The Instigator
HandsOff
Pro (for)
Losing
95 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
97 Points

Universal health care nuts should also be in favor of universal food, shelter, clothing, etc.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,899 times Debate No: 4332
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (35)
Votes (46)

 

HandsOff

Pro

If universal health care crowd were capable of being a little more consistent, they'd be communists. Despite the fact that nowhere in our founding documents is health care declared a "right," proponents who want to make it a right point to the fact that health care is a human necessity. But there is a huge problem with this argument. If the degree of necessity is the criteria for converting a private service into a public entitlement, why isn't universal food, clothing, water, shelter, transportation, etc. on the agenda? These items are considered much more important than health insurance. This is demonstrated by the fact that so many people without health insurance forgo it voluntarily to make room for their car and even cell phone payments. What gives?
Danielle

Con

Fact: Thousands of working Americans lose their health insurance every day.

Fact: Millions of insured Americans are one illness away from bankruptcy.

Fact: Health care costs are spiraling out of control [1].

And here are some more facts for you: Despite popular belief, most doctors (nearly 60 percent) support UHC (Universal Health Care). In addition, 83 percent of psychiatrists, 69 percent of emergency medicine specialists, 65 percent of pediatricians, 64 percent of internists, 60 percent of family physicians and 55 percent of general surgeons favor a national health insurance plan [2]. These are bright individuals who work with patients every day, and know that for people without health insurance, their options are very limited -- they either choose to spend ALL of their income for whatever procedure/examination/medicine they need... thus bankrupting them entirely, which is not only bad for the individual, but for the entire state as well - OR - they just ignore their health problems which is also horrible for the individual as well as detrimental to society at large.

Other countries with national health care programs (Britian, France, Canada, etc.) spend LESS on health care than the United States per capita, PLUS they achieve better results for patients [2]! This shows that there is definite need for reform in our country where over 47 million Americans live without health insurance. In that case, it is possible for UHC to be established and to benefit the people in this country in a way that provides better health services for a cheaper cost. Imagine that. Now if people achieved these results -- I'm pretty sure the United States of America is capable of competing with nations like Canada in terms of health care benefits -- remember that those who prefer privatized insurance programs can still go that route if we so choose. The whole "I shouldn't have to pay taxes for a program I don't agree with" argument does not and cannot apply; for instance the U.S. spends 12 BILLION DOLLARS on anti-drug programs that I do not agree with or support, yet I still have to pay taxes that fund these programs, don't I?

Further, let's keep in mind that our taxes don't necessarily have to be raised (if so, not by much) if we would only change our priorities in terms of the allocations of funds. For instance, that $12B on anti-drug programs is unnecessary in my opinion. For those that don't agree, consider the fact that we spent upwards of $40 million dollars in terms of investigation on the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals (by the way - we only spent $15 million for the 9/11 Comission to examine the terrorist attacks of 9/11). We also spend 168 million dollars on abstinence-only education! And let's not forget that we spend more than $341 million dollars PER DAY on an incredibly unpopular and unsupported (not to mention uninstigated) war [4]. If only these financial "priorities" changed, we would have A LOT more money to spend on health care. The cost of the war in Iraq alone is infinitely more than the cost of UHC would be for our nation.

For these reasons and others, I support universal health care in the United States. I don't think this makes me a "nut" and I believe referring to advocates of this program as such is disrespectful and quite unintelligent, actually, if you really take a look at the facts. So in that case, I believe I have said what I wanted to say so far in R1. I will now respond to each of my opponent's claims from his first argument:

"If universal health care crowd were capable of being a little more consistent, they'd be communists."

-- Nope. What a blatant exaggeration. I understand this reference was intended for dramatic effect, but it should not be considered relevant at all in terms of this debate unless my opponent elaborates on how the complicated economic system of communism would ensue just from the implementation of universal health care.

"Despite the fact that nowhere in our founding documents is health care declared a 'right,' proponents who want to make it a right point to the fact that health care is a human necessity."

