The Instigator
gahbage
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
robert.fischer
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

You surmise, I decide.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/8/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 793 times Debate No: 5318
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

gahbage

Pro

Contender R1: Propose at least 3 resolutions of varying subjects, and pick "PRO" or "CON" for each one.

Instigator R2: Choose a resolution to debate.

Contender R2: Choose first or second. If the contender goes first, he/she cannot post an argument in the final round. If the contender goes second, the debate will proceed as normal.

Rounds 3-5: Debate!
robert.fischer

Con

This sounds like a cool idea... and I'm game. The three resolutions that I propose are...
1. Resloved: The Federal Government of the United States of America should not provide health insurance or free or reduced cost health care to the citizens of the United States.
I would argue PRO.

2. Resolved: The Federal Government of the United States of America should not make illegal the consumption, possesion, or liscensed selling of marijuana, nor make it prohibitively expensive with taxes, fees, or tariffs.
I would again argue PRO.

3. Resolved: It is the right of every citizen of the United States of America to have the following needs provided for by the Federal Government: the right to be employed, the right to be insured, and the right to be housed.
I would argue CON.

I look forward to this debate, and I would like you to go first. In this way, we can debate in round 2. Just post which one you would like to debate, and include your first speech.
Debate Round No. 1
gahbage

Pro

Resolution 1, "The Federal Government of the United States of America should not provide health insurance or free or reduced cost health care to the citizens of the United States." You are PRO, I am CON.

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and for allowing an extra round. Continuing to contentions:

Contention 1: The purpose of government includes supplying a form of health care.

The purposes of our government include (but are not limited to) protecting citizen's rights and ensuring their safety. Health care (obviously) helps to keep one safe and maintain their right to life as much as possible. Why have to waste all that money on surgery from an accident that threatened your life/safety, when these protections should come free [as possible]?

Contention 2: Forcing some people to pay for health care while giving it away to others is unfair.

EVERYONE has the rights listed in contention 1, so why make people pay for them if they can afford it? For instance, let's say Joe is living just under the poverty line and cannot afford health care because he works two low-pay jobs to pay for his apartment. So he gets it free. But Jim, on the other hand, is a middle-class newlywed. He lives in a townhouse, and works hard to support his wife and her expected child. Since he can afford health care, he must pay for it.

But why should Jim have to pay for his health care when Joe gets it free? This is obviously unfair. Not only is the government neglecting Jim's rights to safety and life by providing them for Joe, but they are also overlooking the fact that Jim needs as much of his salary as he can get.

That's all I will put for now. I await my opponent's contentions and rebuttals.
robert.fischer

Con

I like your style... So, if you don't mind, I'll mimic it.

Rebuttal to Contention 1: The government has no Constitutional authority to provide health care.

This is simple enough... the Constitution was designed as a framework for our government. It specifically outlines what the government (specifically Congress) may do, and denies to it all other powers. Article I, section 8 list these granted powers; the wording of the document as well as the contemporary Federalist papers holds this list to be exhaustive. According to Article I, section 8, all powers not specifically delineated in this section are reserved to the states or to the people. Nowhere in this section does it speak of health care, or safety as it relates to health care, for that matter.
The only place in the Constitution that might even be construed into health care is the "general welfare" clause, which does not fit what would be necessary to allow federal health care provisions or insurance. If the Constitution were intended to give the government unlimited power based on the "general welfare" clause, why would it list out specific powers and deny all others in Article I, section 8? Contemporary writings of the framers support this; they all denied that this clause would give the government a "super-power" when arguing in support of the ratification of the Constitution in the Federalist papers.
Therefore, it is clearly not the proper role of the government, especially not the Federal Government, to directly provide health care or health care insurance.
Secondly, to quote, "Why have to waste all that money on surgery from an accident that threatened your life/safety, when these protections should come free [as possible]?"
You must realize that just because the recipient of the care is not paying for the care (directly) in full (or at all), it is not FREE. There are materials used and goods consumed when health care is delivered; even if it is just soap and a pair of latex exam gloves. This materials and goods must be paid for; that is to say, they have a cost. So, if free care (or cut-rate care) is given, either the doctor, insurance agencies, or the government (if the care is subsidized) must pay for them.
To focus on the government (as that is the topic), they must get the money to pay for the goods and services (or money to create such goods, if you like) from somewhere. They have three options, and I will discuss each separately.
The first option is that they simply print more dollar bills, or write a check on themselves, to pay for the goods and services. This is a horrible idea; it simply cause or exacerbates inflation by increasing the money supply, devaluing each dollar. In times of economic difficulty with inflation presenting a problem as it is, one can clearly see how this would be a devastating consequence.
The second option is that they, the government, increase taxes to generate revenue to pay for the goods and services. This is basically theft; taking from one person by force to give to another. Even though Robin Hood was giving to the poor, he still stole, and thusly was still a thief. Taxing one person to provide for another is similarly theft. I am coerced to pay that money; it comes directly out of my check and I go to prison if I refuse. You could use that money to do whatever you wish, it does not change the fact that I have been stolen from.
If I choose to donate, or choose to help, that is noble and great. Imagine if I walked down the street and saw a homeless man begging for change. It would be noble of me to give him a dollar, right? What if I pick-pocketed the man next to me and gave that money to the hobo? Would that not make me a criminal? We ought to hold our government to the same standards.
Furthermore, increased taxation puts an undue burden on the economy, which is already in an unstable position.
The final option is that the government takes out loans from domestic and foreign lenders to pay for goods and services. I hold this option to be obviously bad.

