone with a serious ailment would attempt to contact the cheapest physician available seems to be innately flawed.

However even if i grant my opponent the assumption that all health care is fairly priced and that individuals will chose the health care option with the highest utility to cost ratio, the fact that we are discussing health care renders this point moot. Customers can only seek the cost effective alternative when they have time and the physical capacity to do so. When an individual is rendered unconscious and is transported to the nearest hospital, they have no input as to their care and thus are left the whims of physicians, waking up later to find the price tag attached to their mishap. One can easily see that a doctor in this situation has the ability to charge what ever exorbitant fee he desires.

While this is an extreme case we can also take this into consideration when we deal with terminal illnesses. When dealing with a pressing medical ailment, time is of the essence and every day spent searching for cost effective solutions causes further damage to the individual's well being. A fundamental aspect of the laissez faire system is that all negotiations must be made of free will and cannot be a result of a physical threat. However in a situation where treatment for a critical illness is needed immediately, a patient cannot be expected to effectively barter when they are left at the mercy of the physician.

I'm glad that my opponent mentioned physician salaries because it demonstrates the premise that doctors will indeed do whatever benefits them the most. Since the United States has a system in which doctors are able to unfairly charge patients and set prices in an unfair market a physician can make MUCH more in the United States than in Canada. Implementing a public option in the US would curb the flood of doctors that leave Canada to practise and while improving access to fairly priced health care.

As of this moment 46 million people remain uninsured... However due to exorbitant doctor's fees 100% of Americans are paying too much for that insurance! creating a government option would provide competition for a doctor's procedures and would lower insurance costs! making it affordable for those 46 Million.

I look forward to discussing this in the next stage of the debate.
UnFascism

Con

My opponent talks a lot about the way how the government will handle healthcare better. However, given that the US federal government is a bureaucracy, there will be paperwork and lots of "chain of command" procedures. Healthcare is already complicated, and given the funding shortfalls of most programs in the US (such as education), there is no way the government will be able to delegate funds to match the efficiency of the private sector. Unless they raise taxes, by a lot to compensate. Higher taxes are always bad when it is not vital to national security or personal safety.

So given the previous argument, universal healthercare (public option) works in the following manner: The tax payers pay more, by % of income, to the government and a low monthly premium; the government then pays for all, or most, healthcare costs. Given this, the using of the healthcare system will be cheaper; given that it will be cheaper. Drug users and alcoholics will then abuse this, driving up the costs to everyone else (by % of income) and the costs will end up being higher than before.

My opponent also talks about doctors taking advantage of patients. First, no they do not. That is illegal. Even if they did, it is with the consent of the patient. There are FREE clinics all over the country for people who cannot afford healthcare. These clinics are free (or very, very cheap) to the user, and draws in a lot of drug users and alcoholics. They run off of a combination of government funds and donations. If patients were being abused, they could always turn to free clinics. Do they not? Is it because it is too long of a wait? The service is poor? The medicine is not as good? It is all because they lack the funds of other hospitals that charge enough to maintain good medicine and service with sufficient staff. All hospitals will go into a similar state should public option be put in place.

>>Implementing a public option in the US would curb the flood of doctors that leave Canada to practise and while improving access to fairly priced health care.
>>The idea that by making the US healthcare system a universal one will solve Canadian problems as well is faulty. The doctors come to the US for better wages; they became doctors so they could come to the US for better wages. It is not possible that they would become doctors in Canada then discover the land of "high paying" after many years of school. Should the US implement public option, the doctors coming to the US will not apply for MedSchool in the first place, and the numbers will also drop in the US. This is worse for both countries, but mainly the US.

=====Sources
Just logic from points already established in previous rounds.
Debate Round No. 2
asp1007

Pro

While I understand that my opponent's arguments encompass many of the views that are currently espoused by many Americans, my goal for this debate is highlight a number of misconceptions about government options and national health care systems.

In order to better address my opponent's arguments I'd like to summarize them as follows:

1. Government Bureaucracy will lead to a complicated system which will lead to slower and less effective health care

2. A National Health Care system will lead to citizens being taxed more without a noticeable benefit to the system

3. Increased taxes will pay for those who are take advantage of the system ie: alcoholics and drug users.

4. Free Clinics already exist for those without economic means and offer poor healthcare because they do not receive payment from their patrons

5. A government option will lower doctor's wages and lead to fewer and less qualified doctors.

6. Doctor patient payment is legally regulated and is done with legal consent of the patient.

-------------------------------
1. Government process leads to a slower and less efficient system.

