The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
22 Points

The U.S. ought to guarantee Universal Healthcare to its citizenry

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/16/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,175 times Debate No: 36749
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (39)
Votes (5)




The burden of the Pro is to show that some form of UHC is, on principle, should be guaranteed to the citizens of the United States. The Pro does not have to pick a specific type of UHC to support, nor does it need to offer a policy to implement it. Merely, the debate is about whether, on a moral/principle level, UHC should be granted. The Con should show that, on principle, UHC ought not be guaranteed.

My argument:

Essentially, we must be free from concerns over our survival in order to pursue those goals, desires we need in order to live fulfilling and happy lives. If we were starving or unsafe, those factors would unduly preoccupy our lives and threaten our independence. Thus, it is my Contention that universal healthcare is necessary to achieve true autonomy, because to be able to e self-actualize we must sate our basic needs.

Sub-point A: Without universal healthcare, millions are endangered.

According to Prof. Alan Derickson, "the ranks of the uninsured swelled from 33 million in 1983, a year of severe recession, to 37 million in 1986, a year of buoyant recovery, underscoring"the degree to which this problem afflicted the employed as well as the unemployed"" Currently, about 50 million go without healthcare. Derickson goes on to point out that millions of Americans are jeopardized by uninsurance. "The real meaning of health insecurity is not the fears stirred by the lack of a reassuring plastic card in one"s wallet"lack of insurance means otherwise preventable death, disability, suffering, and loss. People without health insurance receive less care and, as a result, suffer higher rates of morbidity and mortality"about fifty Americans die every day from illness or injury because they have no insurance. Beneath the policy jargon and rhetoric"is a tragedy of human sacrifice." According to Prof. Jennifer Prah, "Lack of health care access increases risk exposure; failing to meet health needs when they occur can expose individuals to even greater risk of illness or injury later on. Illness itself brings vulnerabilities: a potential further decline in health." Prof. Leonard Fleck, agrees, noting: "The Institute of Medicine reports that about 20,000"uninsured Americans die each year for reasons directly connected to their lack of insurance"They die prematurely. How can a society as wealthy as our own that wishes to think of itself as "just and caring" tolerate that unnecessary loss of life?"
This enormous and wanton loss of life reinforces the concept that healthcare is necessary to simply survive, let alone be autonomous agents. As I stated earlier: to be able to pursue self-actualization we must have our basic needs met. Without universal healthcare, we cannot act autonomously, because needs go unmet.

Sub-point B: Universal healthcare is necessary for physiological and security needs.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Lobosky, "The huge population of uninsured"Americans have been priced out of the American health care system"" He observes that the uninsured pay most of these usurious expenses out of pocket, leading them into vast debt. This massive debt, notes Prof. Stephanie Woolhandler, is the cause of 50% of bankruptcies in the U.S. The sheer cost of healthcare presents a problem, considering that a family might have to choose between eating and paying a medical bill, preventing them from acquiring physiological needs. Additionally, community security is endangered by a lack of healthcare. According to Professors Chua Kao-Ping and Flavio Casoy, "Communities with high rates of uninsurance have less effective control of communicable disease" jeopardizing everyone"s health and that ""high rates of uninsurance and"uncompensated care costs weaken a community"s health infrastructure. Since healthcare is an important part of a community"s economic base, communities suffer economically." According to Dr. Kenneth Thorpe, universal healthcare could actually save between 320 billion and 1.1 trillion dollars over ten years alone. Prof. Dale Murray argues that universal healthcare would grant, "freedom from financial and care-giving burdens placed"by the uninsured, lower absenteeism, and more reliable productivity from a workforce that can access basic health services." Thus, a community"s stability and security are risked without healthcare and, conversely, are helped by it.

Sub-point C: Universal healthcare is necessary for belongingness needs and esteem needs.

Prof. Norman Daniels notes that the sick tend to be ostracized from society and that universal healthcare would help remedy this. He posits: "by keeping people close to normal functioning, healthcare preserves for people the ability to participate in the political, social, and economic life of their society. It sustains them as fully participating citizens"in all spheres of social life." Thus universal healthcare promotes belongingness, as it does esteem. According to Kao-ping and Casoy: "The suffering caused by uninsurance goes far beyond the purely physical suffering experienced by uninsured individuals. Emotionally, uninsurance contributes to anxiety, familial stress, depression, and fear. Financially, medical costs are a major cause of personal bankruptcy." Anxiety, familial stress, and depression, all serve to undermine esteem, observes the American Psychiatric Association.

Without our basic needs met, it cannot be said that we are fully autonomous beings. Without universal healthcare we"ll forever be dependent, ill, and unable to pursue our own dreams. Thus, to have true autonomy, I urge an affirmative ballot.


A few observations:

Pros argument really falls apart when applying it to his burden under the resolution--he lists problems in the current system but offers us no mechanism to repair these flaws; he presumes UHC will solve these issues, but really his advocacy amounts to "health care is good, lack of health care is bad". From where does it follow that a UHC system is the solution? I understand that my opponent doesn't want to defend a very specific system so the debate doesn't get into technicalities, but he needs to at least argue how a system of UHC would solve the problem. Government isn't the answer to everything, my opponent must prove that it is in this case.


On principle?

My opponent didn't rush to define what on principle meant--I argue that a fundamental principle of government is to act in it's citizens best interest, and if implementing UHC is contrary to that goal it ought not, on principle, be implemented.

