The Instigator
Neferiel
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
regebro
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

The health care reform currently in congress should be passed

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/5/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,245 times Debate No: 9144
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (7)

 

Neferiel

Pro

Thank you to whoever accepts this, and I hope for a good debate. Here's my constructive:

"We spend much more on health care than any other nation, but aren't healthier for it. That is why I've said that even as we rescue this economy from a full-blown crisis, we must rebuild it stronger than before. And health insurance reform is central to that effort." -President Barack Obama

Because I agree with President Obama, I affirm the resolution, "The United States should adopt the proposed health care reform."

Contention One: The current health care system is unsatisfactory.

According to YES! Magazine Fall 2006, "Health Care – It's what Ails Us" there are many problems with the current system of U.S. health care. It states "An Estimated 50 million Americans lack health insurance, an estimated 18,000 die each year because they lack medical insurance, and even those that have medical insurance are not safe; Of the more than 1.5 mil bankruptcies filed in the U.S. each year, about half are a result of medical bills; of those, � of filers had health insurance." Not only that, but the quality of the health care system is suffering as well. In a 2008 study, the WHO ranked the U.S. health care system 37th of 190 countries, well below most of Europe, and trailing Chile and Costa Rica. As we can see, the current system is very unsatisfactory, creating massive costs for American citizens and the American government.

Contention 2: The reform will create a better nation

Subpoint A: The reform will stabilize our economy.

According to Maclatchy Newspapers, Feb 26, 2009 "Building a Brighter Future"

"As big as it may seem, the $787 billion stimulus bill passed by congress amounts to less than 2.7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. This is not nearly enough to counteract our deep recession; the Congressional Budget Office estimates the output gap – how much output is below the economy's potential – at $2.9 trillion. Only with the supplement of Obama's health care reform will we be able to springboard out of the recession." The recession is a serious problem that our government is working hard to counteract. Today, our economic drop is slowed, but not stopped, and the only way to stop completely and begin to rise is to stop dumping our money into failing insurance programs and create a governmental system of health care. This will stabilize the economy and move us toward a, as the article says, brighter future.

Subpoint B: The reform will provide us with better quality care

According to the New York Times article, "Reforming our Medicine",

"The reform includes specifics about disease and injury prevention investments that cost the current medical system millions through the emergency room." The World Health Organization has this to say "Presently taxpayers have a heavy burden, almost 100 billion dollars, in paying the cost of Emergency Room use by those who have no Health Insurance coverage. Those who oppose "Universal Health Care" are in many ways, through higher taxes, already paying to subsidize the need of coverage by the uninsured." Badly hurt, uninsured people go to the emergency room. Then, after getting the care required by law of the doctors, they cannot pay for it. These people who already have a lack of money are left with nothing, which just makes them more likely to take another trip to the emergency room sometime soon. If we prevent these problems in the first place, this cycle will stop, and we will pay much less money.

Contention 3: American citizens want reform.

According to YES! Magazine, Fall 2006, "The overwhelming majority (of American citizens), 75%, according to a Harris Poll want what people in other wealthy countries have: the peace of mind of universal health care. Health care reform is just like everything else: it must be wanted before it can happen. If three-fourths of American citizens desire this reform, then as a democratic nation we have a duty to install it in the country.
regebro

Con

Thank you for bringing this opportunity for me to discuss an important issue with the debate of health care.

I have chosen to discuss this, not as an opponent of health care reform, but as an opponent of emotional, unfounded and factually incorrect arguments for reform. By using emotional and factually incorrect argument for health care reform, the debate will lose track of what kind of reform is proposed. And that is exactly what has happened the the current debate of US health care reform. Nobody discusses what sort of reforms are proposed and if they are good or bad. You just discuss health care reform or not. That means that those who are for reform risk supporting reforms that are negative, and those who are against reform risk opposing reforms that are positive, since you no longer discuss the reforms themselves, just use emotionally based propaganda.

So let's look at the arguments:

1. The current health care system is unsatisfactory.

I agree. The current system in the US is unsatisfactory. But that does not automatically mean that any sort of reform is good. Reform can very well help to make the system even more unsatisfactory. We need to understand the issues, and reform gradually based on that understanding. The arguments must be that a change is good on it's own basis. You can't just change for changes sake, because then half of the changes will be bad.

