The Instigator
aaltobartok
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Advidoct
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Universal Health Coverage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 994 times Debate No: 898
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

aaltobartok

Pro

America, right now, is facing a host of gigantic issues, both foreign and domestic. The issue of health coverage is one of the most prominent and important. It is, to me, a moral issue that almost 50 million American citizens (about 1/6 of the population) does not have any health insurance. Even more Americans do not have enough insurance to pay for important preventive care, prescription drugs, and hospital stays. Mandatory health insurance coverage (and substantative government subsidy of such) is the only way to solve this problem.

There are those who will say that this is "socialism" or "socialized medicine". In doing so, they fail to closely examine the policy proposals put forth by the leading advocates of universal health in the US. The one that is most agreed upon looks like this:

- All Americans must have health coverage. This is a point of some controversy, however to sustain a health system, even healthy people have to pay in in order to get benefits later. Ask any private insurer.
- To accomplish this goal, three options are available to the public:
1. Make available for purchase the high-quality health plans currently offered by Congress.
2. People happy with their current coverage would/could stay with their current coverage/
3. People currently uninsured and unable to pay could join a need-based payment (you pay what you can) health system.
- To pay for this all, you:
1. By having everyone insured, hospitals no longer need to transfer their emergency room losses to Medicare patients in order to break even. This costs the government about 14 billion a year. Combine this with IT overhauls to increase efficiency and patient records management.
2. Repeal the Bush Administration's corporate subsidy taxes, income tax cuts on the top 2%, and estate tax elimination. This all saves about 60 billion per year, more than enough to pay for the above proposal.

This is not socialized medicine. It is a multipayer, efficiency-based function protocol that would end up saving everyone (including the government)'s money.
Advidoct

Con

The united states government cannot become an insurance company.

Everyone is wants universal healthcare. if everyone gets insured, Great! But using the governments money is not an option. Right now, anyone can get healthcare, but instead of insurance companies paying the difference, the government does. If we create government agencies to insure people, we are not only paying to insure people, but we are paying to run the agencies themselves. Either way our government pays. Government based insurance doesnt solve the financial problems our current healthcare poses.

Also, if everyone can get insurance from the government for dirt cheap prices, everyone will regardless of their standard of living. With that many people enrolled in the program and at such low prices, the government is continually gunna have to poor money into the program. It'll become a never ending money pit that we will never be able to repeal. In other words...
an Economy Buster.

We need to find ways to incourage people to invest in insurance, not give it to them at the governments expense. If nothing else, our current state gives people a greater incetive to move up in life.

Finally, if the government gets THAT involved in health care, its gunna start passing laws that attack the prices. Though i agree the prices are too high, we cant cap them off via law. That WOULD be socialism, and socialism has never done anyone any good. Especially a people as wealthy as us. It only creates lazy people and very poor economies.
Government funding of health care isn't socialism, but its a huge step toward socialism, and socialized Anything is gunna be bad for this country.

I guess what im trying to say is this.
Yes, health care costs way too much
Yes, there are way too many people who cant afford basic health care
Yes, its a national problem
but No, we cant give them government money because that would be taking everyone down with them.

We would solve one problem, but create a dozen more
Debate Round No. 1
aaltobartok

Pro

"The united states government cannot become an insurance company." I do not propose that it become an insurance company. I propose that it purchase insurance (at discount, because of the number of plans that it would purchase) to cover those who cannot afford insurance. This is the way that insurance for Congress is done, and it works.

"Also, if everyone can get insurance from the government for dirt cheap prices, everyone will regardless of their standard of living. With that many people enrolled in the program and at such low prices, the government is continually gunna have to poor money into the program." Read the proposal. The free health care would be only for those who could not afford it. The policy proposed clearly states that "People currently uninsured and unable to pay could join a need-based payment (you pay what you can) health system". Note the statement "unable to pay".

"We need to find ways to incourage people to invest in insurance, not give it to them at the governments expense. If nothing else, our current state gives people a greater incetive to move up in life". What do you propose? If somebody cannot afford healthcare, how can you "encourage" them (learn to spell, there's a spell-checker right by the debate type box) to buy coverage? Give it to them at a price that they can afford.

"Finally, if the government gets THAT involved in health care, its gunna start passing laws that attack the prices. Though i agree the prices are too high, we cant cap them off via law". I do not see the sense in this argument. It immediately assumes that the government will pass law to cap insurance prices when NOWHERE in the policy proposed does it state that the government would be legislating price caps. The government would be able to negotiate lower prices for health plans because it would be buying so many.
Advidoct

Con

All right. I misunderstood ur proposition.