I. Worst possible time

My opponent is advocating government run insurance at the absolute worst possible time. The US government is already reaching un-real levels of debt, inducing panic among the population and political gridlock that has crippled the US government. UHC would only increase the fiscal burden. Moreover the number of seniors (who need care the most) is currently rising[1] and the existing US safety net is on the verge of a complete meltdown.

Worse still, while debt is ever increasing, the US credit horizon is looking increasingly gloomy. ForexLive reports[2] S&P's position on US credit: “U.S. sovereign credit risks, primarily political and fiscal, could build to the point of leading us to lower our ‘AA+’ long-term rating by 2014.”. S&P thinks there's about a 1-in 3 chance they'll have to downgrade the US credit rating even after the 2011 budget control act, and that probability will vastly increase if the government takes on a huge entitlement program while failing to maintain the ones it has. S&P explains that unless the US implements: “a credible, medium-term fiscal consolidation plan that represents significant (even if gradual) fiscal tightening”, they will probably downgrade it further. The impact of a downgrade is horrible. Economics professor Charles Rowley warns that if S&P or Moodys further downgrade U.S. credit ratings [3]:

"[This would] throw into question the privileged status of U.S. Treasury securities as a safe haven for global investors. Any significant flight from Treasuries would raise Treasury bond rates, with crippling consequences for the economy. A 1-percentage point increase in rates would raise Treasury debt payments by $1 trillion over the next decade, wiping out the benefits of all the budget cuts enacted by Congress last year."

The US government serves it's citizens best and secures their autonomy most by remaining the hegemon able to secure it's interests, but UHC will deter this. The perception is that the US is in a state of decline, as Mark Steyn argues in an article posted yesterday[4] "The assumption that we are in the early stages of “the post-American world” is now shared by everyone from General Sisi to Vladimir Putin." As the US and its allies continue to wallow in their debt and budget/trade deficits, China and Russia are becoming increasingly more aggressive and imperialistic. Much of Africa, the untapped gem of the world, is under Chinese economic hegemony[5]. The US faces the loss of it's position in the world, and consequently an inability to secure it's citizens interests abroad, if it does not tighten it's fiscal belt. The US's coercive power is just as much determined by its economic might as it is it's military muscle, and UHC will weaken the economy.

Moreover even if these impacts are proven false by my opponent, the fact of gridlock remains. In order to pass UHC, Obama and Congressional democrats would have to sacrifice all the political capital they have. This means that sensible pieces of the democratic agenda such as tightening gun laws so that terrorists can't buy guns[6] and immigration reform are less likely to pass, along with other legislation that's vital to national objectives. To advocate such a massive change in such a tumultuous time is absurd.

II. Empirical results

I'll get more into this when addressing my opponents arguments, but experiences of UHC from other nations have been nothing short of disastrous.

Waiting times for care are vast, in England 21% of curable lung cancer patients become incurable while waiting for health care[7]. In Canada, nearly 900,000 people are on the waiting list of care at any time[8]. People will use up all health care resources available since they do not have to pay for them; also in Canada[9]: "Only half of ER patients are treated in a timely manner by national and international standards". This is bad since ER patients usually need help immediately (compare the US, with a mean emergency room waiting time of 58 minutes[10] to Canada's mean time of four hours[11]). Since ambulances are free, the British use them as Taxis with 91% of ambulance visits being for non emergency purposes[12]. Moreover waiting lists for care in countries with UHC are incredibly corrupt, with the rich and influential often jumping places ahead of others in Japan[12] and Canada[13] where "research reveals that cardiovascular surgery queues are routinely jumped by the famous and politically-connected".

Pro needs to provide some safeguards against these abuses or explain how the US wouldn't suffer from them. Until then, you negate.

My opponent argues in the abstract, I argue actual results.