2. The reform will create a better nation.

Here we get told that health care reform will create a better nation. But the aim of health care reform should reasonably be to create better health care, so this claim is strange. Let us look at the subpoints.

2A. The reform will stabilize our economy.

This is obviously false. Stability in economy does not come from the health care system, but from how the economy is run. It's also somewhat of a misunderstanding to have stability as a goal in the first place. What you want in an economy is not stability, but quick recovery from downturns. Centrally planned socialist systems are often stable, then have a stable, slow downturn where the economy slowly gets worse. An economy should be dynamic, not stable. And health care reform will not help create either.

The argument here is that the state, to get the US out of recession must spend as much on health care as the GNP declined. That policy will not help to counteract a downturn, and it will just create a massive state debt of unheard of proportions, which in turn can only be fixed with higher taxes, which will slow the economy, and that then needs to be countered with more spending and so on for eternity. It's an idea that ignores all knowledge about economics, and can only result in economic disaster.

2B: The reform will provide us with better quality care.

People who has no insurance go to the emergency because thats something they don't have to pay for. But if they get a national health insurance, that means they do get payed for other health care, and will use it. The argument claims this will make health care cheaper. But the effect of paying for all health care is that they will get much more health care than they would have gotten otherwise. So don't fool yourself. Public health insurance is not likely to make health care cheaper, on the contrary it will make health care more expensive. This is also the experience from Europe. Making health care cheaper must be done some other way.

3. American citizens want reform.

Yes. But they want improvements, not just random reform. You haven't showed that the current proposal is an improvement. You just echo emotional arguments for any kind of reform, and you are supporting reform not because the reform is good, but because you like the person proposing the reform. So do I, but that attitude is not likely to give you good reforms. We need to look at the problems rationally, and fix them based not on emotions, but based on facts and experiences from other countries.
Debate Round No. 1
Neferiel

Pro

My opponent agrees -- the current health care system is unsatisfactory, and we need change of some sort. The only burden left in the debate for the affirmative is to prove the reform will be more beneficial than the current system.

Also, my opponent states several times that I use "factually incorrect information" and "emotional arguments" but he never states where, or why these are either. All my information comes from reputable sources, and I have no emotional appeals in my case, so these "arguments" do not stand.

Contention One
As my opponent has agreed with me, I see no reason to push this argument further.

Contention 2
Creating better health care in turn creates a better nation through health care, but the reform will affect our nation economically as well, which is why I have chosen to address both HC quality and economics.

Subpoint A:
My opponent attempts to divert attention away from this argument by debating the tagline of stabilization. Currently, our goal is stabilization of the economy as we are on an economic downturn. Obviously, our long term goal is to bring the economy back up, but before you can do that, we must first stop the negative flow. It's the same reasoning as in a naval oil spill: we must first stop the source of oil flowing into the ocean, and then we can begin cleaning up.

I am not saying the state must spend as much as the GDP declined, simply that implementing this new system gives us access to such things as preventative care and the ability to get out of the "emergency room cycle" outlined in my case. These will save us money... more than enough to pay for the implementation of the system itself. According to my opponent, the government in the affirmative world would just keep spending and spending, but this is not the case. We would pay for this plan as an investment to save us money and guarantee better quality health care for our citizens, which leads me into my next point:

Subpoint B:
My opponent seems misinformed in his first sentence: People are billed when they go to the emergency room. However, the law requires doctors to treat patients anyway if they have a serious condition. Even patients with moderate or minor conditions do their best to get through, and sometimes do. These people get billed further and further into debt, and then end up making return visits for more money they cannot pay for. The big difference between the affirmative and negative worlds here is simple: preventative care. In the affirmative world, everyone would be covered for relatively cheap tetanus shots, about $35 according to U.S. Preventive Medicine. However, in the neg world, we could be spending into the thousands to rush someone into the ER and treat them for tetanus, especially if there is a hospital stay involved afterward. You can see how this also relates to my 2a point of helping the economy. Basically, preventative care's effects are twofold: it both helps the economy and increases the quality of care for the citizens of the U.S., both covered and not. Just from that we can see that the bill is going to beneficial and better than our current system, which my opponent agrees is in shambles. There is no way for uninsured Americans to gain preventative care currently in the insurance system, and therefore we must pass the reform.

Contention 3:
Again, this ties in with my first contention: all that I must do now is win my second contention to win the debate. We must find some kind of reform. And as Obama's, currently in Congress, includes both benefits to our economy and our quality of health care, I affirm.