-- Well, I'm a supporter of UHC but I don't deem it an absolute necessity; I just think it's an important thing to have. Further, nowhere in our founding documents are we given the 'right' to privacy or travel, but these are things we presume to be 'rights' and therefore have firmly established them in precedent and law. There is no reason why we can't do the same with health care.

"If the degree of necessity is the criteria for converting a private service into a public entitlement, why isn't universal food, clothing, water, shelter, transportation, etc. on the agenda?"

-- Isn't it though? First of all, again, I don't deem health care as much of a 'necessity' as I do food, clothing or shelter. However these are all things that must be provided - by law - say by a parent to a child. Therefore government programs or other amenities have been established to guarantee the basic transaction of these goods, i.e. food stamps or [free] water fountains in public parks. Medicaid is a start, but as we all know, it is severely flawed and nowhere near provides the medical coverage services that advocates of UHC wish to see in this country. Further, it is more likely that someone receive their nourishment needs via government than their health care needs in terms of currently existing programs.

"...So many people without health insurance forgo it voluntarily to make room for their car and even cell phone payments."

While that may be true for some (very few) people, it's certainly not true for all! I suppose it's easier to assume that this is the case to ease a few consciences about not supporting UHC. However the reality is that there are very poor individuals - who yes, are working - and cannot afford any type of health care, phone (let alone cell phone), transportation, etc. Again I ask that for this misguided argument to stand, my opponent should provide citation of factual evidence proving that this is the case for a majority of circumstances, otherwise this claim should not be considered evidence as part of the debate.

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

Sources:

[1] http://www.amsa.org...
[2] http://www.reuters.com...
[3] http://www.parade.com...
[4] http://www.nationalpriorities.org...
Debate Round No. 1
HandsOff

Pro

Those were very nice arguments in favor of universal health care. But my point was that the same (and even stronger) argument could be made for universal food, shelter, water, transportation and clothing. Additionally, who deserves to live without the ability to communicate? So I guess a universal cell phones could also be well argued. But that's beside the point.

Most of your argument had nothing to do with reconciling the inconsistency I cited. Health care falls below other human needs in degree of necessity, yet health care is the only need being called for by the left to be provided UNIVERSALLY by the government. In your defense you did not dodge the inconstancy completely. You did mention that some government programs provide food, shelter and clothing to the poor. But none of these programs provide these core necessities to everyone universally. So your examples still do not explain away the inconsistency in singling out health care as the one and only private service that should be socialized.

A government that provided all of lives top necessities universally to its citizens would closely resemble a large commune-- therefore my reference to communism.

In summary, you have not successfully argued against my point that if the univeral health care supporters were consistent they would support government providing all other basic human needs which are equally as or more important. You said yourself you don't even consider health care a necessity.

So which is it? Are universal health care proponents blatantly inconsistent, or are they just trying to scoop up the freebie currently offered while they wait for universal food, shelter and clothing to hit the ballot?
Danielle

Con

So it seems I've taken the resolution a little off-topic from where the instigator intended for it to go. Very well, I do not think it will hurt my case or my position in this debate -- As Con, I must prove why advocates of universal health care should NOT also be advocating for universal food, shelter or clothing. Got it. Well consider R1 to be a detailed explanation of why advocates of UHC are calling for it in the first place, and they are not "nuts" but rather concerned (and sometimes desperate) Americans who are enforcing their constitutional right to call for change.

In terms of this debate, Pro has asked that I explain the so-called inconsistency of singling out health care by wanting to make health care universal, whereas other basic human needs like food and clothing are above health care in terms of the hierarchy of necessity, yet people aren't advocating for socialized shelter.

First, as I've pointed out, universal food, shelter and clothing are already provided to those in need by the government. Pro notes, "But none of these programs provide these core necessities to everyone universally." This is true; one must qualify and meet the living standards deemed appropriate to receive "free" food and shelter. However this is because there is not enough funding in the tax budget to distribute to everyone but those who are deemed in dire need. #1 - Americans don't want to raise taxes for universal food, shelter and clothing, because that would essentially turn us into a communist nation. Specifically making health care universal would NOT turn us into a communist nation, as is demonstrated by other countries who implement universal health care and are not communist (i.e. Canada, Britain and France).