What ur proposing involves completely free healthcare for people who cannot afford healthcare. That IS socialism, not to mention entirely unfair.
The majority of this country can afford healthcare. People work hard, study, go to college, solely for the purpose of making enough money to meet their needs.
Why Should those who work hard, have to pay, while those who (generally speaking of course)dont work hard don't have too? What kind of incetive does that leave for people to want to work hard. All that tells people is that if they dont do their share of the work, the government will give them free money.
You can argue that its not fair that the people who cant afford healthcare dont get any, but all your plan does is switch the playing field. Instead of it being unfair for the poor, it'll be unfair for those who can afford healthcare.

Everyone MUST pay their own way.

Let me elaborate on my point about people not taking the initiative to move up. I am from Alabama. My school was across the street from the projects. Ive been all through what was New Orleans. I have seen the definition of poverty. I spent hours repainting, rebuilding, and supplying firewood to houses built in the 20s. I am very familiar with people in these situations. ive made friends with them. Ive slept over at their houses.
Ive noticed things about them though. Many of them werent bad off because of crappy luck. They werent bad off because of poor jobs. They were in such a bad position because they didnt know how to spend their money. Families couldnt afford to heat their houses, but they've got go-carts in the front yard. Dad cant bring enough food home, so he grabs his $800 rifle and heads out into the woods. These people dont need our sympathy. They do it to themselves. Their income can provide for healthcare. Its their life-styles that cant. The Biggest problem we face is that people wont pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. EVERYONE has the ability to get a good education. EVERYONE can find someway to finance college. EVERYONE can work hard at their jobs and move up. But they wont. Thats the problem.
Now if we choose to give these people money for the insurance or "pay their costs for them". Why would they want to better there financial position? Their wouldnt be much a of a reason too.

It all starts with one government give away. First its free healthcare. Next its free transportation money so people can get to work. Than its monthly allowances so they can pay for water, electricity and heating. The more we give freely, the less people are gunna work. You dont have to take my word for it. You can look at Europe, particualrly France. France has univeral healthcare paid for by the government. Its also got monthly allowances to all of its citizens. Its also got an aweful economy because of the 4 hour workday most French workers enjoy. It has a very poor work ethic. The problems are bad enough there that people would rather take to the streets and fight the government for free money rather then go to work and earn it.

Free healthcare is harmful.

For those people who honestly cant afford healthcare...
Here's what I propose.

Those who cannot afford healthcare register with the government. This does not count the hundreds of people who claim they cannot, but have a 2006 F150 in the front yard, 8 go-carts, and a gun locker the size of their trailer homes. You will need to bring documented proof, that your income will not meet healthcare costs.
After you have registered, you and your immediate family will recieve government issued cards, proving their financial inability to buy insurance.
Using that card they can get healthcare at government run clinics and hospitals, for free.
The catch is, government run hospitals would suck. They wouldnt have the best doctors. They woulnt have the best equiptment available, healthcare would be slow, and people would be placed on waiting lists. Thats not a punishment. Its just a reality of government run hospitals.

With this plan, people who genuinely cannot afford healthcare, can get the basic life-sustaining healthcare they need, but still have some insentive to move up.
The people who can, but choose to spend their money somewhere else, can choose to either get healthcare, or a plasma screen TV. They wont get sympathy though.
Those who can afford healthcare, will get a better level of healthcare from private companies.

Nothing is unfair. No insentive is removed. Everyone gets their needs met.
Debate Round No. 2
aaltobartok

Pro

"Why should those who work hard, have to pay, while those who (generally speaking of course)dont work hard don't have too? What kind of incetive does that leave for people to want to work hard. All that tells people is that if they dont do their share of the work, the government will give them free money." What about the people who work two jobs and can barely feed their families? What about all of the factory workers being laid off? What about the millions of unemployed Americans who cannot afford health care?

"It all starts with one government give away. First its free healthcare. Next its free transportation money so people can get to work. Than its monthly allowances so they can pay for water, electricity and heating. The more we give freely, the less people are gunna work." This is the slippery slope argument, making a last comeback from the grave. I do not propose that we pay people's bills for them, nor does anybody. What I do propose is that we provide health insurance for all of our citizens, based on need. If you want a country example, look at the booming economies in Germany, or Britain, or Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, - Oh, that's right! The USA is the only developed country not to provide health care for those who can't afford it!