Thank you.
regebro

Con

Thank you for the answer.Unfortunately, I feel that it is not much more than a repetition of what was already said, and what I therefore already have explained to not be good arguments for the current reform.

First you say that you want to stabilize the economy, and you continue your support for state spending that you posted in your subpoint 2A above. Having the state spending yourself out of a crisis is typically not a good idea, and the debt and taxes that results of that actually tends to prolong the crisis. Add to this the fact that the US is already spending a lot as a result of the crisis to save the banks, and spending on health care seems even less attractive. But worse, the US economy is not in a significant downturn any more. The economy has already turned and is already on the way back. Spending in that situation is likely to first cause overheating, and then a second crash, that is made worse by debt and taxes.

Secondly, you argue that the reform will actually make the health care cheaper. That means that the reform would in fact not help to spend money even from the state, which makes all of subpoint 2A moot. You implicitly agree with me that 2A is false.

I see that I was unclear about subpoint 2B, but the conclusion still stands. The public today pays, according to your quote, a 100 billion dollars for emergency room care for people who have no money for health care. Your argument is that it will be cheaper to pay for their health care. That argument does not become correct because you repeat it. Let's do a small calculation. A 100 billion dollars a year is a little over 2000 dollars a year per uninsured. However, average health care costs per person in the us is around 8000 dollars per year. Giving every uninsured person health care coverage is likely to cost around 300 billion dollars per year. It is not going to be cheaper.

All in all, your repetition of the arguments I already countered in the first round did not get us anywhere. I'm a bit disappointed that you didn't come with any new arguments in this round, but that does make my job easier. It's also understandable that you don't come with new arguments. Before I accepted this debate, I did try to figure out exactly what the health care reform currently en Congress entailed, and it is very hard to find any concrete information about it, and it generally seems to make very small changes. I suspect most of the reform is hot air.

But your arguments for the reform are both contradictory and wrong.
Debate Round No. 2
Neferiel

Pro

As my opponent has made no move to counter my previous analysis of arguments 1 and 3, I can only assume two things.
1: We need change
and 2: we WANT change

Additionally, I'd like to point out that my opponent, given the opportunity, did not explain any of his claims of my arguments being "factually incorrect" or "emotional appeals". Anything he says beyond this point should not be considered, either, as I will not have a chance to respond.

I will now go on to show you why this specific change is better than our current system

2A: My opponent seems misinformed: if you look to the biggest economic crisis in U.S. history, The Great Depression, you will see that President Roosevelt, through New Deal and WW2 SPENDING got us out. The so-called "crisis to save the banks" is tied to the recession, and so anything we can do to make the recession recede will help. This calls for reform in health care. My opponent argues that we are coming out of the recession, but the facts show that we are in fact only slowing down our decline. Besides, there can never be any harm in improving our economic status. Lastly, my opponent makes the spending on this bill seem like some absured price. But according to The Washington Post article, "Law-makers debate health care spending", July 17, 2009, "Although the House plan to cover the uninsured, for example, would add more than $1 trillion to federal health spending over the next decade, according to the CBO, it would trim about $500 billion from existing programs -- increasing federal health spending overall."

Lets do some math. One trillion over the next decade equals about $100 billion per year. But as I stated in my case, the emergency room costs from subpoint B will be saving us JUST THAT MUCH. Additionally, as the article quote states, we will have a nuggest of $500 billion excess to spend on other things... such as the bailouts of companies, as my opponent mentioned.

2B: My opponent's math is flawed: what he does not figure in is that the reason most of these things cost so much is because we lack the preventative care necessary to make them cost less. Indeed, in many other countries such as France, the Health Care Cost Per Person is about $3500. Being as the bill is modeled strongly after France's system, we can assume ours will lower as well, which cuts ALL costs, including current insured coverage, in half. $100 bil a year is pocket change comparatively.

All in all, the bill will benefit our economy enormously, and provide coverage for all Americans. As President Obama said, "We pay more than any other country for health insurance, but aren't healthier for it." But with the passing of this new bill, we take the first step toward something Obama campaigned on, and my opponent has admitted we both need and want: Change.