#2 - One could buy food to live with just a few dollars a day; however, some medical care and costs can be thousands upon thousands of dollars, putting families into debt and/or causing them to seek no treatment at all (which may cost them their health/lives). Prescription drugs, operations or other medical procedures, doctor visits, etc. are all a lot more expensive than these basic needs, especially because there are often no alternatives.

... For instance, if I broke a bone and needed surgery, there is no getting around that. But if I'm hungry and can't afford a gourmet meal or even a fast food meal, there's always the option of buying a bag of Ramen noodles for 25 cents, or in a moment of desparation, even taking left-over food out of the trash (such as some homeless people often resort to). However while one can build a make-shift place to live (even from a cardboard box) and survive, one cannot perform heart surgery on themselves, for instance, thus making health care a greater need. The same example applies to buying a t-shirt at a craft store for $2 as opposed to an Armani shirt for $200.

Third, keep in mind that not only the impoverished can benefit from universal health care. The middle class often cannot afford health insurnace while they CAN afford food, shelter and clothing. Thus my opponent has tried to conclude that it is not logical for one to support universal health care and not support universal food; however, he is trying to draw a link where there is none. While I do deem food a greater necessity than health care in general (in terms of life or death), that does not mean that we - as a nation - need universal food more than we need universal health care.

So again, offering universal food, clothing and shelter would turn us into a communist nation. We already have programs that offer assistance in these areas to those in dire need. However the establishment of universal health care would NOT turn us into a communist nation. Instead, it would eliminate the high cost charged by insurance companies, and we'd pay less money for (at least) equal or better health care. Everyone would receive this benefit - not just the rich, and not just the poor. Keep in mind that making health care universal could/would probably increase the salary one earns, because offering health insurance would no longer be a perk of a job offer. They'd have to find other incentives to reward their employees with. Hmm.

All-in-all, I have pointed out why universal health care is a good idea, while offering universal food, clothing and shelter is not. Universal health care would SAVE people money, whereas the taxation from all of those other goods would cost people money. It also just doesn't make sense in general, whereas universal health care does make sense. So basically, even if you don't agree with universal health care, that's fine... but to say that supporters of UHC should also support other universal programs is presumptious and frankly kind of absurd.
Debate Round No. 2
HandsOff

Pro

"they are not "nuts" but rather concerned (and sometimes desperate) Americans who are enforcing their constitutional right to call for change."

But you could say the same of those who would call for universal food, clothing and shelter-- the likes of whom me and most of America would consider a little "nuts." So I see (and many others) the UHC crowd as no different. They don't deserve preferencial treatment.

"But none of these programs provide these core necessities to everyone universally." You reply: "This is true....because there is not enough funding in the tax budget to distribute to everyone."

So you think we should implement universal health care simply because we can afford to. I gather you would also be in favor of universal food and shelter if we could afford to do that too. The truth is we can. We can afford to do it all. We can actually afford (if we pooled all our resources) to create an entire country full of dependents and provide their every need. And again, that is called communism. Just because we(or the unfortunate minority you will have paying for this)can afford something is not cause enough to implement it.

"Americans don't want to raise taxes for universal food, shelter and clothing, because that would essentially turn us into a communist nation."

Why not? If their in favor of doing it for health care, then why not for the more important needs in life? You still fail to address this inconsistency.

"Specifically making health care universal would NOT turn us into a communist nation, as is demonstrated by other countries who implement universal health care and are not communist (i.e. Canada, Britain and France)."

But it we know they are capable of it, and it could be easily argued they they should go all the way. After all it doesn't make any logical sense to offer one of life's needs over those that are more important. They, like UHC proponents in our country are simply inconsistent. And, as I have said, if they were consistent, they would be communists.

"One could buy food to live with just a few dollars a day; however, some medical care and costs can be thousands upon thousands of dollars."

