The Instigator
Whiplash
Con (against)
Losing
27 Points
The Contender
KevinL75
Pro (for)
Winning
39 Points

"Universal Healthcare" is just a euphemism for socialism.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,245 times Debate No: 564
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (22)

 

Whiplash

Con

It is typical for someone who opposes the various forms of socialized medicine to be cast as a hater of poor people, or someone who believes the rich should have access to a higher standard of medical care. This is not true.

I lead a healthy lifestyle. I don't drink, smoke, do drugs, or have unprotected or promiscuous sex. Therefore, why should I have to pay for people who do? Why should *I* have to pay for anyone who smokes themselves into lung cancer, drinks themselves into liver failure, or sleep around until they get an STD? The answer is this - I shouldn't.

The reason that universal healthcare is socialist is that it takes your money from you and redistributes it to someone else for a reason you may or may not agree with.
KevinL75

Pro

To start, I'd like to say that I'm not the most ardent supporter of nationalized health care in the world, so much so that I don't declare a position in my debate.org profile, but this seems like it will be a pretty theoretical debate, so I decided to give it a shot!

Whiplash, I do not think that for opposing a nationalized system of health care you're some monocle-wearing Mr. Burns-esque figure - your position is certainly logical and valid.

I do wonder however, what you think of other services provided by the government. If we follow your logic, we should privatize all retirement plans, schools, and even roads. Not everyone reaps the same benefits from Social Security, not everyone sends their children to public schools, and not everyone travels on roads kept up with public funds. Do you believe all of these things should be privatized as well?

If you label nationalized health care as socialism, you'll need to label those things as socialism as well. I understand that the title of this debate is hyperbolic, but there are elements of socialism in U.S. government already - implementing nationalized health care wouldn't make Lenin proud however, because it's still a very small portion of wealth being redistributed, if we want to use that term.

I'll leave my argument there for now and see where it takes us - I've got some other arguments I'd like to bring up later though!
Debate Round No. 1
Whiplash

Con

Thanks for responding!

I agree that there is no such thing as a purely capitalist society, and if there was the US would be far from it. The reason we have public funding for things such as roads and schools is that those are necessary elements of the nation's infrastructure. If we had a society without public schools, many children would not go and we would have chaos due to an overwhelming amount of uneducated people. Roads, too, are an example of something our society needs to function.

Universal healthcare is not, however. The vast majority of Americans have healthcare, either through private companies or Medicare/Medicaid. And the vast majority of the some 15% who don't are completely able to afford it. And the system certainly needs to be changed for those few but unfortunate individuals who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to be able to afford a private policy. Either through the expansion of Medicaid or, if absolutely necessary, more regulations on insurance companies, something should be done. Something, however, does not include an overhaul of our current system, because our current system rewards a healthy lifestyle.

And yes, my title was very exaggerated. I do not believe that universal healthcare would lead to a Marxist society, I simply believe that there is a free-market solution to the issue.
KevinL75

Pro

I don't accept the idea that if schools and roads were privatized, the U.S. would devolve into chaos. If public schools and public roads were abolished, the taxes associated with those services would also disappear, and individuals would have that money to spend on private education, and to pay tolls to drive on private roads.

I believe that the rates of children not going to school would be very similar to the rates of individuals who don't have health insurance. The majority of Americans would be able to afford private school (which would become cheaper if all schools were private,) and thus send their children to school.

So if, in our thought experiment, schools were to become privatized, I think you could make the exact same argument you're making now advocating against the nationalization of the school system.

That being said, you seem to think that the public school system is a good thing, because without it, a certain number of children would be uneducated, and that would be a bad thing.

I propose that a national health care system is a good thing, because without it, a certain number of citizens are chronically unhealthy, and that is a bad thing.

I also don't accept your assumption that the people most benefited from public health care would be those that have made bad decisions. Not everyone who gets treated for health problems has those problems because of bad choices they've made. We can't simply focus on things like smoking or drinking.

One final thing I'd like to mention is that if you put yourself under the veil of ignorance, I believe that nationalized health care is the most beneficial solution to whatever person you turn out to be that you'll be able to come up with.
Debate Round No. 2
Whiplash

Con

Really? Imagine you have to pay a toll for EVERY single road. And imagine this continues beyond paying for the construction of the road, but for the profit of the contractor. Riots would erupt.

Imagine all of the parents who have no standards for their children - the number of children who drop out of school (or never attend in the first place) would skyrocket as they become drug dealers or work at the local fast food joint for the rest of their lives, all because they did not have the benefits of an education.

Obviously, there are a great number of individuals who are unhealthy due to uncontrollable circumstances. They deserve to have healthcare, and many of them are rejected by insurance companies. So we expand Medicare/aid. That's called a tweak, not universal healthcare.

