The Instigator
radical258
Pro (for)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Con (against)
Winning
43 Points

universal health care

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2008 Category: Health
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,391 times Debate No: 2689
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (7)
Votes (15)

 

radical258

Pro

Drug companies and health insurance companies are quite literally killing America.
There is a new drug that should be on the market called low dose naltrexone. This drug was developed by a close friend of my grandfather, and I know people who have used it successfully. What it basically does is it blocks your endorfin glands in your brain for a period of a about 7 hours, so you take it before you go to sleep. What happens when you block these glands is your brain makes more and more endorfins until they break the block. The endorfins strengthen your immune system and this process creates a great excess of them This drug has been studied extensively and has worked on HIV/AIDS and other auto-immune diseases, Alsheimer's, and many other diseases. Other benefits include very few side effects and -here's the important one- a very low cost of production. On paper, this is practically the perfect product for the treatment for the specified diseases. The drug companies, however, are refusing to market and sell it because it's so cheap.

It's this kind of selfish capitalism that is costing innocent people THEIR LIVES. This is the basic situation. Capitalist A works for an insurance company. He's an executive that has a high enough salary already. Working-class citizen B has a brain tumor the size of a golf ball. He needs surgery that he can't afford. The job of the insurance company that capitalist A works for is to make sure he gets the money he needs. The reality of the actions insurance company make it seem that their objective is to AVOID giving citizen B his money by any means necessary.

This kind of thing is KILLING AMERICANS. It does not get any simpler than this. Citizen B is going to die for one reason and one reason only. Capitalist A needed the money to pay for his island vacation.

Need I say more?
Kleptin

Con

Pharmacy student here. I have some good news, and some bad news.

Naltrexone is a widely accessible medication used for detoxing addicts. Low dose naltrexone is simply Naltrexone at a lower concentration. I am very interested in this usage and I find that your explanation is very fitting. I am glad you decided to enlighten us on such an amazing drug and I do regret that drug companies will refuse to manufacture it.

However, there is probably something you don't know. Doctors are allowed to prescribe medications for something called "off label use". I did a quick wikipedia search to verify this and found that doctors are indeed prescribing low dose naltrexone for all the purposes you stated. So yes, people's lives are being saved at a low cost.

That was the good news.

The bad news is that I just debunked your opening argument!

****

The reason I believe universal health care will not work in the U.S. is simple.

Countries all over the world have universal health care, and many of our citizens look at the U.S. and cringe. Greedy drug companies don't want universal health care because that would cut their profits. That's bad right?

Not really.

People say that a pill costs 10 cents to make.

That's true. For the second pill. The second, third, fourth, hundredth pill costs 10 cents to make. But the FIRST pill costs BILLIONS of dollars to make!

When a new drug is developed, it gets a patent for about 10 years. This allows it to be sold as a product to gain a lot of money. However, it's more like gaining BACK the billions of billions of dollars to research the drug.

Drug companies use the profits to research more drugs. After selling one medication, they use the profits to pay their researchers and scientists to come up with more drugs to make more money and the cycle keeps going.

The U.S. churns out new medicines because drug companies keep competing with each other over profits. New drugs = big profits, that's why they keep churning out new drugs that aren't just being used in the U.S., they are being used all over the world!

So a drug company may spend a billion dollars making the drug, but a company in another country can just make that drug for just 10 cents. Countries with universal health insurance can steal our medication ideas.

With universal health care here, drug companies would stop competing with each other because prices would be regulated too heavily. What would be the point of spending billions of dollars for a new pill if you can't charge lots of money for it?

Research between competing drug companies would stop. The only new drugs we would get will be from government labs. And the government won't have enough money to fund science when its pouring all the money into universal health care.

But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that the other countries won't be able to rely on the U.S. for medications anymore. They won't be able to synthesize the medications we discover.

So if we implement universal health care, it's bad for everyone in the long run.
Debate Round No. 1
radical258

Pro

Ok. Good one. But there are some things you seem to have overlooked.

First, I am well aware that doctors are allowed to prescribe medications in the fashion that you described. As I stated before, I know people that have used LDN successfully.

The problem is, though, that if you took a survey of 100 random people, less than 10 will have actually heard of the drug. This is because the drug companies refuse to sell it and therefore no one has heard of it. If you asked anyone in this country what drugs they had heard of, they would probably only name drugs they had seen in advertisements, unless of course they were pharmacists or pharmacy students like yourself. Sure, these medications like LDN CAN be prescribed, but WILL they?