When is the last time you saw the price of house? Clothing, rent and rood are by far more costly than private health insurance currently available. Policies for young people are particularly affordable (from as little as $80-$150 per month depending on coverage). Most of the 18-to-25-year-old whiners who are pushing for Obama and his assortment of freebies are simply blowing off getting health insurance and opting for car payments and cell phone bills instead. You for instance-- I'll bet you had no health insurance at the time of your accident but were able to use your Samsung text your friends and family to let them know you were okay.

"The middle class often cannot afford health insurance while they CAN afford food, shelter and clothing."

Yet I don't know many middle class without nicer cars than they really need, cell phones for most every family member and DSL service for their multitude of home computers. Let's not forget video game equipment and flat-screen TVs. The people in this country who TRULY cannot afford health insurance are a very small minority of those who do not have it. And these people (just as those with no food, shelter, and clothing) should have some TEMPORARY relief available if their situation truly warrants it. There will always be poor people (by choice or circumstance), but that is no excuse for socialism.

"my opponent has tried to conclude that it is not logical for one to support universal health care and not support universal food; however, he is trying to draw a link where there is none."

I thought you would need to get creative to reconcile the inconsistency we have been discussing up to this point, but denying the inconsistency exists at all is a bit of a stretch. After rounds of discussing the inconsistency we have both already acknowledged, you are now claiming there is no inconsistency whatsoever because "no link can be drawn" between one human need and another. I'm going to give you a hall pass on this one and move on with our debate.

"While I do deem food a greater necessity than health care in general (in terms of life or death), that does not mean that we - as a nation - need universal food more than we need universal health care."

There's that inconsistency again. But again, no real defense for it has been put forth. But at least you're acknowledging we still have a debate topic at all.
Danielle

Con

My opponent's R3 argument revolves around inconsistency. He maintains that people who advocate for universal health care should also be in favor of universal food, clothing, shelter, etc. Now while he brings up some good points in terms of discussion, he has very little merit in terms of DEBATE. This dialog is not solely about the exchanging of ideas, but about proving and disproving the resolution. As Con, my beliefs are irrelevant -- I simply must explain why people who may be for UHC should *NOT* also be in favor of universal food, shelter and clothing.

My opponent has affirmed his very own inconsistency by continuously pointing out his reasoning as to why universal food, shelter, clothing AND health care are all unfavorable. Therefore, Pro is suggesting that instead of just promoting ONE "bad" idea (universal health care), liberals should be promoting FOUR bad agenadas. How does that make any sense? It doesn't. Thus if you are a fiscal Conservative and AGAINST universal health care, chances are you would also be against universal food, shelter and clothing... so why would you want people advocating for those things? Especially at a time like this, where it's likely that more liberal agendas will be taken into consideration now that the Bush regime is coming to an end. Therefore if you are in opposition to universal food, shelter and clothing, you should vote Con, as you agree that those "nutsos" who advocate for UHC shouldn't also be pushing for more universal provisions.

To those that DO support universal health care, you shouldn't also support universal food, shelter and clothing and here's why: it would turn us into a communist nation. Granted Pro has used the "why shouldn't the government provide the even more important things in life" logic, but as I've pointed out, even if food, clothing and shelter ARE greater necessities than health care (which they usually are), it doesn't mean that we should resort to being a communist nation, as it would hurt us - the United States - economically and politically both domestically and globally.

So to re-cap, it is possible that we provide UHC that grants us BETTER HEALTH CARE FOR A FRACTION OF THE COST. This benefit would apply to everyone regardless of economic status. Supporting this one notion in particular does NOT mean that you should support communism and all that comes with it (social repercussions, for one). Pro has not provided one reason as to why you SHOULD support communism, except to say, "Why not?" or "it could be easily argued they they should go all the way" in referring to providing universal relief... except Pro didn't explain WHY 'they' should go all the way.