My argument for a National Health Care system is based upon the implementation of a government option, not necessarily a government subsidized option, but simply a government alternative in order to provide competition in an unfair market. The implementation of a government option entails that legislation is passed requiring physicians to perform certain procedures, within a certain period of time, for a specific price. Ie: Chemotherapy treatment to commence within 2 months of diagnosis, for a price of X dollars.

If a patient feels that they wish to bypass a 2 month waiting period, or if they feel as if they wish to pursue treatment which differs from a mandated approach, they may purchase such care from a physician. This approach in no way shape or form limits doctor's from negotiating with parents but provides and enforces the idea of competitive regulation in the field of medicine. This type of approach requires no government oversight or "Death panels" as people have labelled them and it needs no additional processes or paperwork to be effective.

2. A National Health Care system will lead to citizens being taxed more without a noticeable benefit to the system

In addressing this argument I will assume that we are discussing a government subsidized health care system which will provide health care insurance to those who cannot afford it, or which creates Federally operated hospitals.

If we consider that the current system allows doctors to charge excess rates for procedures based upon their privileged position while negotiating (A patient faces their decreasing physical health as added incentive to make an unsatisfactory deal) we can see that there are significant flaws in the system which, if repaired will create noticeable benefit in the system.

The argument hinges upon the idea that a fair system is a superior system and that creating a fair system will provide mutual benefit for patients and physicians. Even if a health care system involved financing care for the less wealthy, the system would become more fair by allowing equal bargaining power to both rich and poor. If the system involved the creation of Federal Hospitals the lowered prices in these facilities would force private hospitals to lower their rates to be competitive. Furthermore, this system could include a government mandate stating that the hospitals are expected to make a profit which would negate a drag on the tax system.

3. People will take advantage of the system ie: alcoholics and drug users.

I apologize for the following approach but due to the number of times I have heard this argument I've realized that the most effective way for defining the conversation is to pose the rebuttal in the form of this return question:

Do you believe that a man would ever step in front of your car in order to damage your bumper?

The argument that the system will be prone to looters in the form of the obese, alcoholic, or drug addicted depends upon the belief that people undertake this intentional action in order to leech the services. I feel I speak for a majority of people when I state that stealing a liver transplant is not my idea of a good time.

Furthermore, the issues which you cite are indicative of further problems in American society which lead to drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Not to mention the FDA's massive failure to pass any significant regulation regarding the contents of processed foods leading to obesity. This issue is far too intertwined with other aspects of American life for it to be suggested that people with these problems are 'taking advantage' of the system. I believe that assisting these individuals and helping them create a better lifestyle would constitute improving the system.

4. Free Clinics already exist for those without economic means and offer poor healthcare because they do not receive payment from their patrons

Free clinics are underfunded because they are forced to compete against unregulated business. Since we agree that physicians will always act in self interest, they have no incentive to work in free clinics. The institution of government regulation in the industry would negate the need for 'Free Clinics' at all. Furthermore, my opponent proved in his previous argument that current Free Clinics which exist are not adequate to meet human needs.

5. A government option will lower doctor's wages and lead to fewer and less qualified doctors.

I understand that this argument is based upon the causal relationship between lowering wages and decreasing incentive into the field. While I agree with that I would also state that attraction to the medicine field is based upon earning potential in CONTRAST to other potential career choices. By examining the statistics published by the US labor board I have found that average wages in other fields range from approx $25,000/yr to +$100,000/yr (http://www.bls.gov...). Using your prior sources stating that doctors can earn up to 200-300 thousand dollars per year in comparison to $100,000 annually in Canada, it seems as if lowering doctor's wages would interfere very little with the earning potential of the field in comparison with other career options.

Furthermore, I do not propose that the industry be entirely regulated, rather I contend that government regulation is needed in order to protect consumers. Under the idea of a government option doctors would still be able to negotiate treatment options with patients which were not deemed fundamental by the government.

