The Instigator
Jallen289
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
DaveDiV
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points

Universal health care

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
DaveDiV
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,403 times Debate No: 15008
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

Jallen289

Con

In this debate I intend to produce compelling arguments against universal health care in general and against my opponent’s arguments.

The United States spends $2.6 trillion on health care annually. This is roughly 17% of the country’s GDP. Due to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program), and state and public health care programs, the government is responsible for approximately 50 cents out of every dollar spent on health care. Health care is one of the most highly regulated sectors of the American economy. (1) And as this source points out, more government control means less personal freedom. I personally believe that Americans are smart enough to handle their own finances and the citizens who are not financially secure are not taking advantage of the opportunities that a free-market system gives them. There should be no level playing field, in my opinion. Everyone is entitled to the pursuit of happiness, but no one should have it handed out to them by the government.


In 2009, there were 50.6 million people in the country uninsured. That is up from 46.3 million in 2008. (2) This is a large number, and it does indeed continue to rise. Out of this number 9.9 million are not citizens or, they are illegal aliens. (2) Now if you believe that even illegal aliens should be provided with health coverage, than these numbers will not matter to you. It is my belief, however that if a person is in the country unlawfully they should not be allowed privileges that American citizens are allowed.


With that being said, we are left with a number of 40.7 million uninsured in America. In 2009, the average price of health coverage was $4,824. (3) That breaks down to $402 per month. (4) In 2009, 9.3 million of the uninsured in America made $50,000 to $75,000 per year and 10.5 million made over $75,000 per year. (2) If health care was such a high priority to Americans, than why are people who have ample finances to afford it, not buying it?


The face of Universal Health care…


Wait times in ERs in the UK were so long that the government created a target mandating that patients be seen in less than four hours. (5) The government could not meet this target and tens of thousands of people who call for medical emergencies, are held outside of the hospitals in ambulances for five or more hours before being picked up and in some cases, before being let into the ER. (6)


People prefer not to be admitted for Christmas and doctors prefer to keep them out of hospital, Dr Robinson said. But to discharge so many more on Christmas Eve – 8 to 10 per cent more than on an average day – implies a change in discharge criteria.(7) One reason doctors do not “care” as much under a socialized health care system, is because there is no competition to keep the doctors up to par. And when a patient is admitted and then discharged the same day, it doesn’t change the fact that it costs the taxpayers 1000 Euros per patient when admitted in the ERs within the target. (7)


Cleaners at Good Hope hospital with a poor record on superbugs have been told to turn over dirty sheets instead of using fresh ones between patients to save money(8). I don’t have to point out the obvious problems with this. This is another example of how medical care will become very poor under universal health care.


Other incidents include doctors asking patients to bring drugs from home (8), to people having to resort to home remedies, and super glue for teeth crowns because medical personnel cannot be found (9).


An organization by the name of NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) has the job of literally telling you what your life is worth, in money, and if it is worth living or not. Newspapers in the UK are littered with stories of drugs and treatments that are to “pricey” to extend life. Yet NICE is actually envied by a large portion of the world. Top health officials from around the globe closely watch and mimic the procedures of NICE. (10).


In Canada right now, a family is fighting to keep the hospital from removing a breathing tube from their son as a judge has ordered the family to allow the hospital to do so. Obviously, this is not something that would happen in America as long as the parents are legally sane. Liberals make fun of Sarah Palin, but you cannot deny that there are death panels, as evident by this story. (11)


Another argument from supporters of universal health care is that health care is a right and should be guaranteed to all Americans. However, health care is never mentioned in the Bill of Rights. The only rights in the founding documents are rights to action. Americans have the right to pursue happiness. They don’t have the right to have somebody else pay for it or achieve a level of happiness at the expense of someone else’s happiness.


Moreover, no citizen or non-citizen can, by law, be turned away from an emergency room. Millions of people who are uninsured, who liberals use to argue that we need universal health care, simply don’t want to pay for it. They would rather pay cash each time they visit the ER.


Government ran, socialist style health care has been a complete failure everywhere it has been instituted. We need to be responsible for our own health care. This will bring costs down as the government will not have to spend quite as much per dollar spent on health care.