Essentially, Pro has been advocating for communism yet does not support this reasoning other than to say "it doesn't make any logical sense to offer one of life's needs over those that are more important." I disagree. I say that if providing universal goods for all of the basic life needs would make us communist, then screw it -- we don't wanna go down that path for innumerable reasons (most of which have little if any relevance to this debate). However if it's possible that health care is provided WITHOUT having to be communist - or without having to raise taxes through the roof - then I'm all for it. It's as simple as that.

Pro has attempted to skew my words, the facts, and provide misguided reasoning to get you to see his side. For instance, "I gather you would also be in favor of universal food and shelter if we could afford to do that too. The truth is we can. We can afford to do it all. We can actually afford (if we pooled all our resources) to create an entire country full of dependents and provide their every need. " Here Pro leaves that bit about pooling resources in (parenthesis) as if it's a little side note, when really, it goes against everything I have been arguing. I have said repeatedly that I do not believe in the US being communist, and yet Pro accused me of supporting universal goods... even though... I am against those things as Con...? Hmm, okay.

The truth is that I *would* be in favor of providing universal food, shelter and health care IF it was of no expense to me or any other of my fellow Americans (regardless of how rich they were). However that would be pretty impossible and could never really be an option, so why bring it up? Pro was attempting to present me as a Communist by saying "if we could afford it" I would support it. That's not true at all. I'm very much aware that if we pooled our resources together we could certainly afford those things. However I am not advocating for us to pool our resources together and either are those who are in favor of UHC. By supporting UHC, you wouldn't be asking for a great increase in taxes (IN FACT IT WOULD SAVE YOU MONEY), whereas providing all of those universal goods would be very expensive AND require the pooling of funds... so AGAIN, I am not in favor of those things.

Next my opponent attempts to argue that health care is far more easily accessible and affordable than the reality. First of all, his assumption that people are choosing to spend their money on cell phones or car paymemts is a blatant lie. I've already addressed in previous rounds how this assumption is unsupported and uncited, most likely because it is untrue in most cases. If Pro wanted to argue otherwise, he should have done so with factual evidence instead of just his own two cents about something he probably knows very little about. Second of all, even if that were true, Pro is ignoring the fact that UHC would also be cheaper (and of better quality) for those people who are already paying for their own private health insurance!

I would also like to point out that the cost of health insurance is far more expensive than the $80 Pro claims it to be, at least where I live. It's also particularly convenient that he chose young people for his example, whereas in reality, it's the Baby Boomers - the elderly - that are suffering and paying incredibly high insurance rates (much higher than $80! Ha!) and cannot afford quality health care. The key word here is quality, as even those who can afford it are often subjected to crappy policies that cover little to nothing and are sometimes pointless or not worth it.

But anyway, to re-cap, Pro is the one being inconsistent here: he continously explained why universal anything would be a bad idea, but goes on to state why people should advocate for not just one but all of these things...? By his logic, you should not support one and not the other. Well a lot of people support the one regardless of whether he agrees with it or not, so if he really thinks these things are all a bad idea, he should not logically conclude people support 4 bad ideas instead of just 1.

Now if he's only saying that supporting one and not the other doesn't make any sense, again he is wrong: people should not support universal food, shelter and clothing because it would turn us into a communist nation (and Pro hasn't explained why that wouldn't be a bad thing). Supporting these things would also significantly raise our taxes, whereas supporting UHC would not. It would in fact be CHEAPER and BETTER QUALITY insurance. Pro has not disagreed with this. So right here, we can see how there is no inconsistency, but simple logic in supporting UHC. For instance, I now have health insurance, but UHC would improve the quality and cost of health care for all. Charging tax payers for other universal needs would NOT benefit me or many others. Therefore I - a supporter of UHC - do not support those other policies, and have successfully negated the resolution.
Debate Round No. 3
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: fire_wings// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision:

[*Reason for removal*] Vote placed outside of what is considered to be reasonable expectations for proper voting conduct. Contact head moderator Airmax1227 for details.
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Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Many countries have socialized medicine without socialized food, shelter, etc. My only point is that they are inconsistent to offer one while not persuing the others. I do not argue whether all or any are good ideas.
Posted by KommanderWill 8 years ago
KommanderWill
Some universal healthcare nuts were also in favor of universal food, clothing, and shelter. They were the soviets, but even the communists among communists abandoned thier awful policy of collectivized farming eventually, saving thier nation from starvation.