6. Doctor patient payment is legally regulated and is done with legal consent of the patient.

This again, is the crux of my argument: An individual who negotiates under the threat of physical harm is unable to give true 'consent'. A case in point would be a victim of a crime who is forced to act under gunpoint - This individual may at any point consent to the gunman's wishes however is not truly acting of free will. This situation exists in the health industry today because patients are not able to properly give consent when their alternative options will lead to their demise. The current law in the United States ensures that no person will be denied care in the case of an emergency. This entails that a patient with "stable vital signs" can be realized despite a doctor's knowledge that their disease will soon worsen and cause life threatening damage. The law does not place regulation upon how much a doctor may charge for that service and in situations where days, weeks, or months will worsen a patients condition a doctor essentially threatens a patient's well-being with the prospect of a lack of treatment. This is most certainly not fair negotiation nor is it fair consent.

I appreciate the sentiment behind the anti-health care movement but find that most of the ar
UnFascism

Con

I shall address the same topics in the same order, with the numbers 1-6.

1)This does not refute the fact that it would still take a long time. The government must follow protocols that the private industries do not.

However, if the government is only limiting the prices and treatment, this could have disastrous. Even though it seems as if it was established that the healthcare system does not follow the rules of a free market (because of the high prices), my argument had faulty logic. Should a computer cost $2,000 to develop, produce, and market, then the price will never drop bellow $2,000 (duh). So, in the free market, the price will be, for sake of example, $2,500. The price CANNOT drop bellow $2,000.01, but can raise infinitely high as long as all other companies do the same. While this is expensive when compared to everyday food stuffs, it is the lowest possible with a profit. Now no company in its right mind will sell a computer with a profit of $0.01, and government regulation would destroy this industry (people do not always buy the same amount as is being made, so some of the "profit" must cover production). And these people must eat. While surgery can cost a lot, there is a very many number of expenses, as I have stated before. Whereas I do not know these expenses, they are present. Because of that, it is possible that the prices now are as low as the hospitals can place them before sacrificing quality. The term "overcharge" is relative to the production cost. Given how there is no evidence for the cost of something such as surgery, "overcharge" has no place in this debate until a number is given through evidence.

2) "In addressing this argument I will assume that we are discussing a government subsidized health care system which will provide health care insurance to those who cannot afford it, and/or which creates Federally operated hospitals."
I accept the previous statement for the rest of this debate, with the change of "or" to "and/or."

My opponent constantly address the fact that doctors take advantage of the patients. They DO NOT. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW OF THE US TO DO SO. Even if they were on their deathbed, if they were overcharged, their living family members will sue (and everyone knows the US likes suing).

When my opponent talks about the hospitals making "a profit would negate a drag on the tax system," this contradicts the previous statement "in addressing this argument...." If the government was providing health insurance to people who cannot afford it at its current price, then they will receive little compensation for the costs. Meanwhile, if the government ran all hospitals as "free" clinic hospitals, they would also receive little compensation for the costs. Either way, if the hospital was to make money, it must charge more. Because that is why 46 million Americans chose/must go uninsured, for them to get coverage, the hospitals must charge less. To compensate, taxes will be raised. A federal system cannot turn a profit when it is advertised to the people bellow/at the poverty line.

3) No, I would not stand in front of that car. But if I was suffering from an overdose/withdraw, I would go to the hospital. In addition, it is of no harm for me. These individuals will not avoid the massive increase of free healthcare access because of the "greater good." These individuals will do the same thing as the doctors: what is best for themselves. When there is a sale, hundreds of people line up at 4 in the morning to get in first; when it is a giveaway, the whole country will line up at 3 am EST. The sad sad truth is that people are leeches, and these leeches will harm society if they are given a chance to better their own lives.

4) The free clinic argument was simply to state that access is possible, and therefore does not need to be fixed. Whether people decide to use this system is out of our control and that of the US government. Also, it proves the hazards of unfunded hospitals.

5) Considering how Canada, under Uni Healthcare gets paid so much less, it is fair to assume that the US will experience a similar effect. This is not about potential, it is about survival. Such that, the extra pay is to compensate for the extra time spent in school and the need for doctors. Lowering pay will lower the quality of doctors. In Japan, teachers are respected and paid more than the US. While entering teachers are paid 25% less than the US, senior (experienced, the better teachers) are paid 40% more in Japan than the US. [1] The education gap between the US and Japan is noticeable, one reason being that Japan has better teachers. Like any other profession, the same would come of doctors should pay be reduced.

6) Yes, they are. The hospital would be sued if they did not. Doctor pay is not affected by the patients' decision; doctors are paid by contract (except private ones, but if one has a private doctor, they are obviously rich and do not matter in this debate). Regardless, the point on doctors taking advantage of patients should be disregarded for it is illegal to do so and does not happen in the system today.