Debate Round No. 1


My rebuttal of the Con"s Case:
Con"s Observations:
The Con begins by asserting that I must offer a means of repairing the flaws of the current system. This would seem to imply that, conversely, the Con must show that UHC fails to address these flaws, which the Con does not do. The Con merely talks about the viability of UHC"s implementation, but when discussing things "on principle," feasibility"s importance is reduced. In other words, what we should do is more important than what we can do. But in addition to this, there are two other reasons to reject the notion that I must offer a means of repairing the current problems. Firstly, the terms "on principle" and "ought" negate the need for solvency. According to Merriam Webster, "ought," in particular, connotes morality. Therefore, when discussing what we ought to do regarding UHC, we are really asking "is it morally right for the U.S. to guarantee UHC to its citizenry." Secondly, even if you don"t buy that solvency is unimportant, UHC does address the flaws of the status quo, primarily by eliminating uninsurance. By so doing, the myriad harms of uninsurance are alleviated, "solved." As Prof. Dale Murray notes, "Major advantages from universal"coverage of the population accrue to virtually everyone. In regard to efficiency, these include more accessible preventive care, lower inappropriate use of emergency rooms"freedom from financial and care-giving burdens placed on others by the uninsured and lower absenteeism and more reliable productivity from a workforce that can access basic health services." All of these are solutions to the problems of the status quo are discussed within my first statement.
We both agree that we"re talking about UHC in general, not any particular system.
Her final observation, regarding the phrase "on principle," was to note that the term was as yet undefined. However, instead of defining the phrase, she offers an individual principle that the U.S. should uphold. But, just as it would be incorrect to define the term "in general" by naming a specific generality, is incorrect to define the term "on principle" by naming a specific principle. In fact, I would characterize "on principle" as meaning "as a matter of morality in general." But even if you don"t buy this, I still meet the burden as stated by the Con.
One: Time
(1) Rowley categorically fails to justify why UHC will be detrimental to the economy. He talks about the need to maintain hegemony and to avoid lower credit ratings, but does not draw any direct connection to UHC. In fact, the only two times he mentions UHC are to say that "UHC will weaken the economy" and that UHC would be hard to pass. Nowhere does he explain UHC"s direct impact on the economy. I would go so far as to say that all of the evidence offered by my opponent about the precarious nature of our economy fails to show why UHC would add to the problem. Specifically, the Con fails to warrant why UHC would lead to any downgrading in our rating"UHC will not necessarily add to the deficit. This is because there are many different types of UHC, and the program could be funded in a variety of ways, including compelling private insurers to foot some of the bill. But, since we"re not debating any particular form of UHC, it is unfair to say that UHC will invariably cause added debt or fiscal expenditure.
(2) Even if you accept the validity of the Rowley evidence, it can be turned to show how the cost-benefit calculus bolsters the Pro. The Rowley evidence relies on a 1-in-3 chance that the U.S. would have its credit downgraded. That"s about 33% odds that UHC would damage the economy. Given the vast potential for improvement I cited earlier (greater longevity, better quality of life, reduced bankruptcy, etc.), these odds are worth it. So, when my opponent asserts that the U.S. should do what is best for its people, the cost-benefit-analysis here clearly favors the Pro argument; namely, because if we don"t implement UHC, the harms of the status quo will perpetuate, but if we do implement UHC, there is a massive potential (and a high"67%"likelihood) for reward.
(3) I can agree that the U.S. economy is presently not ideal. However, UHC would actually be a boon to the U.S. economy, not a burden as the Con tries to (and unsuccessfully) argue. My Sub-point B offers important economic analysis to back my claim (Thorpe and Murray.) But additionally, I can show how failure to guarantee UHC is detrimental to the economy. Kao-ping and Casoy note, "A lack of universal care leads to unnecessary use of the ER: [Use of the ER for common illness skyrockets when people are uninsured; namely, because the uninsured cannot afford to see a regular doctor.] The ER is an expensive place to receive care. An average visit to an emergency room costs $383.11 whereas the average physician"s office visit costs $60.12. It is estimated that 10.7% of ER visits in 2000 were for non-emergencies, costing the system billions of dollars. Additionally, "Job lock" ensues: Job lock refers to the idea that people stay with their jobs when they would rather work elsewhere because their current job offers health insurance. For example, many individuals opt to stay with their job instead of starting their own business"the number of people who would be self-employed if there were universal health care is close to 3.8 million. This loss of entrepreneurship is a real economic cost in a society that is relying on start-ups to offset the loss of jobs that are moving offshore." This evidence supports the notion that UHC would not only be beneficial to the economy, but that a lack of UHC actually harms the economy. Therefore, in hard economic times, the policy of UHC makes sense.
Two: Empirics
(1) According to the World Health Organization, some 27 of the world"s best healthcare systems (taking into account waits, quality of care, accessibility of services, etc.) are nations with UHC. It seems, consequently, that the empirics actually support UHC.
(2) Con only offers a handful of specific examples, which fails to give a broad picture about UHC in general. Canada, specifically, is having trouble with its system not because UHC, but because the Canadian legislature would take money from the program to spend elsewhere, leaving the system bankrupt.
(3)The famous will still get special treatment, regardless. In the U.S. they can pay for more exclusive hospitals, doctors, etc. In fact, the kind of corruption/economic imbalance the Con cites would be more prevalent in a non-UHC system. Prof. David Stuckler, et al, note "An over-reliance on partial"care appears to disproportionately benefit richer groups, reducing both efficacy and access to coverage." The observe that this imbalance results from the rich being able to afford better care, whilst those with fewer resources get progressively inadequate and sub-standard care as you go down the income bracket. They go on to state, "[A lack of UHC] also creates groups with strong vested interests in the status quo that can block further progress. Public financing is more equitable"and reflects the shared value of providing care based on need rather than ability to pay."
(4) Finally, even if there were a delay, it would still be better than receiving no care or sub-standard care, which is often the case when individuals are permitted to go without insurance. Furthermore, delays can be too long in the U.S. system too. As Kao-ping and Casoy conclude: "(1) The uninsured are less likely to be able to fill prescriptions and more likely to pay much more of their money out-of-pocket for prescriptions. In a recent survey, one third of uninsured Americans reported that they were unable to fill a prescription drug in the last year because of the cost. (2) The uninsured are 3-4 times more likely than those with insurance to report problems getting needed medical care, even for serious conditions. In one study, more than half of the uninsured postponed needed medical care due to financial concerns, while over one third went without a physician-recommended medical test or treatment due to financial concerns. (3)The uninsured are less likely to have a regular source of health care. 40% of the uninsured do not have a regular place to go when they are sick or need medical advice, compared to less than 10% of the insured. As a result, 20% of the uninsured say their usual source of care is the emergency room. (4) The uninsured are less likely to get needed preventive care. When compared to the insured, uninsured, non-elderly adults are 50% less likely to receive preventive care such as pap smears, mammograms, etc. (5) The uninsured are more likely to be forced to delay medical services, affecting the timeline of diagnosis and thus the prognosis of the disease process"The uninsured patients were"1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed late for colorectal cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, respectively. (6) The uninsured are more likely to receive poor care for chronic diseases. Among nonelderly adult diabetics, a lack of insurance is associated with less glucose monitoring and fewer foot and eye exams, leading to an increased risk of hospitalization and disability"As a result of these myriad difficulties accessing health care, the non-partisan Institute of Medicine estimates that the uninsured have an excess annual mortality rate of 25%...which is of comparable magnitude to the number of people in this age group who die each year from diabetes, stroke, HIV, and homicide."


