The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,231 times Debate No: 55501
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




R1: Acceptance and Definitions
R2: Arguments/ Rebuttals
R3: Rebuttals/ Conclusions

*No semantics
*Forfeiture = lose all points

Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act:

Medicare as is is replaced.

All senior citizens will have their choice of a private health insurance plan on the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP), which is an array of insurance options which includes over 200 private coverage plans. The government will pay approximately 75% of the cost of individually-chosen health insurance plans.

Additionally, these provisions are included
(1) The Office of Personnel and Management administers the program;
(2) The initial eligibility age is gradually increased to age 70 over the next 20 years;
(3) The degree of federal benefits is "means-tested" based on recipient income.

I welcome a worthy opponent...


while the act as described as many benefits, such as means testing and increasing the age eligibility, it should not be given over to private insurance. this basically is using all the arguments for single payer. medicare is essentially single payer. the USA spends 17% GDP on health care, other industrialized counties only pay ten. most of them are single payer. the reason it saves so much money, is because insurance companies are middle men who serve no purpose but to take more in profits and reducances in administration that are not present in government health care. private insurance pays 30 cents on the dollar for administration and profit. medicare has no profit, and only spends 5 cents on the dollar on administration.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you Con for accepting, I look forward to a worthy debate. This round is primarily arguments, so I shall lay mine out. I shall use the words CHCSA and legislative reforms interchangeably.

C1. Improved Economic Efficiency

Because the legislative package would grant seniors the freedom to choose their health insurance, we would see greater efficiency through the competitive marketplace. The legislation would devolve choice to the individual, and this component of individual choice is in addition to cost-sharing.

These two components of individual choice and cost-sharing will produce lower health-care costs because – to quote Milton Friedman, “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely as he spends his own”.

The CHCSA’s market reforms would reduce the federal expenditures by $30.589 billion in 2015, which accumulates to over $1 trillion in savings over the following decade, and cuts Medicare’s unfunded liabilities in half [1] [2] [3]. These calculations were generated from the Senate Budget Committee.

Also, the convoluted web of red tape which governs Medicare – a composure of thousands of pages of statutory and regulatory requirements – costs the American economy $150 billion through redundant paperwork [1].

Furthermore, the rate of waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare program is plentiful. Indeed, Medicare’s fraudulent payment rate is 10 times the rate of private insurance plans. Devolving Medicare to the individual would lead to a drastic reduction in this type of wasteful, erroneous spending [8].

CII. Improved Health Care

The CHCSA allows seniors to choose a health insurance plan from the FEHBP (a federal marketplace of insurance plans, essentially). The FEHBP is basically universally accepted by health care providers – a whopping 99% of physicians accept an FEHBP plan [4]. In contrast, the American Medical Association has reported that nearly one-third (31%) of physicians refuse to see Medicare patients (because of reduced copays) [5].

Medicare Advantage (supplemental private plans to Medicare) can convey how effective private plans are in contrast to Medicare. Empirical data from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) report that Medicare Advantage plans outperform traditional Medicare in “numerous quality measures” [6]. Also, consumer satisfaction is higher among those with an FEHBP plan, in contrast to traditional Medicare [7].

To summarize, the CHCSA would:

- Enhance Health Care Access

- Improve Health Care Quality

Also, any arguments that "seniors would be excluded" because of pre-existing conditions is moot, because the FEHBP has guaranteed issue (everybody is guaranteed acceptance to an insurance plan) [2].

CIII. Improves Retirement Security

The senior’s average premiums today is approximately $3,500 annually (adding both Part B premiums and the average supplemental insurance plans) [10].

The average premium for seniors under this Medicare reform is estimated to be $1,900 annually [10] [1]. How is this possible? Through competition, raising the retirement age, scrapping the Medicare’s outdated red tape apparatus, and other reforms, we improve Medicare’s efficiency (through the CHCSA legislation).