I have no problem with your second contention in principle; I agree that providing health care to some but not all is bad. The government, however, ought to provide it to no one; as I have argued above and will continue to argue.

So, now for some contentions of my own.

Contention 1: In the case of health care, free markets can provide health care at a lower cost than can managed or subsidized care.
This is a fairly simple argument. In a free market, providers must compete for the business of those seeking care. This causes each provider to remain competitive by maintaining service standards but lowering their overhead by working more efficiently and being less wasteful. It would not, as some would claim, lower standards of care universally; just as you would not patronize a dirty but cheap restaurant, you would not visit a doctor who had a reputation of shoddy performance.

Contention 2: In the case of health care, free markets can provide health care in a better quality that can managed or subsidized care.
Similar to contention 1, this is easy. As health care providers compete for business, they may begin to offer premium service, luxe accommodations, or other benefits to customers while not raising prices; just in an effort to remain competitive, they have to serve us better to serve themselves.

Contention 3: With a combination of contentions 1 and 2, free markets make health care more customizable and tailored to each individual.
By providing a mix of low cost or high accommodations (or both), each provider can nudge into a niche to serve a particular group of people or different needs. Think hotels: for a honeymoon, you might be wiling to spend the extra money to rent a room in a Hilton or other luxury hotel; for a routine travel stay, you might choose a Super 8 or other motel/motor lodge. Similarly, with health care, for a major surgery you could opt to spend the money (or use your insurance) to pay for a specialized doctor's services; for routine check ups you could front the $30 (a predictable expense not requiring insurance) to see a general practitioner.
This is, or course, one example of many.

Contention 4: Subsidizing or managing health care removes much of the incentive for young students to become doctors, thus reducing our supply of trained medical professionals.
This almost stands alone; by removing the profitability of being a doctor, fewer people will join the profession. Completely subsidizing health care would cap or control doctor's earnings, while also subjecting them to more paperwork, rules, bureaucratic legalese, and other hurdles. Taken in tandem, this means that the job is less attractive, and therefore, the supply of doctors goes down, meaning less care can be provided.
Debate Round No. 2
gahbage

Pro

Right into rebuttals:

My opponent's rebuttal to my first contention rests on the idea that "powers not given to the government are reserved to the people/states". This may be true, but my opponent overlooked the "Elastic Clause", ""The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof." If you've taken a class on American government, you know what this means: the government can essentially do what it feels is necessary and proper to carry out an act that isn't illegal/constitutional. Provided health care is not unconstitutional or illegal, and is a proper way to protect the rights mentioned in my opening argument, so there is no reason why the government should not have the right to provide it.

"There are materials used and goods consumed when health care is delivered; even if it is just soap and a pair of latex exam gloves. This materials and goods must be paid for; that is to say, they have a cost."

Of course - everything can be traced back to a cost. Food and water need to be paid for at some point, even though they are necessary to survive. The idea is to make it as free AS POSSIBLE, which I stated in my previous round. This would mean that health care should be as free as possible, because it is protecting your right to life and safety. The best way to do this is to make a government-provided basic health care plan. I will explain later.

"The first option is that they simply print more dollar bills, or write a check on themselves, to pay for the goods and services. This is a horrible idea; it simply cause or exacerbates inflation by increasing the money supply, devaluing each dollar."

It costs money to print money. Like I said before, even things as simple as water must be paid for at some point. That's just the way economics work.

"The second option is that they, the government, increase taxes to generate revenue to pay for the goods and services. This is basically theft; taking from one person by force to give to another."

How does the government raise money, then? Some amount of taxes are required to run a government such as ours. And this is not theft. When you pay for a hotel, are you being stolen from?

As for my second contention, I will address this later. Over to my opponent:

My opponent's first two contentions are basically the same as his third contention, "free markets make health care more customizable and tailored to each individual." Basically, he is saying that health care should be left in the hands of free markets because they can give different options to the citizens. Once again, I will address this later (I'm doing this because my next contention will negate whatever points I'm putting off).

"Contention 4: Subsidizing or managing health care removes much of the incentive for young students to become doctors, thus reducing our supply of trained medical professionals."

My opponent is stating that universal health care leads to less doctors. This is not a problem for two reasons:

1) Doctors will still have to do the job of treating patients; they will just not get paid directly from the patient.

2) Even if we ignore this, who wants to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for life and safety, when it should be made cheaper? If we do the thing that promotes the most rights, then doctors should not be as prominent as they are now anyway.

Now that I've refuted my opponent's contentions and negated his rebuttals, I will elaborate on the health care idea I have.

The government does not have to provide a health care plan that protects everyone from everything. They only have to set up a plan that provides common protections, like from a fire. States or free markets can provide extra area-specific things such as tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. This way, the government can provide a cheap health care plan while complying with my opponent's contentions and mine.
robert.fischer

Con

robert.fischer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
gahbage

Pro

Well, extend all my arguments to this round.
robert.fischer

Con

robert.fischer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
gahbage

Pro

Well, that's the debate...
robert.fischer

Con

robert.fischer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
I like how this is tied.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by robert.fischer 8 years ago
robert.fischer
gahbagerobert.fischerTied
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Vote Placed by bsufan101 8 years ago
bsufan101
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Vote Placed by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
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Vote Placed by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
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