I’ll refute Pros case this round, defend mine in the next.

Pro contends that in order to pursue our “desires” we need to be free from concerns over our health. First, UHC fails to satisfy this by actually making the health care situation worse, secondly Pro gives no warrant for this assertion-- it’s blatantly wrong. People do live fulfilling lives even in the face of adversity, and thirdly comparing a lack of insurance to starvation is nothing short of absurd.


a) Pro doesn’t tell you who these uninsured are. The fact is that the picture isn’t as bleak as he paints. According to Health and Human services[1] 37% of the uninsured have incomes over $50,000 and 40% are between the healthy ages of 18 and 34. Many of these people can afford insurance but do not have it because they don’t want and don’t need it. Thus Pros scare tactics of lots of uninsured people can’t be considered too impactful

b) Pro has no solvency. We can see from my contention two that UHC delivers bad outcomes. Survival rates for most diseases are greater in the US as CATO reports[2]:

“Whether the disease is cancer, pneumonia, heart disease, or AIDS, the chances of a patient surviving are far higher in the United States than in other countries. …the United States is at the top of the charts when it comes to surviving cancer… roughly 62.9 percent [of men] diagnosed with cancer survive for at least five years… 66.3 percent [for women]… Most countries with national health care fare far worse. For example, in Italy, 59.7 percent of men and 49.8 percent of women survive five years. In Spain, just 59 percent of men and 49.5 percent of women do. And in Great Britain, a dismal 44.8 percent of men and …52.7 percent of women .” Higher survival rates outweigh Pro’s 20,000 people stat. It makes sense that survival rates are lowered since people will use free health care on frivolous things like ambulance taxi cabs.

c) The status quo solves. Obamacare mandates that individuals buy insurance from private corporations or face a special tax, and that large companies provide their employees with health care. This allows people who don’t want health insurance to pay a comparatively cheap fine and save the money they would’ve spent on insurance, while accomplishing the benefits of a largely insured population. Obamacare is not being fully implemented until after the 2014 elections, so there’s no reason to rush into a UHC system when we have a better system about to be put into place.

d) You can turn this argument. 20% of doctors in the US would quit if we implemented UHC[3]. This means that the US would experience physician shortages like many places with UHC do such us Canada[4] or experience doctor strikes such as recent ones in the UK[5]. Thus the situation of care would become even worse as doctor shortages create waiting lists. See the UK for why waiting lists are bad.

e) Pro still doesn’t explain how UHC would be better. Killing all uninsured people would also solve the issue, but would lead to obviously worse outcomes. UHC would keep people from being uninsured, but it would create worse outcomes. Pro has no evidence to dispute this.


a) Pro is still arguing essentially that insurance is good and a lack of insurance is bad. He gives no analysis on outcomes from countries with UHC to see if they’re any better. I agree that health care is expensive and we should probably work on making vital drugs cheaper—starting by lessening patent lengths for medicines so that competition can emerge and make drugs vastly cheaper[6].

b) Pro argues no impact here. How much communicable disease spread would be lessened by UHC? How many lives would be saved? How much would local economies be revitalized? Secondly, even assuming these impacts exist, Obamacare solves.

c) Pros only evidence on how UHC could save money comes from (read the comments) congressional testimony. No methodology, no sources, just the testimony of a man trying to convince congress of something. Again prefer actual outcomes and logic, UHC is bankrupting France[7] other European countries[8] and cross apply my logic on b) in the previous contention on why the costs will by inherently high. Pro gives no viable system.

Self esteem

a) Pro gives no warrant on why it’s someone else’s obligation to provide someone else help with their self esteem issues or any issue. Pro lists a lot of facts that people will find bad but gives no argument for why the cost of fixing them should fall onto tax payers unaffiliated with these uninsured people.

b) The sick aren’t ostracized by society because they don’t have insurance, if they are “ostracized” because they’re ill and contagious.

c) The bad experiences coming from being uninsured can be solved without UHC. The status quo is already solving them.

d) Pro argues no quantifiable impact here. Prefer my arguments as they are backed by solid fact and determinable outcomes.

e) It's unfair for Pro to argue the impact of a lack of insurance without explaining how he solves it. I can't refute a system Pro refuses to offer up, and to determine what the United States morally should do we need to determine the effects of any proposed system. It's also impossible to leap away from the status quo without any knowledge of the system you're going to be leaping into.

Pros arguments rely upon vague assertions from a few people in favor of UHC, prefer my actual evidence and analysis of nations that already have UHC. You can see from my arguments that empirically the US system delivers better results, UHC fails, and the status quo is solving. We don't maximize autonomy by delivering bad otucomes.

Next round I will tie together my case and my criticisms of my opponents case to explain why a Con ballot is in order.