"Those who cannot afford healthcare register with the government. This does not count the hundreds of people who claim they cannot, but have a 2006 F150 in the front yard, 8 go-carts, and a gun locker the size of their trailer homes. You will need to bring documented proof, that your income will not meet healthcare costs.
After you have registered, you and your immediate family will recieve government issued cards, proving their financial inability to buy insurance. Using that card they can get healthcare at government run clinics and hospitals, for free. The catch is, government run hospitals would suck. They wouldnt have the best doctors. They woulnt have the best equiptment available, healthcare would be slow, and people would be placed on waiting lists. Thats not a punishment. Its just a reality of government run hospitals."
OK. Now who's proposing socialized medicine? How much would this cost? Where does the money come from? It's millions, maybe billions or trillions more than my plan. This creates a massive government bureaucracy, and I thought that conservatism was against massive government. Oh, pardon me.

The people with flat screen televisions and ford F-150's: those would be included in the government assessment of need. If you have a new car and a nice house and make a claim that you can't afford to pay more than so many dollars of health care; then when your claim is investigated the claim investigator will find these things out and reduce the amount the government gives you. Only a few claims assessors will be needed per state.

Your idea is socialized medicine, not mine. Your idea creates massive government, not mine. My plan is a simple, effective solution that would guarantee that all Americans get health insurance. It would cost the government less than what we pay now. You have failed to disprove any of my major points; or to make effective arguments against them.

We need universal health care now, and my plan is the best way to do it.
Advidoct

Con

"What about the people who work two jobs and can barely feed their families? What about all of the factory workers being laid off? What about the millions of unemployed Americans who cannot afford health care?"

-Im not saying they dont need it. They do. Ive already addressed that. What I'm saying is, How is it fair to those who have earned enough money to pay their own way that those who haven't win a free ride?

"This is the slippery slope argument, making a last comeback from the grave. I do not propose that we pay people's bills for them, nor does anybody. What I do propose is that we provide health insurance for all of our citizens, based on need. If you want a country example, look at the booming economies in Germany, or Britain, or Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, - Oh, that's right! The USA is the only developed country not to provide health care for those who can't afford it!"

- but thats just it!! you ARE proposing we pay everyone's bills. Need I remind you??? You said,
"I propose that it [the government] purchase insurance (at discount, because of the number of plans that it would purchase) to cover those who cannot afford" insurance."
Insurance is a bill. What makes it any different from paying their water bill? They still need water to survive. Furthermore, my point is that if you start giving away free money, IT WILL NEVER STOP. Also, all of the countries you listed do have universal healthcare. They all also have poor economies and more civil unrest than we do. The United States may not have univeral healthcare, but we have a thriving economy and a good work ethic. The reason for that??? We haven't submitted to socialistic views on citizenship. Our free-market economy continues to thrive because we have not given free money. We have not SPOILED our citizens and we should not start now.

"OK. Now who's proposing socialized medicine? How much would this cost? Where does the money come from? It's millions, maybe billions or trillions more than my plan. This creates a massive government bureaucracy, and I thought that conservatism was against massive government. Oh, pardon me."

- Maintaining low quality clinics would not be any more than paying monthly fees for insurance until the end of time. It would be next to nothing to fund anyway. With the removal of Medicare, you could already almost fund it. You under estimate how much we pour into medicare every year. That tied onto your proposed tax repeals and outsider donations would easily cover those costs.
Also, My plan is not by any stretch of the imagination socialism. It is quite the opposite. It leaves people insentive to move up without a government piggy-back. It encourages people to work harder for better things. Your plan just wants to ride through the streets on a giant bus throwing money out to the poor. Giving free money is socialism. Not encouraging people to work harder.
I would like to emphasize the difference again
My plan gives people who need it healthcare, but leaves plenty of incentive to move up.
Your plan just gives everyone free money.
How can you honestly say that mine is socialism and yours is not???

Giving people free healthcare, will lead to them want more free government giveaways. The more they whine, the more people give it to them.
It is the first step down a road we DO NOT want to go down.