Maybe universal healthcare nuts dont push for socialized agriculture becuase they realize how bad of an idea it is.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
We agree. But I believe that if the government wants to be kind-hearted with the time and resources of others (by forcing them to provide even emergency services), its only fair that it reimburse them if they are unable to obtain payment in a timely manner.
Posted by Oolon_Colluphid 8 years ago
Oolon_Colluphid
Did you read what I wrote earlier? I'm only advocating for emergency scenarios. I think there is a very good argument to be made against using the emergency room for non-emergencies. It was not my intention to counter your Universal health care argument. My intention was to counter the idea that emergency situations should only be treated based on expectancy of payment.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
"As demonstrated again and again you are a pessimist who assumes a free rider in all these scenarios"

Now substitute the word "realist" for "pessimist" and I'll agree with you. And I'm not talking about that rare case where someone is bleeding to death. The poor cram our ERs with their sniffling children and no intention of paying. That's why they go the ER for non-emergency treatment-- they know it is mandatory that they get treatment in the ER regardless of whether they plan to pay. A doctors office, pizza joint, or filling station would consider them crazy for trying to obtain products or services without paying or demonstrating the ability to pay.

BTW: You did not address my last points about the inconsistency in someone PRO universal health care and CON universal food, water, housing and clothing. Come to think of it, no one has done that yet. Why am I behind on votes? Hmm? Do I detect some issue bias?
Posted by Oolon_Colluphid 8 years ago
Oolon_Colluphid
Can you think of any other industry in which clients will die if they don't receive their commodity? Of course not, it's apples and oranges to compare the morality and legality of winning a bet to the morality of letting a man die. No one is playing dumb. As demonstrated again and again you are a pessimist who assumes a free rider in all these scenarios, so excuse me for not humoring you. As I have pointed out, good faith deals will be made in emergency rooms until instant credit/bank statements with default consent. In the meantime there is no way to tell a rich man from a poor man when they lying bleeding on a gurney.

I'm not arguing in favor of universal healthcare. Besides I do support emergency room service, medicare, and food-stamps. Providing the basics to those in extreme conditions.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
"The car is not necessary for the buyer to live."

Yes, but food is necessary to live, and those who believe in universal health care would be for universal food if they were consistent. So just as my opponent continually made my point for me, here you doing it again. Change your vote now, and we'll forget all about this.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
REVISION

Oolon,

"no one is forcing you provide services for free as you continually claim."

You can play dumb all you want. My dad had funny line when we were kids. Every time we won a bet against him and asked him to pay up he'd say "I'd rather owe it to you than steal it from you." Do you understand why that's funny?

Not that one case of injustice justifies another, but can you think of any other industry where "free" individuals are FORCED to provide services to others without asking for evidence of their ability to pay?
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Oolon,

"no one is forcing you provide services for free as you continually claim."

You can play dumb all you want, but My dad had funny line when we were kids. Every time we won a bet against him and asked him to pay up he'd say "I'd rather owe it to you than steal it from you." Do you understand why that's funny?

Not that one case of injustice justifies another, but can you think of any other industry where "free" individuals are FORCED to provide services to others without asking for evidence of their ability to?
46 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by darris321 4 years ago
darris321
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Reasons for voting decision: "As Con, my beliefs are irrelevant -- I simply must explain why people who may be for UHC should *NOT* also be in favor of universal food, shelter and clothing." That's something to keep in mind. Pro wasn't even debating the whole time. It was just "well why not this?" and then con would answer. This debate clearly goes to con. There were a couple spelling/grammar errors on both sides but pro slightly had more. Ex. the singular of criteria is criterion.
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Vote Placed by numa 7 years ago
numa
HandsOffDanielleTied
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