=====Summary
1) Whereas I did say that healthcare was not a norm in the free market, I realized that all arguments were faultily based on relative terms. I reconstructed the argument with concrete terms, and now it has moved to support the healthcare system as a norm. Also, the government will be less efficient.
2) I stated what I would use from now on as a "definition" for Uni healthcare. Also, this new healthcare will either raise taxes and everyone has access to lower grade care or the same people have access as the status quo, and it changes nothing.
3) People will leech, it's sad, but true.
4) Free clinics show availability to the minority, not everyone, and serves as an example of what underfunded hospitals will be like.
5) Decrease in pay will decrease doctor, as Japanese teachers show.
6) This is not in the status quo, and therefore do not need to be changed.

[1] http://www.eric.ed.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
asp1007

Pro

I feel as if it's important to highlight at this juncture that a majority of my opponents claims have degraded into unfounded contradictions. I'd also like to point out that I did not agree to frame the debate in terms of publicly funded hospitals or a government subsidized public option. i merely agreed to argue this for the purposes of demonstrating that even in the most extreme of socialistic health care systems will provide a benefit to the system. Attempting to highjack the terms of a debate in such an obvious manner merely demonstrates an uncertainty that a victory can be achieved on equal terms.

I will now run through the agreed upon 6 points and demonstrate how my opponent has failed to offer a concrete argument along these lines.

1.

I outlined how a government process would require no additional paperwork or bureaucracy due to the implementation of a set fee for particular services.

In refuting this my opponent states "However if the government is only limiting the prices and treatment, this could have disastrous."

He then discusses how I have previously established that the healthcare system does not follow the free market. Which solidifies the argument that regulation is needed to create a fair market.

Finally he makes a legitimate point in stating that a price cannot drop below a set amount which is it's production cost. To which I state that a doctor EARNS 200 - 300 thousand dollars a year. This is ABOVE and BEYOND the costs of procedures. What we're addressing is lower the cost for procedures which will keep patients from being taken advantage of.

This is a very simple argument to understand and I'm unable to see how it can be refuted. Furthermore, my opponent has failed in this vein.

2. In this section I had demonstrated how a national health care system does not create a strain tax systems. While also stating that if it was conceded that a health care system did create that strain, it would be minimal and would create a larger overall benefit for the health care system.

My opponent in turn attacks my prior statements that doctors take advantage of patients. Perhaps I should rephrase. Doctors are in an unfair bargaining position in negotiations for health care services. He has repeatedly stated that I am wrong in my belief while citing a logical fallacy. That a situation does not occur because it is illegal for it to occur. Or to simplify this "Doctors do not take advantage of patients because if they did, they'd be breaking the law" ie: it doesn't happen because it's bad or immoral.

This is not a legitimate argument. There is no philosophical or theoretical argument that has been put forward to cast even the slightest shadow of doubt upon my statement. I have concretely demonstrated that when negotiating health care prices, doctors are in an unfair bargaining position due to the fact that a patient is negotiating under a threat of physical harm.

3) In this segment I illustrated how drug users and alcoholics are symptoms of a large social problem and none of these people intentionally take advantage of the system.

My opponent places a somewhat coherent argument in this section by stating that people will go to the hospital and create that strain no matter what their intent.

To this I must argue that alcoholism and addiction have very strong genetic links... As does heart disease and cancer. If it can be contested that these addictions are akin to other illnesses which have genetic links, does it not seem somewhat wrong to classify these people as any less deserving of treatment than other patients? My opponent seems to think so.

4) The free clinic argument that my opponent put forth is ludicrous and foolhardy. Free clinics receive inadequate funding and are last ditch stopgaps as an effort to do some sort of charitable work. Comparing them to a government option is misleading to readers and seems to be an attempt to win the debate based upon faulty logic and retoric.

5) I agreed that this idea would lower doctor's wages... because I believe doctor's fees are unfair and too costly. However I concretely demonstrated that the incentive to become a doctor would be unaffected. This was shown through reliable government sources and concretely argued.

My opponent's argument to counter this is is certainly quite odd because he cites Japanese teachers, who ARE PAID THROUGH TAX DOLLARS.

My opponent fails to address that this system I propose would not drastically effect doctor's wages and would keep the incentive to becoming a doctor. This is a very fundamental flaw in his argument.

6) My opponent once again argues against my statement that doctors are in an unfair negotiating possession by stating that it could never happen because it's illegal.