Socialzed healthcare is NOT the answer, and your plan IS socialized healthcare.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by elphaba1389 8 years ago
elphaba1389
ok, here's something to think about:

47 million people have NO health care, none, nothing.
50% of all bankruptcies in Americas are due to health care costs
companies are leaving this country at an alarming rate and the ones that are staying cannot keep up with the soaring health care costs.
Today, we have the insurance companies literally choosing who lives and who dies according to what claims they will pay and which they will not.
That is just a start!
We already spend twice the amount of any other industrialized country in the World on health care and we are getting ripped off by the insurance companies and big Pharmacies.
We are already paying more than what we are getting.
America is 37th in the World in health care and we are declining in many areas each year.

also, as far as people choosing not to get a good education or job etc., I seriously disagree. Yes, it's easy for you to say that people can go find a job or go to college. And yes, some people cause themselves to be in a financial predicament by poor budgeting, but what about the homeless? What are they to do? You know, just the other day I had to go to the hospital to give something to a doctor my mom works for. And there was a woman there who's loved one was severly hurt, life threatening. Instead of the nurses allowing her to go see her loved one, they were too concerned about whether she could pay for it or not. So she had to fill out insurance forms before she could be with her loved one. I'm sorry, but what happened to "do no harm"? It should be changed to "do no harm to those that have the money."
Posted by Advidoct 8 years ago
Advidoct
Its official, NSG definatly rocks
Posted by decisis 8 years ago
decisis
This debate got a little personal in my opinion. I am against socialized (or "national") healthcare, but I can't declare a victory for either side on the merits of this debate....DRAW.
Posted by NSG 8 years ago
NSG
I am with Advidoct!:) Go Mitt Romney!;-)

I personally think that it isn't about the rich, who can afford to simply go outside the established system by buying their own health care. The issues are really about how to provide health care to the poor and how to keep the middle class from being over-burdened by whatever system we put in place to help the poor.

First, I think we can agree that those who can afford health care should pay for it themselves, not have others pay for it for them.

Second, I think we can agree that all people who need health care should get it regardless of whether they can afford it or not.

But a universal health care plan that is run by the government won't work. It CAN'T work, because government bureaucracy is too big to allow it to work. Governments are there to deal with big issues and problems of an entire country, not the small problems of individuals. It is simply not designed to respond to the problems of individuals. When they try to do so, they fail, every time.

Plus, there's the point that "free" universal health care isn't free. If you lived in Sweden, then you would know what the tax rates in Sweden are like. Yes, they have universal healthcare for everyone, but it is slow, inefficient, relatively low quality (compared to the USA), overextended and they are paying 60%+ of their income in taxes for this system, which makes it a lot more expensive than anything we have here.

I think that the best way to get the poor to take control of their own health care is twofold: 1) with tax incentives as a positive incentinve, as you suggested, and 2) through disincentives and time limits for free health care, similar to what we have done with welfare. In essence, the carrot and the stick.
Posted by shwayze 8 years ago
shwayze
National Health Care would be a terrible idea. People need to get around the fact that life isn't fair. Everyone has the opportunity to succeed. That is what is beautiful about this free trade, capitalist country.
Posted by Boss_99_smk 8 years ago
Boss_99_smk
WOW, please list these "problems" that it would create. Here's a few thing to think about;
47 million people who have NO health care, none, nothing.
50% of all bankruptcies in Americas are due to health care costs
companies are leaving this country at an alarming rate and the ones that are staying cannot keep up with the soaring health care costs.
Today, we have the insurance companies literally choosing who lives and who dies according to what claims they will pay and which they will not.
That is just a start!
We already spend twice the amount of any other industrialized country in the World on health care and we are getting ripped off by the insurance companies and big Pharm.
We are already paying more than what we are getting.
America is 37th in the World in health care and we are declining in many areas each year.
It seems to me that this system is NOT working when we are sending people to death based on their income. So we need a system that works a National Health Care System. A single payer system that covers every single American BAR NONE. If we are so afraid of corruption in our govt, then go vote and throw the bums out, but Midicaide and Medicare works, our school systems work, our roads and Social Security Works, right up until we start laving up to Business to take over and PRIVATIZE everything. Don't become a slave to the nonsense and rhetoric sent by big business to the tune of 100 BILLION dollars last year. It is a farce, a lie . We must make a decision as a country if we are going to take care of each other, or let kids and our elderly die because of your income. Now is the time for a National Health Care System!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by vinavinx 8 years ago
vinavinx
aaltobartokAdvidoctTied
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Vote Placed by aaltobartok 8 years ago
aaltobartok
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Vote Placed by advidiun 8 years ago
advidiun
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Vote Placed by NSG 8 years ago
NSG
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