Debate Round No. 2


For this Round I shall be defending my own case, in response to the Con"s rebuttal.
The Con begins by claiming that I fail to warrant why UHC allows us greater freedom to engage in society. My Sub-point C, however, clearly explains the warrant for this. Furthermore, it stands to reason that healthy individuals, individuals who are not constantly afraid of becoming sick because they could not afford treatment, and individuals who are not forced by necessity into paying usurious private healthcare premiums will be more able to do the things they want to do, both physically, financially, and emotionally. I will now offer a point-by-point defense of my case.
One: Uninsured
(A) My opponent cites two statistics to lessen the impact of the number of uninsured. Firstly, I would point out that the $50,000 represents a household income that has to support all of the family members of that household. It is therefore possible that this income is stretched thin to provide for everyone. Additionally, that number says very little about where people are actually living"certain neighborhoods will cost more to live in than others. Consider that most Americans homes, according to the source she cites (Figure 3), make $75,000 or more. That"s a $25,000 spending difference, and indicates that the Con is not necessarily correct when she states "do not have [UHC] because they don"t want and don"t need it."In fact, it is very possible that many still can"t afford it, even at that income level. This seems even more plausible when you consider that, according to the Cato report she cites, the average cost of health insurance in the U.S. for a household is $12,106"24.2% of those families net income. Finally, even if we buy that 37% might be able to afford healthcare"which is a stretch"that still means that 63% are far less likely to be able to afford it. Then, the Con goes on to talk about how 40% of the uninsured are between 18-34. Yet, that means that 60% are not. Additionally, younger individuals tend to lack stable incomes, and, according to her source, tend to come from minority groups that historically and statistically have fewer resources. They may be "healthier" but they"re not impervious to illness"even the young need healthcare.
(B) My opponent then claims that the U.S. has better care, and extrapolates from that that UHC delivers bad outcomes because it delivers poor care for "most diseases."Her own source states that this is a comparison of "specific diseases." In fact, she only mentions 4 diseases, which is hardly "most." Furthermore, her own Cato source states, "although the U.S. health care system
can provide the world"s highest quality of care, that quality is often uneven. The Institute of Medicine estimates that some 44,000"90,000 annual deaths are due to medical errors, while a study in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that only a little more than half of American hospital patients receive the clinical standard of care. Similarly, a RAND Corporation study found serious gaps in the quality of care received by American children." She claims higher survival rates outweigh my evidence, yet her survival rates are for very specific ailments, and are not indicative of the system in general, nor do they take into account the problems her own source observes in the U.S. system. Finally, I have yet to see a warrant for the taxi cab argument.

(C) Firstly, I discussed the notion of solvency in my earlier remarks. Secondly, according to the Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, 30 million people will remain uninsured under Obamacare. Therefore, all of the harms of uninsurance remain in existence. Also, the "comparatively cheap" fine will increase over time until it becomes a rather large one. Furthermore, the Con cannot solve because of the 50 million currently uninsured, Obamacare will still leave 60% of them uninsured.
(D) Her evidence for her "20%" assertion is a study conducted by This firm, lobbied Congress through the GA Chamber of Commerce to reject Obamacare because of what it called, "economically harmful" practices that would be emplaced. It seems then that this "20%" study could have been more a tool to save it from having to pay out additional funds, rather than a legitimate study. Furthermore, the survey polled doctors who practiced mostly in the South. This tends to be a more conservative area, which would bias the study and make it inapplicable to the nation as a whole.

(E) My opponent seems to agree that uninsurance is a problem. She claims, nevertheless, that UHC is not the answer because it create worse outcomes, and that I have no evidence to prove otherwise. However, both in my round one and round two statements, I have providence evidence about the benefits of UHC, in particular citing how it would actually benefit the economy, how it would reduce emotional suffering, enable more people to receive care, etc. I have also shown that the Con"s plan of Obamacare would leave huge numbers uninsured"that it is not "universal." I have also demonstrated, through Kao-ping and Casoy specifically, how uninsurance actually produces the "worse outcomes." Ultimately, it is by eliminating uninsurance that UHC solves the problem.

Two: Security

(A) The WHO evidence I provided in round two is clearly analysis "on outcomes from countries with UHC to see if they"re any better." Furthermore, just making things cheaper doesn"t solve the problem. If I can"t afford a drug at $100, but still can"t afford it when the price is reduced to $75, then I haven"t been helped. Everyone still needs insurance.

(B) Obamacare does not solve, as I discussed earlier. Additionally, I provided more information on the impacts of the economics argument at the close of my round two statements. It also stands to reason that communicable disease will spread if people can"t get care because they lack insurance. My opponent never attacks this line of reasoning. She merely claims that, while that might be true, I offer no concrete impacts. However, even without those impacts, it also stands to reason that the spread of disease is something that we should attempt to reduce, regardless of the extent of the threat. So, you can accept the logical warrant for why UHC (by enabling more care through providing insurance) would reduce the spread of disease, which provides a reason for why UHC is good.

(C) The Murray evidence is not reliant of testimony, and shows clear economic benefits to UHC. Additionally, here is some more information on Thorpes study, as researched and reported by the CBO: "This study did not just focus on expanding access; it also assumed significant systemic changes including administrative simplification, computerized physician order entry, an automated patient safety/error reporting system, reduction in inappropriate clinical practice variation, and controls of provider payments and premiums to reach target goals in expenditure growth. According to Thorpe"s analysis"[universal healthcare] would save between $320.5 billion"and"$1.1 trillion."

(D) The NPR source only lists concrete economic problems in France and the UK"two countries cannot be used to condemn UHC as a whole, especially when the NPR source notes that Germany, by making several reforms, is doing better. In fact, the report never states that any of these systems lack viability. Rather, it seems to point out that with some tweaking, UHC could work fine.