We've already established this is faulty logic so let's move past it and pretend for the time being that it is a legitimate argument.

If a patient is forced to pay an unfair wage to a doctor which they can hardly afford. How much money do you believe that individual would have left for legal representation? Furthermore your comment about how this idea that I believe is occurring is illegal is dependent upon GOVERNMENT REGULATION. The same thing that my opponent purports to be arguing is not needed in the Health Care System.

In summation, my opponent has disproved none of the above 6 points and his scattered style has only served to illustrate an attempt to divert attention and avoid larger more pressing questions.

I would ask if he can logically refute the claim that doctor's are in an unfair bargaining position without referencing the fact that this would be illegal. Most certainly theft, burglary, and money laundering are illegal and they occur. Not to mention the unfair lending practises which occurred in the US for decades before it was finally decided that these practises were wrong.

The argument that something does not occur because it is illegal is absurd and it does not affect the validity of my argument in the slightest.

I urge you to read the arguments in detail and make a logical conclusion at the end of this debate. I trust that upon close examination you will vote Pro.
UnFascism

Con

I shall answer in the same order.

But first, I would like to point out the framework for this debate that has been accepted for every round so far: "Now, I shall provide a framework upon which this debate ought to be measured. The Aff must provide adequate reason for either why the status quo is bad, public option will do more good than harm, or both. The Neg must provide adequate reason for either why the status quo is good, public option will do more harm than good, or both."

1) Considering how no evidence has been presented saying the US government will function better/worse than the private sector, this point cannot be won or lost.

I did say that that my opponent brought up the fact that healthcare does NOT follow the free market; I went on to say that this is based upon the idea that if it costs "too much" then it is overpriced. I made a comparison with computers, which has been undisputed. The fact being, like computers, it may seem overpriced, but it is as low as the price can go. Whereas my opponent simply says it is overpriced, I say it is not with more warrant: healthcare is a commodity, therefore it follows the rules of the free market. I urge my opponent next round to define WHY healthcare would not follow the rules.

My opponent says the same about doctor pay. The cost of malpractice insurance is constantly on the rise. The reason why doctors charge so much is to pay for this insurance. [1] The link I posted was from 2004, saying that the costs rose from $23k ('02), $47k ('03), $84k ('04). It is safe to assume is will be over $100k, if not $150k, by this year. Doctors would not charge so much if they were not sued so much. To fix this, restraint must be placed upon the legal aspects of healthcare, which is not part of a national healthcare system (defined as, "Universal health care is the belief that all citizens should have access to affordable, high-quality medical care" (Health PAC [2]). This does not include legal aspects of healthcare.) I urge my opponent to stay topical, and debate what the resolution says, and not what it could say.

2) Since my opponent believes that all doctors are immoral or commits immoral acts, I shall provide another reason why they would NOT take advantage of the patients. In the given link by my opponent [3], it says that doctors are either paid by the hour, by operation, or both. Regardless, only the hospital is charged, and the hospital hires. Therefore, should the doctor abuse his "bargain" position, he would be fired by his employing hospital.

Moreover, my opponent ignored my entire argument about WHY it would strain the tax system. His response is "in this section I had demonstrated how a national health care system does not create a strain tax systems" without any evidence or warrant to back up this claim. My evidence was "the government must pay for healthcare, and must obtain the funds to do so," and "the money comes from the people." My warrant was "The people must pay for healthcare or pay in more taxes to compensate the costs. Either way, the cost must be less than that in the status quo for poor individuals to afford it." My claim was "therefore, the money flowing into the healthcare system will be reduced, and profits for the US government will not exist."

Increasing taxes for 300,000,000 people is not worth covering 46,000,000 people. By utilitarian standards, what is good is what is good for the most number of people. National healthcare is not good for the most number of people, and therefore not good. I am not saying these people do not deserve healthcare, but simply saying that healthcare is a privilege, not a right.

3) My opponent is very narrow sighted on this topic. I am simply stating that these are people who want access, who are a burden upon society. By utilitarian standards, alcoholics and drug users are bad for society. They do not contribute (can't hold a job) and only take (by using social services) and are therefore an immoral part of society. While I am not saying that these people should not be helped; I am saying that a national healthcare policy will only allow them to use drugs/alcohol with less risk of death. They can use, and be helped whenever. This cost is displaced to everyone else. The best way to help them is to limit their access to substances, which is not part of the healthcare plan.

