The Instigator
Republican95
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

This healthcare proposal is better than any healthcare proposal my opponent can come up with.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,144 times Debate No: 9637
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Republican95

Pro

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Definitions
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Are they really needed?

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Proposal/Arguments
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1) Allow insurance companies to compete across state lines.

To me, this seems pretty common sense. Currently, if you operate a health insurance business in New York, you can't offer you insurance to those who live in Florida, or California, or any other state. This is crazy! If their is a good health insurance company that just so happens to operate in New York, why should the people of Florida suffer for being Floridians?

b) Give uninsured Americans a tax credit.

This is pretty common sense too. Currently, what the U.S. Congress is trying to do with health care reform, is barricade 46 million uninsured Americans into a Government Run Healthcare Plan (a.k.a. Obamacare). That 46 million people now more dependent on the government. Taxpayers already pay for 1-out-of-4 Americans health insurance through Medicaid, Medicare, or some other government programs; now you want them to pick up the tab for the uninsured too? Instead why don't we help the uninsured by giving them options in regards to their healthcare? I propose we give uninsured Americans a federal income tax deduction, it would be a lot, only enough to help them pay for private health insurance. This would save working Americans money and becoming dependent on the government. But don't give it out to EVERY uninsured American, just the one's who request it. That way the government doesn't have to give people money who don't want health insurance.

c) Mandate that health insures disclose ACTUAL prices and performance.

Do you think those monthly premiums you see on the TV commercials are the actual price they charge you? If you do, you need to get out of La-la-world. They MIGHT charge you those prices if you are perfectly healthy, have won 6 triathlons, and won 6 gold medals at the 2008 Olympics, but how many of us are like that? Form an government committee to investigate all claims by insurance companies and either back 'em up or let the consumers know! Not only would this apply to private insurers, but government agencies too. Before you get Medicaid, Medicare, or something else you should know exactly is covered and what is not.

That is all for know. In the first round, I just urge my opponent to make his or her own healthcare proposal, then we'll actually start debating in Round 2. Thanks!
wjmelements

Con

My advocacy in round one is restricted to a healthcare proposal. I will explain why my opponent's proposal can not decrease the costs of healthcare in the next round.

I could have taken a semantics route, arguing that one such healthcare proposal that I could come up with would be identical to yours, meaning that yours cannot be said to be better; however, I actually have an interest in this topic.

The wjmElements Proposal
1) Remove regulations that grant monopoly benefits on local insurance companies.

One such regulation is the one that my opponent advocates, though there are others. One other such regulation is the requirement of the ownership of this kind of insurance, which artificially increases demand and the price of health insurance. Many regulations exist that are considered to be less significant, but together have a monopolistic effect, reducing competition, and harming the consumer.

2) End Occupational Licensure
Allowing any individual to perform any medical procedure as long as (if practical) there is informed consent and no fraud will directly bring down the costs of medical care by decreasing the costs of medical labor by allowing the supply of physicians to increase. Given a system of liability, there is really no reason to have any occupational licensure.

3) Weaken authority of the FDA
Restricting the supply of medicine by hampering its availability is another cause for artificially high market prices, this time directly in the product. The FDA's oversight into the medical field has caused a long approval process that drastically increases the costs of research and development, increasing the price of newer, cheaper, and more effective medicines. As long as there is a liability system, there is really no reason to have an approval system.

Insurance costs must necessarily be higher than medical costs. While my opponent's proposal cuts insurance costs slightly, it does not reduce medical costs. In this regard, my proposal is better. My opponent's proposal of further government interference in healthcare shall be refuted thoroughly next round.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Republican95

Pro

I will now attack my opponent's proposal:

My Opponent:
"1) Remove regulations that grant monopoly benefits on local insurance companies.

One such regulation is the one that my opponent advocates, though there are others. One other such regulation is the requirement of the ownership of this kind of insurance, which artificially increases demand and the price of health insurance. Many regulations exist that are considered to be less significant, but together have a monopolistic effect, reducing competition, and harming the consumer."

I have no problem with this. Since I have no problem with it, I will not debate it. I would have no problem if it found its way into my healthcare proposal.

My Opponent:

"2) End Occupational Licensure
Allowing any individual to perform any medical procedure as long as (if practical) there is informed consent and no fraud will directly bring down the costs of medical care by decreasing the costs of medical labor by allowing the supply of physicians to increase. Given a system of liability, there is really no reason to have any occupational licensure."