Three: Self-esteem

All address all the points as one. All of this information illustrates and emphasizes the harms of uninsurance"the major problems with the Con. Taken in conjunction with other evidence I have provided, it does show why UHC is needed, from a moral perspective. It is what we "ought" to do. It"s not just the contagiously ill, but the disabled and chronically ill who are ostracized, and that"s something we should seek to minimize in a democracy. Universal care and universal insurance will combat this, and solve the problem. Finally, I don"t need to offer a system because we agreed that we weren"t talking about particular systems or forms of UHC.

With that, I look forward to Round Three.


I’ll defend my own case, then go onto Pros.

Pro disputes that he actually has to provide solvency. This is ridiculous. Ought does connate morality, which is why we need to discuss what actually happens if we implement UHC and if those are moral outcomes. Blankly asserting that having health insurance is good doesn’t come anywhere near justifying a radical change in the status quo.

My case

I. Timing

a) Pro accuses me of not drawing a direct link to UHC when it comes to the importance of fiscal discipline. It’s pretty obvious that taking on a behemoth welfare institution when we can’t afford the ones we have doesn’t count as the fiscal tightening S&P advised.

b) Pro misunderstands the probability argument. In the status quo even with Obama’s superior plan in place US finances are so incredibly bad that there’s a 33% chance of a further downgrade. Implementing a massive spending program is going to increase this by a huge margin and is opposite to what S&P suggests.

c) Pro drops the rising number of seniors and the meltdown occurring in the current US welfare system. The US government is so gridlocked and incompetent it can’t even handle something as simple as social security, let alone extensive UHC.

d) Pro drops the impact of US losing hegemony and how this hurts autonomy. He can lose the debate here alone, because his value is undermined by spending enough to cause a further downgrade.

e) Pro’s supposed boons to the economy are all flawed and don’t outweigh. He gives no empirical evidence (and hence no way to weigh) the impact of job lock, and I could flatly deny his 3.8 million number for lack of documentation. As it stands, he explains no methodology and no impact for why self employment will save the economy. His ER response is flatly wrong. 89% of people who visit the ER have some kind of insurance, ER visits represent only 2% of total health spending[4], and ER’s are not more expensive because they’re inefficient, it’s because they involve emergency care. Average doctor visits involve things like check ups and medicine for the common cold.

II. Empirics

a) Pro drops literally every statistic I cited. Prefer my statistics to his since he doesn’t have any, and extend them all. Extend the waiting times, deaths, corruption, and waste/abuse. This is highly significant, better outcomes don’t occur under UHC systems.

b) Pro argues that WHO ranks nations with UHC higher, as if that proves anything. WHO rankings are bunk[5] and rank factors irrelevant to quality such as inequality and life expectancy, which is effected by homicide rates, accidents and other factors . If Pro wants to argue that systems of UHC are good, he needs to provide his own stats and refute mine; remember that the US is number 1 in survival rates.

c) Pro argues the reason the Canadian health care system is bad is because it isn’t getting enough funding, yet somehow believes a system in the US, who’s finances and welfare system are in vastly worse shape than Canada’s, won’t also suffer a lack of funding. Recall also that part of Canadas issue is a doctor shortage, a problem that will exist in the US under UHC.

d) Pro argues that the wealthy in the US get better treatment. No doubt, but our system also doesn’t assign people onto waiting lists and then allow the rich to jump ship on them, leaving the middle class to die. Canadians desperate for care come to the US where they can pay for their medicine in cash [6]. Better to have some treatment than none due to the rationing of care under UHC. unequal care is better than no care, as poor people on waiting lists get.

e) Pro’s final, extensive card is simply arguing once again that being uninsured is bad. Some of these impacts are solved by lowering drug costs by decreasing patent lengths, and remember that Obamacare is helping the poor with insurance. Pros numbers are outweighed by the horrible results of countries that actually have UHC; recall also that Pro has never justified why people should be obligated to pay for the care of others.

Opponents case

a) Pro argues against my statistics showing how many uninsured are uninsured by their own choice by exaggerating the costs of healthcare. However, nothing approaching the entire costs of healthcare are not pushed upon the populace. The average cost for a family under employer coverage (which is how most people in the US get coverage) is $4,316[1]. Compare this to the cost that could occur under UHC, by some estimates as high as $17,200 a year in taxation for a median income household[2]. Moreover even for Americans buying insurance on the market, a 4 person household with an income of $50,000 would only pay around $3-3,500[3] after government subsidies and tax credits. Obamas private sector solution is superior, as it allows people who don’t want insurance to opt out by paying a tax and provides increased subsidies to help the poor buy health insurance on the market.

b) Pro tries to argue that I “only” mentioned 4 diseases where the US leads in survival rates (compared to 0 in UHC countries), unfortunately for Pro Cancer and Heart disease are the top two reasons of death[7] and Pneumonia is also in the top 10. The 15% difference in cancer survival rates between the US and UK, for example, amount to nearly 90k lives annually—far greater than my opponents stats.

c) Pros arguments about uninsruance under Obamacare are bunk--not only are they unverifiable estimates, but most of the people would be unisnured by choice.

d) Pro basically drops my survey--he argues falsely that the company comissioning it surveyed southern doctors, and argues that since that group was against UHC clearly the survey is baised. Logic doesnt work this way, Pro needs to prove some methodological flaw. UHC would lead to doctor shortages and consequently waiting lists and death.