CIV. Expanded Personal Choice

FEHBP enrollees typically have a choice between 12 and 20 insurance plans [9]. Therefore, seniors will have expanded personal choice. Subsequently, seniors will choose insurance plans that are crafted towards what their unique situation requires. For instance, a man with hypertension and high cholesterol may opt for a coverage plan that is focused on providing excellent cardiovascular health care.

Seniors will have the freedom to choose their health insurance plan, which will lead to a specialization of the health insurance market, based upon the demands of tens of millions of seniors.


The CHCSA would go far lengths in improving health care for seniors. These are the primary benefits offered through this legislation:

- Greater Access to Health Care

- Improved Health Care

- Improved Administrative Efficiency

- Medicare Solvency

- Reduced Federal Expenditures

- Improved Retirement Security

Those in favor of the current Medicare system are in favor of Medicare’s bankruptcy and demise. I for one believe that we should protect and strengthen Medicare for today and for future generations. The CHCSA is a package of true reforms that will not only save Medicare, but will improve the lives of millions of Americans around this nation.


[1] (

[2] (

[3] ( See Table 8.5, Medicare 2015 expenditures, subtract this figure from the CHCSA on page 95 of citation [2].

[4] (

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[9] (



i won't contest that opening up competition would improve efficiency. i would contest, though, that it doesn't mean t the government couldn't do it better. again, it has no profit motive and smaller administation costs than the redundancies present with private insurance. see the stats i provided. if the USA spent ten percent GDP on healthcare instead of ten, that could accumulate to a trillion dollars a YEAR. a lot lower an the savings you cited. how much we spend on GDP isn't really debated much given it's straightforward to calculate. this information is freely available.

you mention that medicare's ligability would be significantly reduced, but that's only because private insurance is taking over. that doesn't mean we are spending less overall or getting more bang for our buck.

more doctors might see private plan patients more than medicare. but taht doesn't prove that it's cheaper than medicare. in fact, i would speculate that they only would see them more, cause they would pay more than with medicare. medicare is so efficient, or at least cheap, that doctors don't see as much in their hands. we can debate whether that's good or not, but it seems we should agree it sounds cheaper.

i'm not sure what point is really established to basically just say that people are more satisfied with medicare advantage. all that program does is charge you more for more services. of course people will like more services. but they are charged more. again indicating that basic medicare is cheap.

medicare is built efficiently at its core. having looked into medicare, it acts a lot like catasrophic care at its most essential. you have to pay like a little over a thousand to hospitals for visits, but they cover the rest. catastrophic is known to be a great saver of money. instead of all those high premiums, you just have a reasonable deducle that covers most issues. it encourages you to spend wisely so as to avoid the deductible.
this built in efficiency combinedw ith the administrative efficincy indicates medicare is the optimal approach we should take.

i would agree that premiums would be reduced with increased competition etc. but that doesn't prove that medicare is not more efficient. it only proves the private premium situation that currently exists could be improved. this issue of better competition if it only involved before and after comparisoison to private insurance only, would be a no brainer. but we have to consider the alternative prospect of medicare.

i highly encourage pro to look into the benefits and efficiencies of "single payer" health care. this stuff is very well established.
Debate Round No. 2


R1: Medicare has Lower Administrative Costs

“If the USA spent ten percent GDP on healthcare instead of ten, this could accumulate to a trillion dollars a YEAR.”

Let’s look at the facts.

Many people think that “Medicare has lower administrative costs”. Yet, this isn’t true if we are looking at total administrative outlays.

Medicare has a much greater level of spending (because the beneficiaries are older and consume more health care services). Due to higher expenditures, administrative costs can be concealed.

Comparing Medicare and private health insurance on the metric of administrative costs shows that Medicare spends 25% more on administrative outlays. [2]

If we are looking at Medicare compared to Medicare Advantage, the latter (a form of supplemental private insurance) has lower administrative costs. So yes, I investigated the arguments of Paul Krugman and his associates, but their arguments were refuted. [1]

Also, Pro doesn’t prove her sources, she just makes blatant claims.

R2: Medicare Savings

“that doesn't mean we are spending less overall or getting more bang for our buck.