Given that they will do what is best for themselves (just like doctors), they will use the hospitals for cheaper and it means they save more money for more drugs/alcohol, so they use more. They than use the hospital more, but because it is cheap, they can still afford substances. This loop shall continue indefinitely.

4) Extend my last argument (which was really just an example of what underfunded hospitals are like). If hospitals do not make money, they lose money. Eventually, they will be underfunded.

5) The link my opponent sited [3] did not say anything about doctors not losing incentive. If anything, it says they WILL lose incentive. The document talked about incentive pay, and other methods in which doctors make their keep.

The teacher analogy still stands, because both countries have public education; both have teachers paid by the government. Only difference is in how much they are paid. The same can be said about private schools in the US. Teachers are paid more in private schools, and thus private schools have better scores. The same would happen to doctors should their pay be reduced.

The system is the national healthcare system. There is no way for me (or anyone else) to know the ideal system my opponent has in mind (we are not mind readers), but only the system that is generally known. This is the system that should be used for it is the system that is known by all.

6) Extend my argument 2) in this speech.

=====Summary
A definition has been provided (a bit late, but better late than never) for national healthcare.
I (as the Neg) will show why the status quo is good and why a national healthcare plan is bad. Arguments [1, 5, 6] all say that the status quo is good. 1) prices are low already (relative to production costs); 5) high wages lead to better service; 6) doctors are not taking advantage of patients. Arguments [2, 3, 5] say why national healthcare is bad. 2) increased taxes for all outweighs coverage for some (300mill > 46mill); 3) national healthcare will help drug users/alcoholics continue living immoral lives and increased taxes by high usage of publicly funded hospitals; 5) decrease in pay will decrease the quality of doctors.

I now urge my opponent to present clear links between his claims, warrants, and evidence as well as prove why the status quo is bad and/or national healthcare is good.

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com...
[2] http://www.healthpaconline.net...
[3] http://www.bls.gov...
Debate Round No. 4
asp1007

Pro

Alright, since we have one round to go I will attempt to quickly move over the 6 points above and conclude as to why a government option is beneficial to a health care system.

1) This idea is based upon the assumption that free market systems are innately beneficial. An idea which has been backed up by the ideology of the United States. A free market is one in which goods or services are exchanged without unfair pressure or negotiation tactics. An individual who is facing imminent health complications is under unfair pressure and gives a physician unfair leverage in negotiating.

My opponent stated that health care is like computers, in that they are high priced but are also at the lowest cost possible. I disagree with even the notion of something being 'over priced'. A fair price is one that is agreed upon through fair arbitration between 2 people with equal standing. This phenomenon does not exist today in the health care industry thus your comparison to computers is null and void.

My opponent references malpractice insurance costs as reasoning behind raised fees. Then cites an article which blames rising malpractice insurance rates on poor investment practices by insurance companies. Furthermore, the article does not draw any connection between a need for a price increase and insurance rates. I find this claim unfounded.

2)I refute my opponents claims in this section in 3 ways. Firstly, whether the doctor or the hospital negotiates prices with a patient, they are still in a privileged negotiating position. Discerning between the two is a waste of time and simply semantics. The intent of this debate is not to demonize doctors but to debate whether a public option is better for all.

I conceded that a 'Universal' system would strain the tax system. However a public option as defined in my first statement does not require any government funding whatsoever. It sets a fair rate for a procedure in a set period of time which a physician is legally obligated to perform. This can be executed in a zero-sum format creating no excess spending.

Finally, the implementation of a public option benefits 300, 000, 000 people. It provides competition for insurance companies which will lead to lower overall prices. Focusing upon those without health insurance is minimizing the problem with the current system.

3) My opponent is painting a stereotypical demonization of those people who abuse drugs and alcohol. His argument rings true only if you believe that these individuals desire a life of substance abuse and will prefer to take advantage of a system rather than using it to create a better life. My opponent stated before that people are rational actors. Therefore, if a person saves money on health care treatment they would do what is best for them, mainly, not turn back to drugs and use that money in a productive manner. Furthermore, this is a moot point if we're discussing a government option because these people would still be required to pay the government set fee for their treatment which would be designed to be a zero-sum system.

4) A government option does not restrict a hospital from making money. If a person desires treatment in a more timely manner than is legislated or they want unnecessary procedures, these will still be individual expenses with free negotiations. Doctors and hospitals will still receive fair compensation for these procedures, in no way am I referring to 'free' health care.