You said that it would take "billions of billions of dollars" to research a new drug. I highly doubt it would be that much, as $1 billion squared looks like this: $1,000,000,000,000,000,000. That much for one drug? I don't think so.

"new drugs that aren't just being used in the U.S., they are being used all over the world"
If I want to help another country, I can donate money to one of the hundreds of thousands of organizations devoted to the cause of foreign aid. Our money should be used for our drugs. Not theirs. Also, our country can help them fund their own research programs to aid them in this issue.

"What would be the point of spending billions of dollars for a new pill if you can't charge lots of money for it?"
The point of spending billions of dollars for a new pill is to SAVE LIVES. You seem to be completely overlooking the whole reason we have HEALTH care. It is for the HEALTH of the PEOPLE. If that is the cost of health care, so be it. The government's job is not to make money. We have taxes for that. The government's job is to benefit THE PEOPLE.

One other thing that you didn't mention is the insurance companies. Millions of Americans are going TO DIE because they can't pay for emergency room treatment and are essentially DENIED THE RIGHT TO LIVE.

The point of universal health care is not to make money. It is to provide health care for everyone. The money should not matter. I'm sure it's great to be a rich capitalist, but I'm also pretty sure it's not so great WHEN YOU'RE SICK.
Kleptin

Con

"The problem is, though, that if you took a survey of 100 random people, less than 10 will have actually heard of the drug."

Useless argument. Patients aren't the ones writing the prescriptions, doctors and other health care professionals are. A similar survey with doctors will reveal that a great percentage of doctors will be familiar with LDN and its efficacy. Please do not forget that doctors themselves do not get any money from prescribing one drug over another, so prescribing LDN off-label will be fine.

"You said that it would take "billions of billions of dollars" to research a new drug. I highly doubt it would be that much, as $1 billion squared looks like this: $1,000,000,000,000,000,000. That much for one drug? I don't think so."

I apologize and retract my statement, replacing it with the term "billions of dollars".

"If I want to help another country, I can donate money to one of the hundreds of thousands of organizations devoted to the cause of foreign aid. Our money should be used for our drugs. Not theirs. Also, our country can help them fund their own research programs to aid them in this issue."

I'm glad you understand my point. Are you then aware that the reason drug companies have money to make new drugs is that we pit drug companies against each other and let the free market boost our economy? Implementing universal health care would decrease cash movement, and make us LOSE money. I am glad you concede this point.

"The point of spending billions of dollars for a new pill is to SAVE LIVES. You seem to be completely overlooking the whole reason we have HEALTH care. It is for the HEALTH of the PEOPLE. If that is the cost of health care, so be it. The government's job is not to make money. We have taxes for that. The government's job is to benefit THE PEOPLE."

Wrong. Your view is naive, unfounded, and contradicts the practices of drug companies and economics. Private drug companies research medication based on profit. Our economy is mainly capitalistic, profit drives businesses in order to satisfy the public. You are WRONG in saying that drug companies research in order to save lives. They do it to make profit. If there was no profit, private drug companies will no longer research drugs and only government sponsored facilities will research drugs. This makes things much less efficient and will make things much more expensive. Taxes will have to be raised enormously in order to research just a few drugs. Please understand our economic system and that our country does not work on the ideals you just stated. Yes, it would be nice if it worked out the way you said, but it doesn't. That's called socialism. And it never works.

"One other thing that you didn't mention is the insurance companies. Millions of Americans are going TO DIE because they can't pay for emergency room treatment and are essentially DENIED THE RIGHT TO LIVE."

Medicare. Medicaid.

Besides, people aren't being denied the right to live. To say so is a gross exaggeration and makes you seem overly emotional and biased about this debate. Health care is expensive. Insurance makes it cheaper. You obviously have no idea of the economic repercussions of universal health care. I will clarify this in my concluding statements.

"The point of universal health care is not to make money. It is to provide health care for everyone. The money should not matter. I'm sure it's great to be a rich capitalist, but I'm also pretty sure it's not so great WHEN YOU'RE SICK."

Incorrect. Money does matter because it is how it will be done. For a person who gets sick 3-4 times a year, it will be extremely unfair for him to pay thousands of dollars extra in order to provide a person on welfare and unemployment enough money to get prescriptions filled. We don't live in fairy-land. Money runs this country and doesn't pop out of thin air. You propose a lot of good things but they aren't realistic.