The private insurance plans (through this reform) will essentially be paid by the federal government.

The private insurance plans also will run at a profit, so costs are not transferred to the private sector.

Senior citizens also stand to gain, as they see cost-savings.

Since the federal government is spending less overall (as I proved the last round), and seniors are saving funds, that has to mean that we are indeed getting more bang for our buck.


R3: Medicare Advantage

The comparison of Medicare and Medicare Advantage is showing the fact that people like the private health insurance better than traditional Medicare. Perhaps it is because private insurance is influenced by competition and the profit motive…


To recap my rebuttals and arguments:

- Private insurance has lower administrative costs (on a per-patient basis)

- Private insurance has higher consumer satisfaction ratings

- CHCSA would improve retirement security (saving beneficiaries about $1,000/ year)

- CHCSA would improve health care services (through competition, individual choice, and less bureaucracy)

- CHCSA would significantly lower federal expenditures

- CHCSA would help save Medicare, cutting its unfunded liability in half

- CHCSA would scrap over $100 billion in economic deadweight loss – imposed through Medicare’s red tape.


[1] (

[2] (



i have read that canada has a much more efficient medicare type system than we do. if the numbers are actually so close as con points on, on actual administrative costs per person, it would very easy to conclude that canada is probably cheaper per person.
but i am not informed enough on the topic, and can't find any decent data to say so on a basic search.

so, with that said, i concede the debate, until, if that is possible, i am able to find compelling counter data.

con presented a very compelling final argument. (he should have presented it sooner, but i got to give him credit)

i do notice this... which shows con has taken my position in the past. if he has changed his position due to facts, i highly applaud his sincerity and dedication to truth.

i actually had changed my stance in the past, and forgot that i did. i agree, a tightly regulated private system would be optimal, based on the data i can find.

here is the debate that changed my mind, with the opponent using the same graph and much of the same information to refute me that con did.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 7 years ago
i think i might retract my concession. still looking into it.

heritage used 'justice' expenses to come to a higher per patient cost. those expsnes include nonmedicare related expenses. if you took that into consitiation....

"So almost all of the $7.2 billion should be taken away from the allocated indirect Medicare expenses. Being generous to Book and Zycher and taking away only $6 billion reduces the per-beneficiary expense for FY 2005 from Book"s $509 to $356. That compares to $453 for private sector insurance. So without addressing any of the other questionable expense allocations, Medicare administrative expense per beneficiary is at least 21 percent lower than that of private insurance." - See more at:
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 7 years ago
first link in the last post by pro has some people who point out some questionable practices used by heritage.

i really doubt this debate is settled so clearly.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 7 years ago
he doesn't do a great job refuting the heritage stuff, but he does try
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 7 years ago
this website exams some methodology used in the single payer v none deabte. and concludes single payer is better. it focuses on something like caNADIAN single payer.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 7 years ago
i did find a common single payer site that directly addressed one of con's main sources.

the writer of that single payer site didn't get into teh specifics, but argues the calculations are done wrong. as usual, the devil is in the details.

and to be blunt, neither of us have demon<x>started that we are competent to say it's one way or the other
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 7 years ago
i am looking into the information. con presented a very compelling final argument. (he should have presented it sooner, but i got to give him credit)

i do notice this... which shows con has taken my position in the past. if he has changed his position due to the fact, i highly applaud his sincerity and dedication to truth.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 7 years ago
i also forgot to draw issue with the idea that the government only covers 75% of the costs. there needs to be something like a sliding scale of sorts for people who can't afford that copay.
Posted by Contra 7 years ago
By "no semantics", I mean that people shouldn't manipulate the meaning(s) of words. People should argue on the basis of facts, not on particular word usage.
Posted by baus 7 years ago
What precisely do you mean by no semantics?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Themba 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession. Conduct is usually given to those who gracefully concede but in this case, Conduct goes to Pro because con invaded the rules by presenting arguments in the first round. Con merely assert arguments without any substantiative evidence while Pro's case are adequately backed by various statistics. Even Face assessment wise, Pro wins this without a doubt.

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