Debate Round No. 3


I will be addressing Con"s remarks, and them emphasizing some key themes in the debate.
Firstly, as ought is a question about morality, and as morality doesn"t necessarily imply a discussion of the consequences, I maintain I do not need to prove solvency. I would also point out that we began this debate with an understanding that "Pro does not have to pick a specific type of UHC to support, nor does it need to offer a policy to implement it." However, if this argument does not convince you, I can still solve the problem. Here"s how: (1) Uninsurance is a grave problem; (2) UHC largely eliminates uninsurance (more so than Obamacare); (3) Conclusion: UHC solves for uninsurance and its attendant problems. This is a very clear train of logic. My opponent claims that asserting the need for insurance doesn"t solve. Yet, that is ultimately what the debate is about"is insurance necessary and moral. By asserting and demonstrating how insurance is necessary and useful, I am affirming the resolution. Finally, if insurance will eliminate the problems outlined in my initial statement, and its harms don"t very much outweigh those gains, that I have solved.
(a) Con doesn"t draw a direct link between UHC and economic hardship"her only rebuttal to this is that it is "pretty obvious" that UHC will hinder economic success. Yet, I find this assumption dubious, especially in light of the Murray and Thorpe evidence that shows the UHC will have a clear benefit to the economy. There is also a second reason to reject the Con"s argument. Because we"re not debating any specific form of UHC, the government, depending on the plan it may put together, could devise a means of funding it that would have little (if any) negative economic impact.
(b) She says that implementing UHC will increase the likelihood of a credit down grade be a "huge margin," but fails to explain what that margin is or why that increase is inevitable. If that margin means that the likelihood of a downgrade rises to 40%, then there is still a 60% chance that UHC will not result in the harms she mentions. In which case, we would have few harms, but many benefits through a reduction in uninsurance. This is a strong cost-benefit justification for the solvency and the utility of UHC. Ultimately, her assertion of a "huge margin" of increase is vague and ill-defined, and we cannot vote of such nebulous suppositions. As Con put it, there is "no empirical evidence (and hence no way to weigh) the impact" of such a vague, undefined threat. We shouldn"t sacrifice the clear benefits of UHC for a threat that isn"t even quantified.
(c) Again, since we"re not talking about any particular form of UHC, it is unfair to say that UHC would necessarily fail in the U.S. Plus, there are other ways of coping with rising seniors"like raising retirement ages, etc. Ultimately, though, we"re discussing UHC not Medicare.
(d) In fact, I did NOT drop her hegemony argument. This point was predicated on the notion that because UHC would harm our economy, we would be hampered in our efforts to have hegemony. So, if her economics arguments are fallacious, then her hegemony argument loses its footing and its supporting logic. Furthermore, I did note that Rowley never directly explained why UHC would deter/impede our attempts to attain hegemonic status.
(e) The 3.8 million stat offered by my source was compiled by the Dept. of Health and Human Services in a meta-analysis of 178 different, independent studies of the healthcare field. And it is not my argument that entrepreneurship will "save" the economy, but merely that it is good for the economy. It prevents stagnation and promotes investment. As Con stated, "it"s pretty obvious."Furthermore, her 89% evidence did not actually respond to my argument, which was not about how many uninsured visited the emergency room. Rather, my argument was that 10.7% of visits were from non-emergencies, likely cause by a lack of insurance or underinsurance. See also misconstrues my argument about ER costs; regardless of why the ER is more expensive (which it is), its high prices have a detrimental impact on the uninsured, who are often forced to go to the ER rather than another physician. Furthermore, the Con accuses me of providing a lack of methodology, when the sum total of her source"s methodology regarding ER costs is citing: "A growing body of research."
(a) I do not drop the Con"s statistics"I explain why they can be set aside or why they are incorrect. I offer statistics that actually contradict what the Con argues (e.g. the WHO evidence.) I explain that she only cites a handful of examples, which cannot speak to UHC as a whole; the results of 3 or 4 nations do not necessarily characterize the scores of UHC programs around the globe. She claims the U.S. has the highest survival rate, but I addressed this in Round Three when I stated, "My opponent then claims that the U.S. has better care, and extrapolates from that that UHC delivers bad outcomes because it delivers poor care for "most diseases." Her own source states that this is a comparison of "specific diseases." In fact, she only mentions 4 diseases, which is hardly "most." Furthermore, her own Cato source states, "although the U.S. health care system can provide the world"s highest quality of care, that quality is often uneven. The Institute of Medicine estimates that some 44,000 and 90,000 annual deaths are due to medical errors, while a study in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that only a little more than half of American hospital patients receive the clinical standard of care." Also, the uninsured wait 1.5x longer for care (I stated this in round two,) beating back her wait times argument because wait times either way would be problematic, and they receive worse care.
(b) Again, the U.S. system could easily implement a more easily maintained system of UHC than Canada, particularly as we"re not talking about any particular form of UHC. Furthermore, many other UHC nations have, like Germany, as I noted earlier in the debate, have successful systems the U.S. could model.
(c) Care "rationing" does not occur in all forms of UHC. Canada is a flawed example, and care does happen in UHC. She says that people receive not care because the rich skip ahead. This really is warranted, especially insofar as "wait times" do not mean "no care." The rich will abuse either system, and as yet, she has offered no evidence as to why that abuse will be more egregious in the Pro world than in the Con world. Finally, there are severe wait times in the U.S. too: "The uninsured are 3-4 times more likely than those with insurance to report problems getting needed medical care, even for serious conditions. In one study, more than half of the uninsured postponed needed medical care due to financial concerns, while over one third went without a physician-recommended medical test or treatment due to financial concerns." (Kao-ping and Casoy)
(D) I explained how neither Obamacare nor lower drug prices solved. In which case, there"s not solvency on the Con side either, and if the burden is shared, she should have some level of solvency. I didn"t explain why people should have to pay for others because that is not necessarily going to happen on the Pro side. I don"t have to defend a specific form of UHC, and thus, I don"t have to offer a means of funding it either, as each system is funded differently.
Ultimately, my opponent never rebuts that actual evidence I provide as to the added costs of uninsurance. She just offers some competing statistics that fail to address the specific point I raised. Thus, those points can be extended across the flow. Furthermore, the source she cites is largely specific to Sweden, and what goes on in one nation is not necessarily characteristic of what goes on in most. And, while the U.S. may have some high survival rates among those who are treated, the evidence I provided shows how many are untreated or seek treatment to late due to a lack of insurance. She says that the failures of Obamacare are unverifiable, yet, the CBO is a highly reliable source that is non-partisan and has a huge amount of information to draw on. It seems far more reliable, therefore, than pro-conservative If most doctors, as you can see if you pull the actual survey report from their social media pages, southern doctors were polled slightly more. That demographic is likely to skew the results = methodological flaw. Furthermore, Con literally provides no warrant at all as to why most people would choose to be uninsured under Obamacare. Con drops my points about the need to eliminate the emotional suffering of the uninsured. Con drops the additional information I offered to support the Thorpe study. Con also never addressed the Murray evidence. Con drops my turn of her Cato evidence, showing how it could bolster the pro position.
(1) Con drops my analysis of Germany"s healthcare system (round two), in which reforms were made to stabilize it. The wait times there are small, and it"s economically viable. This illustrates that UHC doesn"t necessarily have to entail the economic harms she forecasts. Germany represents the possibility of success.
(2) Con"s economic analysis, particular that of the ill-defined risk of a credit downgrade that she cannot link directly with a warrant to UHC, fails to show undue risk of economic harm through UHC. Furthermore, many of her arguments only rely on a few examples. Just because 3 or 4 nations have some issues, that does not mean that UHC, which is practiced in dozens of nations, is bad.
(2) UHC is economically beneficial. The dropped Thorpe and Murray analysis shows, clearly and with solid methodology, how UHC could save up to 1.1 trillion dollars, and would contribute to lower absenteeism, etc.
(3) Con cannot solve. Obamacare would only reduce uninsurance rates by a measly 40%. Even with lowered drug costs, this is not enough (as my earlier analysis shows.)
(4) I do solve"though I don"t need to. By virtually eliminating uninsurance and its incumbent harms (bankruptcy, emotional distress, communicable disease, 25% greater likelihood of mortality, etc.), I do solve for the problem posed within the resolution.
Con, thank you for an amazing, polite, and high-quality debate! Please vote Pro!