Are you mad? Let those with non-medical degrees practice medicine? I have a problem with this on three accounts:

a) The goal of any healthcare reform legislation should be to help the healthiness of the populous. This would hamper that. We would have unhealthier citizens, hence force, its a bad idea.

b) My opponent says the patient would have to consent. However, there is one instance in which this doesn't work. That instance is: CHILDBIRTH. Even if the mother may consent, the child would have no chance to disapprove. Every child has a right to be delivered by a competent medical professional. No ifs, and, or ors, about it!

c) This would raise the cost on the taxpayer. If I go to an unlicensed medical "professional" to have a laser eye surgery and I turn out blind, what can I do? I can go to court, but since I gave my consent its very unlikely I'd win a settlement. What am I to do now? Answer: turn to the government. I would probably apply for Social Security and Disability, costing the taxpayers. What if the same happens to millions (which is likely under my opponent's idea), the taxpayer will be expected to pay billions to take care of them.

My Opponent:

"Restricting the supply of medicine by hampering its availability is another cause for artificially high market prices, this time directly in the product. The FDA's oversight into the medical field has caused a long approval process that drastically increases the costs of research and development, increasing the price of newer, cheaper, and more effective medicines. As long as there is a liability system, there is really no reason to have an approval system."

The FDA may need a few spending cuts here and there, but this takes it too far. The approval system should be kept the same. I'd much rather wait ten years for a medicine than take a bad drug. Wouldn't you too?

In Conclusion: My opponent's plan would harm the health of the population and cost more people to apply for government assistance. It will never work and shouldn't be given a shot.

I yield back to my opponent.
wjmelements

Con

First, I will attack my opponent's proposal; then, I will show how my opponent's criticisms are based only on fearmongering.

OVERALL
My opponent's proposals will not lower medical costs because they do not target the root.

1) Allow insurance companies to compete across state lines.
While this may lower insurance premiums ever so slightly, it does not lower medical costs. Medical costs remain the same, and insurance premiums must necessarily be above them. Therefore, the individual is no better off, especially when his other proposals are considered.

2) Government Handouts
I am often quite disgusted to read these proposals from Republicans pretending to support economic freedom.
This tax credit subsidizes the behaviour of not paying for insurance. The individual is given incentive to not buy insurance. Why would anyone want this? This proposal's intention is to get people to buy insurance, and yet the moment these individuals do, they are cut off of the subsidy. This proposal doesn't even meet its goal! It simply grants free money to anyone who asks for it, given that they don't have health insurance.

The natural result: welfare mothers will avoid purchasing health insurance to recieve a subsidy.

From an economic perspective, this subsidy steals money from producing Americans and gives it to welfare mothers and the burgeoisie.

3) Government Regulations
A more simple step would be enforcing current fraud laws. However, fraud is not the problem. Individuals are choosing not to read contracts, and are suffering the consequences. All that my opponent's proposal does is make advertising impossible. (Imagine the narrator of an ad having to read through everything covered and not covered by each offer mentioned!)

The thing though is, actually, individuals are quite aware of what is and what isn't covered because they sign a contract. There is no fraud, only laziness. What my opponent's proposition will do is prevent insurance marketing, eliminating consumer information entirely.

ON TO MY PROPOSALS
1) Deregulate insurance companies
My opponent has conceded this point.

2) End Occupational Licensure
"Are you mad?"
Ad Hominem http://fallacyfiles.org...
My opponent presents three objections to my second proposal.
First, he believes it will lower the quality of healthcare. In actuality, it will allow specialization. The midwife will no longer be required to have 10 years of medical school over the endocrine system and brain surgery. Instead, his/her training will be able to be focused on whatever field he wishes to focus on. The individual will be free to pursue a medical career without prohibitive medical school fees.

On a different note, there are more efficient ways of education than schooling. On-the-job training and internship is much more efficient and longlasting in the worker's memory than schooling. In fact, the "knowledge and skills learned here are impossible to learn in the classroom" [http://www.campusgrotto.com...].

Second, my opponent objects saying that children have some sort of natural right to a birth by a licensed medical provider. Wherefrom comes this right? Was every birth up til the institution of medical licensing a crime? What of the births in a car on the way to the hospital? Are those criminal?

Third, my opponent asserts that mistakes would actually increase, and that this will result in an increased tax burden. First, the individual who goes to a shady man on the street to get eye surgery from a guy with a rusty spoon deserves to be blind. Second, in order for individuals to want to pay for healthcare, they have to be confident in their operator. The medicalcare provider, assuming he wants to earn a living, must convince the consumer that he/she is a better option than the guy next door. Lastly, assuming the existing system of liability, the taxpayer would not be responsible for the mistakes: the operator would. So, there is no tax concern.
This liability will further persuade the common man to not try to perform eye surgeries with a rusty spoon.