Thank you.
regebro

Con

Thanks for your response. I don't want to answer your questions about arguments, as I don't think this should turn into a pointless meta debate. I've explained eactly what in your arguments that are factually incorrect, and I find it self-evident that your first round of arguments are largely emotionally based, with quotes saying "we must rebuild", "American citizens want reform" instead of actually explaining why the reform would be good. But enough about that, meta debates are less of interest, and you have abandoned these emotional arguments, since I don't argue against them (how could I, when they have no substance?)

Now to the topic.

It is a common misunderstanding that spending got the US out of The Great Depression, but unfortunately it just doesn't fit the facts. The general view amongst economics is that fiscal policy, spending and WW2 made very little difference. The main reason for recovery is usually seen as the abandoning of the gold standard. [1][2] The Keynsian/Socialist policies like spending and trade protection in fact rather prolonged the depression. In the US, the New Deal included both these types of policies, but most importantly, the first part of the new deal was the abandonment of the gold standard, which enabled the US economic recovery during the 30s.

That centralized economy and state spending are bad for the economy are well known and has been well known since Adam Smiths "The Wealth of Nations" 1776. It is wholly uncontroversial. The Keynesian ideas of spending yourself to riches has been tried many times with little success.

I do agree preventive care could help lower costs, but there is nothing wrong with maths. The health care for uninsured are in average around 2000 dollars per person and year or a 100 billion dollars. The health care for insured are around 8000 dollars per year person or year. I agree that everybody should have health care, and I think universal health insurance is a good long term goal. But saying that it will make these 100 billion dollars lower is simply delusional. When the state pays for health insurance for the uninsured, their health costs will rise to 8000 dollars per year and person as well, and this reform will cost the state 300 billion dollars per year. It's as simple as that.

Reforming the system in the US so that health costs per person is lowered is likely to be possible, they are after all much cheaper in other countries, like France, while not being significantly worse. But pretending that universal health care will be cheaper than no universal health care is simply delusional, and I quite honestly find it annoying that I have to repeat this basic mathematics three times in a debate.

No, we do not both want change. You want change, no matter what. I, and the american people, want improvements. You have completely failed to show that the current proposal will provide any improvements. You have also, in fact, not even showed what the current proposal is about. You haven't really taken up many of the points in the proposal, but instead argued from generalities, like claiming that we should spend ourselfs out of a crisis, when spending in fact will prolong it, and universal health insurance lowering spending, ignoring both that this contradicts your first point, and that it is obviously false.

Health care reform must be based on a rational, factual view of the world, not on vague dreams and overactive imagination. Only with our feet firmly on the ground can we grow.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RagingDonkey 8 years ago
RagingDonkey
Although I do believe that we should reform health care, I have to side with Con. His arguments were based in fact and logic, and he never fell into the trap of emotional argument. Sorry Pro. I had hoped that you would provide a more thoughtful and accurate argument for our position.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Con correctly characterized the issue. It's emotion versus facts and logic. Pro had the burden of proof and yet provided no significant factual support for his emotional arguments.
Posted by Yakaspat 8 years ago
Yakaspat
Reasons for Voting:
Before: Con
After: Con
Conduct: Tied
Grammar: Tied
Arguments: Con
Sources: Con (I usually don't count Wikipedia as a legit source, but the link you used was good.)

VOTE CON
Posted by Neferiel 8 years ago
Neferiel
Ah, sorry. I didn't think it would matter as much when I was making it. I'll keep it in mind for the future, reg.
Posted by regebro 8 years ago
regebro
That is clearly a supernatural ability. :)
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Well I wouldn't say that xD... I was just commenting on your ability to make it fit in 4k.
Posted by regebro 8 years ago
regebro
I am a GOD of Debates!!!
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Regebro: wow, you're amazing :D
Posted by regebro 8 years ago
regebro
I don't think quotes is a problem. The 4000 character limit is, though. You can make short arguments, because they are based in emotions and not understanding the issues. That makes it very difficult to explain the issues in 4000 characters. I think I succeeded, though, but it was quite a challenge. :)
Posted by Neferiel 8 years ago
Neferiel
I have a lot more information than I normally use, yes, but
A: It makes my arguments and backs me up and
B: I still provide enough original explanation to make the argument valid.

I don't see how that's bad. o.o"
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Vote Placed by Arianna0991 7 years ago
Arianna0991
NeferielregebroTied
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cbass28
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Vote Placed by Neferiel 8 years ago
Neferiel
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