So, I'd like to redefine socialism for this particular topic if I may. It is the use of public funds to solve a problem for which there is a free market solution and few consequences associated with aforesaid solution. We already have insurance companies in place, and they contribute heaps to the gross national product. There is absolutely no reason to exchange the problems that come with insurance companies for the enormous wait times for medical care, the inevitable trudging through the bureaucracy and inefficiency of government, and the monumental tax increases. Every American deserves healthcare, and most have it. In order to cover the rest, we expand programs that are already in place.
KevinL75

Pro

You said: "Really? Imagine you have to pay a toll for EVERY single road. And imagine this continues beyond paying for the construction of the road, but for the profit of the contractor."

It's not that ludicrous of an idea. We pay into private companies' profits EVERY time we get gas, don't we? If all roads were privatized, I imagine some kind of yearly pass would become available, and it wouldn't be insanely expensive. I certainly don't think riots would erupt.

You said: "Imagine all of the parents who have no standards for their children"

All of them? I'm finding it hard to imagine any couple who would choose to bring a child into the world and have no standards for him or her. I don't claim that those parents wouldn't exist, but I think they would be a similar percentage (probably less) than those citizens currently without health insurance. Hence the analogy.

I'm not trying to make the argument that expanding the current system in order to insure every American is a bad idea. I'm simply trying to make the argument that nationalizing health care is ALSO not a bad idea. Of course, if we were to implement it, private health insurance would still exist, just like private schools exist despite public education.

Personally, I agree that we don't need nationalized health care, and we should simply make every effort to insure those who cannot reasonably insure themselves, but it was fun to advocate theoretically for a nationalized system!
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jathan 9 years ago
jathan
I would just like to point out that roads are public goods whereas education is a merit good. They do not fall under the same economic category and should not be argued on that basis. The rationale for funding education is entirely separate from that associated with roads, national defense, lighthouses etc.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
There is no such thing as a "bourgeois" government, whatever that means.
Posted by A-ThiestSocialist 9 years ago
A-ThiestSocialist
If socialized medicine were actually socialized, that would mean that the people in charge of it would have to be members of the working class. A bourgeois government that has nationalized an industry does NOT make it socialized.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
His definition of "worker" or "proletarian" excluded just about everyone but the poor.

Socialism is theft Luigi, and you misunderstand the very nature of rights if you think universal health care protects the right to life. Rights mean areas that are the exclusive domain of the bearer, which no other party may interfere with without consent. They do not mean a lien on others, an excuse to enslave them to your incompetence or disease.

You speak of helping the poor, helping them what? Helping them become government lapdogs? That's not a human life. And at the expense of the lives of every other man?
Posted by A-ThiestSocialist 9 years ago
A-ThiestSocialist
NO one in this debate (or commenting) seems to realize that when marx talked of socialism he simply talked purely about the workers. Nothing about government, nothing about "poor." Simply the proletariat.
Posted by Luigi_Umberto 9 years ago
Luigi_Umberto
There should be higher taxes on the rich, and with those taxes create benefits for the poor.. and emergency benefit is not the same, what if they have something thats not an emergency? like cancer? who guarantees them that they will survive? noone!! because they couldnt afford treatment, cancer is an indiscriminating desease People with lower socioeconomic status (SES) experience shorter survival times after a cancer diagnosis for many disease sites.. dont they have the right to life? shouldnt the government guarantee that right? instead of private companies that many of them only want profit not the well-being of people. People are selfish in nature if we dont "force" them to help the needy they wont.. the only way to assure that the poor will get medical treatment is to give them healthcare..
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
distributed*** darn typos..
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
Luigi, helping the needy and poor is a noble idea, just don't force anyone to do it. How can you provide the poor the same benefits as the rich without income distirbution (I avoid REdistribution because this would imply that the goverment distibuted the money in the first place)? How is that fair to the people that push theirselves through life to become sucessful?

As far as health care being a right, their is already a system in place to allow ANYONE, whether they are insured or not, to receive emergency care at ANY hospital.
Posted by Luigi_Umberto 9 years ago
Luigi_Umberto
I love how people are labeling socialism as this awful thing needed to be avoided. Socialism is not the same as communism, there are different classes, different inconmes, socialism just says that the same benefits given to the rich should be offered to the poor, or at least similar. DEMOCRATIC socialism works, and I cant put focus on democratic enough, if the people choose to, socialism is not bad, look at our european friends, many of them have working socialist societies, and the only difference is that people vote their representatives in. Forgive me if Im wrong, but helping the needy and poor seems like the best thing to do for the government not impose their will, but HELP people and if managed right socialism can become that. The fact that Huga Chavez is calling his so called revolution a "socialist revolution" is appalling, he is an authoritarian individual who needs the support of the poor thats why hes calling it that way, but really wants the country for himself. The governmet should pose a healthcare reform because I believe even if we dont have the same wages, people have the right to life, and thus the right to the same medical treatment, the only difference that there should be between the rich and poor are the luxuries, and forgive me if im worng, but medical treatment is a neccessity for survival and NOT a luxury.
Posted by Whiplash 9 years ago
Whiplash
Thanks for taking the time to observe the debate! (This is my first one, so forgive any novice mistakes. ^_^)
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