3) Ending government medicinal regulations
The approval system would not cease to exist without government action, as my opponent insists. Being liable for fraud and wanting to keep up consumer confidence will force companies to be confident that there will be no mistake. This testing will either be performed by the individual companies or by specialized testing companies, whichever the market finds more efficient. Whoever performs this function must necessarily be the cheapest and most thorough in testing, making for a more effective, cheaper, and efficient system than at present.
This is most certainly a better system than a corrupt and inefficient FDA.

CONCLUSION:
My opponent's solution does not meet its goals. It does not cut costs. It lessens consumer information.
My solution cuts costs, both medicinal and labourous. It allows for a more efficient and effective medical market.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Republican95

Pro

I thank wjmelements for his response.

I will start by rebutting his claims and then defending my proposal.

My Opponent: "My opponent's proposals will not lower medical costs because they do not target the root."

What is the root? Why are the costs of medical treatment so high? Why do insurance premiums keep going up? The answer is simple: uninsured Americans. Insured and uninsured people cannot be denied treatment. Have you ever walked into an emergency room and been turned away? No. Nobody has because hospitals treat you now and expect you to pay later. The problem is, when the bill comes around not everybody can pay. Some people file for medical bankruptcy. But in most cases, the hospital is still worse off. So, since it takes money to run a hospital (take care of sick and injured people), the cost of medical care have to rise or else adequate medical treatment won't be available. This, in turn, raises insurance premiums because insurance companies will have to pay for more expensive medical costs. Remove uninsured people from the equation, and a lot of the problem disappears.

My Opponent: "2) Government Handouts"

I love how my opponent calls helping needy Americans by letting them keep more of their money "Government Handouts". The word "handout" implies something is being taken from somebody else and being given to another person. This wouldn't happen because tax credits allow people to keep more of their OWN money.

My Opponent: "This proposal doesn't even meet its goal! It simply grants free money to anyone who asks for it, given that they don't have health insurance."

It would work. It would only be given once and once only. I couldn't apply for it year and year; it would be a one year thing. Also, even if these people chose not to purchase health insurance with it if an unexpected medical emergency came up they would at least be able to pay for it to some extent.

My Opponent: "The natural result: welfare mothers will avoid purchasing health insurance to receive a subsidy."

My opponent thinks anybody who doesn't have insurance is a welfare mother mooching off of the government. First of all, most people on welfare currently are eligible for Medicaid and hence wouldn't be eligible for the tax credit. Secondly, most Americans who don't have health insurance are working class Hispanic and White families who are too rich to receive welfare, yet to poor to afford health insurance on a month-to-month basis.

My Opponent: "From an economic perspective, this subsidy steals money from producing Americans and gives it to welfare mothers and the burgeoisie. "
The whole stealing money thing again, once again tax credits don't take money away from people, instead they let people keep more of THEIR money. Maybe my opponent should read a dictionary sometime…

My Opponent: "A simpler step would be enforcing current fraud laws. However, fraud is not the problem."

Why would we get so worried about fraud if fraud is not a problem, as my opponent insists?

My Opponent: "Individuals are choosing not to read contracts, and are suffering the consequences."

The current language used in contracts is so difficult to understand that it's impossible for anybody to make a well-though out, rationalized decision, on health insurance without the help of a lawyer (which is expensive). Not everybody is an expert on insurance contracts.

My Opponent: "(Imagine the narrator of an ad having to read through everything covered and not covered by each offer mentioned!)"

I didn't say that insurance companies have to make all commercials 100% true. I just said that they had to DISCLOSE THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE AND PRICE. This doesn't have to be via a television commercial, it could be states via a readable contract.

My Opponent: "What my opponent's proposition will do is prevent insurance marketing, eliminating consumer information entirely."

No, it would make insurance companies want to tell the truth about their prices and performance. If insurance companies knew that their actual costs and performance were "just a click away" they would fare less likely to lie about it. Lying about that would hurt their credibility and only make them look worse.

I will not attack my opponent's defenses of his arguments.

My Opponent: "The midwife will no longer be required to have 10 years of medical school over the endocrine system and brain surgery. Instead, his/her training will be able to be focused on whatever field he wishes to focus on. The individual will be free to pursue a medical career without prohibitive medical school fees."