(1)-www.heritage.org/Initiatives/Health-Care


(2)-http://www.census.gov...


(3)-Kaiser Family Foundation; Health Research & Educational Trust


(4)-My calculator ;)


(5)-http://www.dailymail.co.uk...


(6)-http://www.dailymail.co.uk...


(7)-http://www.timesonline.co.uk...


(8)-http://www.dailymail.co.uk...


(9)-http://www.dailymail.co.uk...


(10)-http://blogs.wsj.com...


(11)- http://www.foxnews.com...

DaveDiV

Pro

I thank my opponent for posting this debate and clearly taking the time to research the topic- if not impartially, than certainly thoroughly.

Since my opponent does not define Universal Health Care, I will do so now. Universal Health Care refers to a government run single-payer public health care system. Since this does not actually cover the UK- which my opponent references multiple times, we'll agree for argument's sake that countries with health care systems largely run by the government are close enough for comparison.

My opponent makes 3 main points against universal health care which I will refute in turn.

1) My opponent asserts that universal health care is a poor financial choice He opens his argument by throwing a lot of figures out, but doesn't attempt to give context to these figures or tell us what they mean. Unfortunately for him these numbers, almost without exception, are actually fine reasons to implement a universal health care system. As my opponent stated, the US health care system constitutes 17% of GDP- largest percentage in the world- and is considered one of the worst systems among industrialized countries(1)(2). Clearly, what we're doing is not the answer. A universal system would lower costs through a single payer system(3), it would remove the element of high "administrative" costs from insurance companies (which are enormous by international standards) (4), and lower medical costs overall by giving access to preventative care to those that could not normally afford it(5). In fact it is estimated that we could lower the health care costs from the private sector by as much as five times what they are now(4)(6).

My opponent makes the assertion that it's the poor's fault that they're poor and that poor and undocumented immigrants don't deserve medical treatment. This is one of the most ignorant statements I've ever seen followed by one of the most callus, but it's a moot point. My opponent doesn't want universal health care because he doesn't want to pay for these people to have medical care, but we already do. In fact, we also pay for the financially stable people my opponent mentioned who are too short sighted to pay for health insurance as well as those that get the "wrong" insurance and don't have necessary procedures covered. As my opponent stated, we don' turn anyone away who needs emergency care- if they're uninsured and can't pay, the hospitals have to cover the costs with other patients and this is reflected in costs of care and insurance premiums for us and our employers (in the area of 1100 annually)(6)(7). The assertion by my opponent that people without insurance simply "rather pay cash" is unsupported and baseless. With universal health care it would create a fair method of payment for all citizens- stopping those who simply don't pay their bills or try to "game the system" (jumping in and out of insurance as needed) from having a financial advantage over those who follow the rules.

My opponent finishes his argument by stating that "...socialist style health care has been a complete failure everywhere..." which is unsupported and blatantly false. Universal health care is utilized in many countries around the world, often with enormous success. In fact, it's been in Germany for over 100 years (8). Even in the UK where the health care system is in trouble, people are clamoring to avoid going to a "US style" health care system (9).

2) My opponent asserts that universal health care would reduce the quality of care. His main evidence is accounts of the UK health care system. While this evidence is largely anecdotal, I do not dispute that the UK system has many problems. However, to assume that the UK problems are due to the universal system is a logical (inductive) fallacy.

Wait times are a concern to many opponents and, honestly, supporters of universal health care. This misconception stems from a belief that the US has good wait times- which isn't entirely true. While the US does well with elective surgery and specialist appointments, it is among the worst with appointments with GPs and after hours care(10). Canada and the UK generally don't have very good wait times (though in many fields, still better than the US[10]) but these are not prime examples (although Canada has a quality system, it is not among the better universal systems), and many countries have better wait times with similar systems. Countries with universal and near universal systems like Japan, Germany and Switzerland all have wait times far better than the US almost across the board(9).