5) The document in question listed doctors wages in comparison with other professions. It illustrated that even if an American doctor was to make the much lower wages of a Canadian doctor, they would still be in one of the most lucrative fields. A transition for $300,000/yr to 250,000/yr is negligible if the average income for a nation hovers around $75,000/yr. The incentive to become a doctor still exists and is strong.

My opponents teacher analogy serves only to demonstrate that properly created public systems can provide effective services. His reference to higher pay meaning higher results is only relevant because teachers make an average income. The incentive to become a teacher is greatly affected when salary is moved from 75,000 to 120,000.

-----------------

Summary:

I notice once again that my opponent did not challenge my statement that doctors are in an 'unfair bargaining position' and that this constitutes a violation of the tenets of free market exchange. This single statement is enough to use simple logic to summarize my viewpoint.

The status quo is bad:

America was founded upon laissez faire capitalism which is rooted in the ideal of free market economy. For this reason we will state that free market systems benefit america and provide the best results. Moving closer towards a free market improves results. In the current system doctors are in an unfair bargaining position in that they negotiate with a person afflicted with ailments which exert pressure on their decisions. Since the negotiation is not occurring between two equal actors this violates the tenets of free market exchange. Violations of free market exchange create negative results.

A government option will improve the system:

Progression towards a free market improves results and benefits of the system.

Physicians and patients are rational actors who will attempt to achieve the best deal

Patients are at a distinct disadvantage in the negotiation.

Doctors will set fees in accordance with their competition.

Therefore, if the government were to legislate a fair price for certain procedures physicians would lower prices to be comparable to this set price. This government option would not limit the negotiating powers of the individuals since procedures not conforming to the legislation would still be negotiated between the two rational actors. This would constitute a progression towards a free market from the unfair status quo. A government regulated fair market is more beneficial than an unregulated unfair market. Thus the government option would improve upon the status quo.

I believe that this succinctly covers my argument and I thank my opponent for participating in this debate. While I found the debate to be slightly undefined either through deliberate or unintentional misinterpretation of my arguments, I believe that this form of discourse is most likely to create positive change in the world. I hope that before voting people take the time to read both sides comprehensively and consider which argument has indeed proven to be strongest. I'm confident that one will find that the existing health care system has been proven to be unfair to patients and that a form of government intervention would be beneficial while moving the system closer to free market status.

Thanks once again to my opponent and I am looking forward to reading your conclusion.

-Pro.
UnFascism

Con

I thank my opponent for his last post, and, now, I shall post mine as well. I have been researching this topic since the first post, and (a bit late) but I have found evidence to support my claims. Considering how my opponent will not be able to respond, I shall only use these to negate his points, and support my old points. No new arguments shall be made at this juncture.

1) Free Market: Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy [1].
Free Market: A free market economy is an economy in which the allocation for resources is determined only by their supply and the demand for them [2].
These definitions ought to be preferred. Last round, I urged my opponent to show why healthcare does not follow the free market. He states, "A free market is one in which goods or services are exchanged without unfair pressure or negotiation tactics. An individual who is facing imminent health complications is under unfair pressure and gives a physician unfair leverage in negotiating." Neither definition states "without unfair pressure." In fact, both imply "WITH unfair pressure" by "supply and demand." However, supply and demand will also reach equilibrium [3]. Given how long prices of healthcare have stayed fairly constant, it is fair to assume it has reached equilibrium.

I was wrong about malpractice insurance being the main reason for high healthcare costs. My opponent was wrong as well. It is because of technology [4]. This simply supports my point that national healthcare will not change anything. Supply and demand (the free market) dictates that prices MUST meet demand. It is the same principle as why markets keep their prices low on food (raising price = loss of customers; lowering = gain customers). This was established in my in my first speech. While this was disregarded most of the round, the fact that it stood true should the fact that healthcare follows the free market be true means now it stands true. I believe I have shown evidence that it does follow the rules of the free market, although we may not think so. No evidence was given to support why it should not.

2) I have proven that not all hospitals/doctors do so. Gasoline is a necessity, but not all gas stations have high prices to make more money. Some have higher prices, but the price is fairly constant. Healthcare is the same because I have shown why it conforms to the rules of the free market.