Is this a bad thing? I do agree that having a midwife extensively study the endocrine and brain surgery might not make any sense, at first glance. Let's compare doctors to lawyers. Lawyers specialize in various areas (criminal law, common law, tort law, contracts, and many others), however, in order to be a good lawyer one must be well-rounded in all areas because law is highly connected. A doctor works the same way. Even though the doctor is a midwife, she or he must be well-rounded in all areas of human health and medicine because he or she could encounter any medical emergency at anytime. Emergencies don't just happen in hospitals.
My Opponent: "Second, my opponent objects saying that children have some sort of natural right to a birth by a licensed medical provider. Wherefrom comes this right? Was every birth up til the institution of medical licensing a crime? What of the births in a car on the way to the hospital? Are those criminal?"

In 2009 in an industrialized country such as the United States this holds true. Since birth is a highly complex and highly dangerous medical procedure, every child has the right to be birthed by a competent medical PROFESSIONAL. For the mother to infringe on this right by hiring one of these non-licensed medical workers is wrong. It would put the life of the baby (which is a human being) in risk. The mother shouldn't be able to do that. I understand that in every birth, including those performed by actual medical professionals there is risk, but more so with unlicensed medical workers.

My Opponent: "Second, in order for individuals to want to pay for healthcare, they have to be confident in their operator."

What if they can't afford the operator? They will be faced with two options: die or let the guy with the rusty spoon operate? Giving people a tax credit to buy their own health insurance would be a lot easier.

My Opponent: "Lastly, assuming the existing system of liability, the taxpayer would not be responsible for the mistakes: the operator would. So, there is no tax concern."

Liability still won't pay for all of it. People would still probably turn to government-aid.

My Opponent: "Being liable for fraud and wanting to keep up consumer confidence will force companies to be confident that there will be no mistake. This testing will either be performed by the individual companies or by specialized testing companies, whichever the market finds more efficient."

The private sector isn't a cure-all for our country's health problems. The government favors the citizen, the private sector favors profit. I don't want profit put above my health, do you? Let's suppose there a HIV vaccine becomes available, but first it must be approved. The testing company would rush through it to make it available to the market to line their pockets, the testing could be compromised. However, since the government will not make any money off this HIV vaccine it will be more careful and ensure it is safe.

CONCLUSION
My opponent's plan doesn't target the reason for rising medical cost because it doesn't provide insurance to anybody and doesn't require the insurers be more accurate with their performance and prices. All it does is give guys with rusty spoons perform medical procedures and puts profits before our health. I don't want that do you?
wjmelements

Con

I will go over the flaws in my opponent's case and the strengths in mine.

My opponent's case
1) Allow insurance companies to compete across state lines.
My opponent drops this point. He concedes that his proposal will not lower medical costs or even insurance premiums, in reality.

2) Government Handouts
The current plan, as my opponent has proposed, implements, would grant those without insurance a reward. This reward is one-time. Again, the result will be that people will get off of their insurance, though only for a day, to recieve this subsidy. Its corrupting potential is enormous.
The true way to encourage Americans to purchase health insurance would be to mandate it, which would cause premiums to go up and the individual to be screwed by yet more government-sponsored monopoly priviledges, which my opponent is against.
Another way would be to give continuous tax credits to individuals who buy insurance (not those who don't), which would inevitable lower the real cost of insurance to the consumer. Even though such a proposal would lead to a burden-shift through the subsequent raising of insurance premiums, this would actually have an effect on the buying of insurance.

Again, this proposal simply grants a reward to those without insurance, encouraging individuals to get off of the insurance program and recieve a payment. The argument from this one, that an increase in people on insurance would allow for lower costs, is nullified in respect to my opponent's case.

"My opponent thinks anybody who doesn't have insurance is a welfare mother mooching off of the government."
Absolutely false. I have made many statements to the contrary, and firmly believe that it is not in the individual's best interest to invest in collective insurance. My opponent misrepresents my arguments, perhaps intentionally.

On the issue of whether or not the tax credit is from a "tax credit" is a subsidy or not:
This is perhaps one of the saddest instances of equivocation in existence. On the spreadsheet, no additional theft results from the existence of a tax credit, but the tax credit is never accompanied with a decrease in government spending, as a tax cut; therefore, the tax credit is simply a disguised increase of burden on the rich for a subsidy on a favored group. My opponent can deny it all he wants on equivocation, but the reality remains the same.

3) Government Regulations
My mentioning of marketing appears to simply be a misunderstanding of my opponent's proposition.

The summary of my opponent's rebuttal here is that such and such proposition will require companies to give information. Again, they already do, in contracts. My opponent then points out that this information is indiscernable. Well, my opponent's proposition does not fix this problem. No change comes into effect whatsoever in reality. The information has always been disclosed, and will be continued to be disclosed in the contract, as my opponent proposed, as indiscernable information, as my opponent conceded.
This proposition reduces down to nothing.