Another common misconception about universal health care is that the quality of treatment would go down as a result of implementing the system. The fact is that countries with universal systems have longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality rates than the US. Preventative care is much more prevalent in systems that are more concerned with health than money, because there is more profit in providing treatment than providing prevention(4). The idea that universal health care would stop competition makes no sense, because universal care does not automatically make hospitals and doctors' offices government run facilities. The level of competition would not change at all unless a single price was established across the board for procedures- in which case hospitals and doctors would still compete for business.

3) Possibly the most baffling argument against Universal health care is that people would lose control over their care. In fact, you would have much more control over your health care because you would not be hit with "out of network" fees when you went to certain doctors, hospitals or specialists. The only freedom you lose with a universal system is the opportunity to roll the dice and have other people pay for it if your gamble does not pay off (7). Aside from a blanket statement from heritage house, a self styled conservative analyst, my opponent offers no evidence of loss of control.

As for the death panel nonsense, this is a complete myth meant simply to raise an uninformed stink about health care reform. I'm out of characters, but I'll try to get to it next round. Until then: (SEE VIDEO)

And that's why people make fun of Sarah Palin.

Even a casual glance at the state of the US's health care system shows that it's not working. The United States is one of the most capitalistic countries in the world, and it's largely worked for us. However, capitalism as a rule values nothing higher than profit, so when it comes to an industry where something more important is at stake, like human lives, letting the market sort things out isn't the best course of action. Through Universal health care we could lower the total percentage of GDP used on health care- improving the health care system and quality of care while lessening the financial burden of the lower and middle class and not affecting the wealthy significantly. It is simply a system that- if implemented correctly- makes a lot of sense, it isn't just a load of empathetic hooey from those damn liberals.

(1)http://www.huppi.com...
(2)http://www.visualeconomics.com...
(3)NPR's oxford style debate
(4)http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com...
(5)http://www.dhs.state.or.us...
(6) http://content.healthaffairs.org...
(7) http://www.time.com...
(8) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(9) Frontline: Sick Around the World
(10) http://getbetterhealth.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Jallen289

Con

Jallen289 forfeited this round.
DaveDiV

Pro

Unfortunately my opponent did not respond, but this should give me some space to include the information I didn't have characters for last round.

2) I wanted to add another word about wait times. Part of the reason Canada and the UK have slower than average wait times is because people abuse the system by going to the doctor or hospital for every ache and pain(1). Adding a small co-pay for those who would not normally receive Medicaid would discourage this type of behavior. or, as in the Thai system (2), utilize a treatment card that tracks how often you visit health professionals and can alert the appropriate parties to abuse.

3) So I wanted to get back to death panels and how ridiculous a myth they are. This myth stems from part of the health care reform bill about paying doctors for talking with patients about end of life issues in voluntary sessions. This was misinterpreted by Betsy Mccaughey and this misinterpretation was wielded inexpertly by a number of right wingers who wanted to promote confusion and panic about the health care bill. (3)

This misinformation is similar to the Fox News story my opponent sourced as evidence of government control over health care in a universal system(4). Even in the story itself they mention that the family tried to have the child transferred to a Michigan hospital but the request was denied "likely because they believed nothing could be done for [the child]". Clearly the life support battle is not because of the type of health care system but because of the tragic vegetative state of the child (4).

I'm pretty sure I had more on patient control, but that will have to do. I hope my opponent has a chance to respond for the third round.

(1) Sicko
(2) Frontline: Sick Around the World
(3) http://www.nytimes.com...
(4) http://www.foxnews.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Jallen289

Con

Jallen289 forfeited this round.
DaveDiV

Pro

Unfortunately my opponent did not make it in time.

Extend my arguments, thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
Why didn't you just accept this debate?
http://www.debate.org...
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Johnicle 5 years ago
Johnicle
Jallen289DaveDiVTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Last 2 rounds were forfeited. 7 points to PRO.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
Jallen289DaveDiVTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
Jallen289DaveDiVTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit, and im pretty sure con copy/pasta.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Jallen289DaveDiVTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro produced a whole bunch of wrong arguments, but Con forfeited and so they stand unrefuted.
Vote Placed by darkkermit 5 years ago
darkkermit
Jallen289DaveDiVTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Jallen forfeited