***********

My opponents points have all been invalidated. He proposes nothing new in his concluding remarks and has failed to respond to all the points I have made about universal health care being detrimental to the welfare of this country. I will now restate them:

"Drug companies use the profits to research more drugs. After selling one medication, they use the profits to pay their researchers and scientists to come up with more drugs to make more money and the cycle keeps going. The U.S. churns out new medicines because drug companies keep competing with each other over profits. New drugs = big profits, that's why they keep churning out new drugs that aren't just being used in the U.S., they are being used all over the world! With universal health care here, drug companies would stop competing with each other because prices would be regulated too heavily. What would be the point of spending billions of dollars for a new pill if you can't charge lots of money for it? So if we implement universal health care, it's bad for everyone in the long run."

I combine this previous argument with my new explanation of economics in general, which my opponent severely lacks understanding of.

My opponent makes a grandiose speech about how we should not worry about money, that "that's what taxes are for", that life should come before everything. He portrays himself as a valiant crusader for the poor, and I applaud him for his noble aspirations. However, REALISTICALLY, universal health care will be terrible in the long run.

Setting aside how universal health care will decimate the drug economy, it will also put great strain on the citizens. Welfare, unemployment, medicaid, these things all benefit those that do not deserve it. The tax dollars of hardworking, productive members of society are being drained towards these people. It is forced charity. However, it's not that bad. People do have some right to life, because they may hit on hard times. Universal health care would more than double the amount of money being taken out of the pockets of the middle class, to benefit the feeders at the bottom. Most people only get sick a few times a year, why should they have to pay thousands of dollars to the poor lower class? It may be "mean" or "inhumane" of me to say these things, but it certainly isn't fair, or just. The middle class suffers too.

In addition to being ridiculously unjust to the population, universal health care would shut down the economy. No more competition, no more insurance companies, this would cause stagnation in a major part of our service-oriented economy.

Since my opponent has made not a single argument for universal health care, I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 2
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Hypnodoc 8 years ago
Hypnodoc
If you do the math the cost of universal health care would be less than most people pay in insurance.

The problem lies in the fact that there are no pricing caps on drugs, medicine for profit means that people are excluded from the benefits of the system.

Insurance companies are out to make money they train people to deny as many claims as possible, this places the burden of payment on the person that thought they were insured. The patient with this new and exciting debt then fears to go back to the doctor and everyone looses.
Posted by blond_guy 8 years ago
blond_guy
aceofelves, you don't know what you're talking about. Canadian immigrants find this system ridiculous. Hospitals are in terrible condition because of all the people who get care without insurance then go bankrupt. We need to get the hospitals back up.

And if you still think privatized means better health care then stay private!
Posted by blond_guy 8 years ago
blond_guy
Our health care system is an embarrassment to the world. Us being the last to achieve this health care system is like us having been one of the last to end slavery.

I just pray that Obama isn't the next president because he'll implement his "Universal Health Care" plan, which is not universal at all and just bring down the economy. And then we'll have the Republicans going "You see? You see why socialized medicine is bad now?".
Posted by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
The cultural difference between the U.S. and France is enough to nullify that point.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
According to www.who.int (the World Health Organisation)
In France in 2000, public expenditure on health care accounted for 7.7 % of GDP and private expenditure for 2.3%

Doctors working privately can of course, charge whatever they like in France as they can in every other western country.
Many doctors do their work because the want to help people, this being work they consider meaningful. Money is not the primary objective.

Having universal health care doesn't stop you from going private if you want to.

In nearly all countries, healthcare is like the fire service, like the army, like the police force.
It's a service you hope you'll never need, but you can't be sure you won't, no matter how careful and responsible you are.

Surely it's the sign of a country that cares when even the poorest, weakest and most unlucky are looked after?
We're all weak at sometime or another.
Posted by xsweetlove 8 years ago
xsweetlove
AMEN! Universal healthcare just means overtaxing the rest of us to support the population that doesn't have insurance. Get insurance through your firm like the rest of us do. We're not France or Norway where 40% of the budget goes to healthcare. The doctors never make above a certain salary. If that were to happen in the U.S, the doctors would riot!
Posted by aceofelves 8 years ago
aceofelves
uniseral health care means more government control. just look at how long it takes to get a US passport. over half a year. do you want to wait that long to get cough syrup or a broken arm set? ask some friends in Canada. there are pros and cons. but the bottom line is, it's more government control over something that the private sector should manage.
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
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radical258KleptinTied
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