Now, to my proposals.
1) Cutting monopoly benefits for insurance companies
This was conceded in round 3.

2) Occupational Licensure
My opponent appears to be advocating the mandatory medical training of every individual with his statement, "emergencies don't just happen in hospitals".
Besides this, he equates good doctoring to good lawyering. This is great for me, because I can now refute occupational licensure from this analogy. Making all lawyers "good" by requiring thorough education runs up their price considerably, as my opponent had mentioned passively in a different contention. It is not necessary for all doctors to be "good", here meaning "well-rounded", because this is contrary to Division of Labour [1], the specialization of the labourer, which, throughout history, has created a wealthier society. Combining multiple professions into one is NOT beneficial to society, due to its inefficiency. Using violence to make healthcare less efficient, more expensive, and less specialized is generally a harmful thing.

We have seen the effects (expensive and low-quality healthcare), which have been artificially imposed by occupational licensure.

My opponent still holds that some natural right exists to be birthed by a licensed doctor. Again, no such natural "right" can exist, and it is absurd. My opponent's premise lies on the assumption that less specialized doctors are preferable to highly-trained and specialized midwives, which is false. The specialized individual's midwiving is more likely to be successful than the well-rounded individual's midwiving.
My opponent's rebuttal essentially lies on the unwarranted assumption that a government license means quality. Disregard this assumption, and know that the principles of Division of Labour and competition work otherwise.

My opponent brings up the issue that some people cannot afford an operator. This problem is due entirely to occupational licensure, which forces up the price of medical workers, as my opponent conceded in Round 3.

My opponent also asserts that "liability... won't pay for all of it". This is, by definition, false, because liability requires that all damages be paid.

3) Eliminating the FDA
My opponent's rebuttal is based in two Marxist fallacies:
a) "the government favors the citizen"
Historically, this is false. No example can be given, from Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia to American Fascism. This is because government is guaranteed an income through the violence of taxation. Government only needs to meet its "customer's" needs to an extent that mass armed rebellion will not occur. Government resents its consumer, which it sees as simply a drain on the budget. [2]
b) "the private sector favors profit"
While true, the private sector can only obtain profit through voluntary transaction. It cannot use violence. This drive for profit forces competing companies and individuals to meet the demands of thsoe purchasing their goods and services. This eternally and continuously favours the individual [2].

My opponent's premises should call for the immediate Socialization of the entire healthcare industry. This in itself negates the resolution, for from my opponent's own false premises, I can develop a better healthcare proposal than my opponent.
However, his premises are false, as shown above. The drive for profit means that companies cannot allow mistakes leading to lawsuits and class actions, diminishing profit.

Therefore, my opponent's claim as to private companies rushing through an HIV vaccine is easily refuted. To rush through such a harmful vaccine to an eager populace would mean an end to any company involved in addition to the public humiliation of the individuals.
On the contrary, when we assume that the government has control of such a vaccine, all it has to lose is a little public favor. Government officials are highly susceptible to bribes, which can either harmfully speed up the approval process, as in the case of DDT, or cause perfectly safe drugs to be stalled or banned, as is currently being done with diabetes treatements [3].

CONCLUSION
My opponent has dropped one of his proposals and conceded one of mine.
The rest of my opponent's case ignores the primary reason for high medical costs, monopoly priviledges, and argues for an ineffective means of lowering government losses in bankruptcy claims.
My case offers a means of lowering medical costs and allowing efficiency through market specialization found in the principles of Division of Labour. My opponent's rebuttals lie in fearmongering (operations with a rusty spoon) and the guaranteeing of nonexistent rights.
VOTE CON.

[1] Adam Smith. The Wealth Of Nations, Book One, Chapter 1.
[2] Murray Rothbard. For a New Liberty, Chapter Thirteen.
[3] http://finalcurefordiabetes.blogspot.com...
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by drewMurrdotCom 7 years ago
drewMurrdotCom
Republican, "the private sector favors profit, the government favors the citizens." ?? That is only good in theory, and if the theory were true, Communism would be our best option. The fact is that the private sector is the most effective at providing for the citizens because providing for the citizens is the quickest way to make a profit provided an adequate system of accountability.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
So according to Pro, rights depend on where you are born.
Posted by Republican95 7 years ago
Republican95
"I will not attack my opponent's defenses of his arguments."

I mean now, not not...sorry...
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by drewMurrdotCom 7 years ago
drewMurrdotCom
Republican95wjmelementsTied
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Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Republican95wjmelementsTied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Republican95wjmelementsTied
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