This may not increase taxes (by my opponent's system) but it is not possible. Like any other commodity, the costs of healthcare are at equilibrium. Should the prices go up, the consumers lose money; should prices go down, the suppliers lose money. If the hospitals "lose," they go out of business because (as my opponent said) they are not receiving funding from the government. That is bad. My evidence is the idea that everyone, including people in poverty, must be able to afford this new healthcare. That is a significant decrease in costs, which will result in a huge shift in the system at equilibrium, causing healthcare to crash and burn. Again, that is bad.

It would not benefit 300,000,000 people; only 46,000,000 + x# drug users. My evidence [4] says that studies show that people use the healthcare system excessively if they have insurance (basically, when they don't pay as much). Therefore, everyone will use the system more. The 254,000,000 people with coverage will simply waste more time at the hospital than they already do. $276 billion was spent or lost in 2005 on health care and other public services by addicts (at current access costs to hospitals, etc) [5]. If they access it more because of lowered costs [4], then the costs of admission into care will constant while profits decrease due to the new policy advocated by my opponent. This results in massive losses to the hospitals.

3) If someone is addicted (my definition being a physical addiction) then the body will place getting high/drunk above, or at, other needs such as food and water. Therefore, they will not care if they harm the system. As agreed by my opponent and I, self preservation/what is best of oneself trumps all other models for decision making. Therefore, even with the fee my opponent proposes, hospitals still lose. The system works as follows: 1) hospital treats patient; 2) patient pays. If patient cannot pay (addicts have hard times holding jobs), the hospital will lose money. Given the policy proposed, the hospital will receive no compensation from the government and less from services provided to those who can afford it.

4) No, because the systems (MRI's, X-ray machines) are owned by hospitals. There is no way to fit everyone into the "wait" frame because: 1) treatment must be before death. So, if everyone uses the systems more, the possibility of "death by wait" is possible if it is possible that they all have a fatal disease (I'm assuming that the time frame will be set to ensure that if you might die, then you shall receive the scan before, for sake of example, 2 months). Hospitals will be overloaded and cannot possibly accommodate people who want to jump the line. Lots of people die in Canada on the waiting list not for organs, but for MRI's.

5) It is not negligible is the doctor still has to pay malpractice insurance and endure up to 12yr of extra schooling. If there is such a thing as incentive pay (pay by performance), then doctors want $ in return for their good service. Less $ = less good service. That is bad.

6) No, more $ = better performance. This can be seen in teachers, doctors (incentive pay), and even kids! Time magazine says that when parents offer money to kids, they will do things like quit TV for a month. This was later turned into a randomized group of kids in a Harvard study. Bribing kids to get good grades works [6]! If kids do it and their teachers do it, then doctors do it too.

=====Conclusion
Status Quo Good: I have provided examples as to why healthcare is expensive, and as to why it is free exchange. The entire market is based upon the idea of supply and demand, or new age bargaining on a massive scale. Bargaining is never equal. Someone always has leverage, but both parties need each other. That is why healthcare costs a lot relative to food stuffs but not too much relative to production and distribution.

New policy bad: My opponent talks solely about equality between the care provider and the care receiver. Even if you buy this point, my points outweigh.
1) Possibility of losing hospitals by bankruptcy. This is caused by an increase in services with loss. The increase in the number of services provided is by evidence [4]; the loss is caused by the disruption of the equilibrium by lowering costs.
2) Decrease in doctors. This is caused by a loss in incentive by a decrease in income. The decrease is in comparison to Canadian doctors (I believe was somewhere in the range of $100k-$200k), and $ = incentive, shown by evidence [6].
3) Overall, a decrease in providers and in increase in demand will lead to "death by waiting list" like some Canadians.

These three points outweigh equality when it comes to what is good for the United States as a whole. Thank you for taking the time to read this and the previous arguments.

[1] http://www.investorwords.com...
[2] http://economics.about.com...
[3] http://www.answers.com...
[4] http://www.businessweek.com...
[5] http://www.cliffsidemalibu.com...
[6] http://www.time.com...
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by UnFascism 6 years ago
UnFascism
wow! such an educating debate! :D
Posted by BeautifulDisaster 6 years ago
BeautifulDisaster
http://www.Debate.org...
Sorta the same and we are in the voting period now, so please read and vote! I feel bad for ya'll having 5 rounds though...good luck!
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
InsertNameHere
Somebody like Nags should take this debate. ;)
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by gabe17 6 years ago
gabe17
asp1007UnFascismTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
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Vote Placed by UnFascism 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by asp1007 6 years ago
asp1007
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Vote Placed by Me100 6 years ago
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