I’ll go over major issues in the round, pointing out why I’ve won them.


Pro argues that morality doesn’t necessitate consequences, however he doesn’t offer any other kind of moral system. He contends that he didn’t have to provide a specific system, which is why my criticisms were about UHC in general rather than, say, just the UKs’s system. UHC solves the issue of uninsurance in name only, as you can see from my case it leads to worse outcomes, death, delay, and corruption, which obviously isn’t moral.—the problem is not uninsurance in itself, but a lack of medical care which is a problem that will only increase under UHC. It’s nonsensical that the US should offer its citizens a system that fails.


Throughout the debate, I repeatedly asked Pro to explain why people are obligated to provide others with insurance, with no response. You can vote Con right here as this pretty much takes out Pros arguments.

-Survival rates-

Pro makes no serious response except to state that the uninsured get less care. The problem is, even with the high amount of uninsured people in the US the US still has significantly higher survival rates in critical diseases than nations with UHC. Check out the numbers and you’ll see that the 15% difference between US and UK survival rates for Cancer alone, for example, amount to around 90k people, far outweighing any impact Pro brings up, not counting other diseases the US leads in. The sheer amount of waste in UHC systems, and the shortages of doctors that will occur in the US with UHC lead to waiting lists, causing death. Remember that in the UK 21% of curable lung cancer patients become incurable while waiting for care. Pro tries to argue that the US system is riddled with medical errors, but without a comparison to nations with UHC this is entirely irrelevant in the round. Survival rates are the best way to judge the quality of care in a system since they are actual measures of the goals of the system—to deliver care. Pro says that I only mentioned 4 diseases, but these are among the leading causes of death and thus the most likely for governments to collect stats about, moreover cancer alone outweighs everything Pro has argued. Pro drops my arguments for why the WHO evidence is completely bunk.


Pro only argues that Obamacare doesn’t solve because it doesn’t insure everybody. The problem is, since Obamacare mandates that everyone buy insurance or pay a tax, vastly lessens the financial burden of doing so, and has more companies providing insurance via the private market. While this doesn’t insure everyone, you can see pretty clearly from this debate that insurance is no guarantee of care in countries with UHC. Pro argues I don’t explain why people uninsured under Obamacare lack it by choice but Obamacare REQUIRES people to purchase medical insurance and makes it affordable. The status quo is solving the issue of health care.


Pro argues that UHC will be cheaper. Nevermind the fact that this is empirically falsified by the vast costs of UHC systems bankrupting other countries, this is contradicted by my logic that was completely dropped about how people will waste medical care since it’s free (refer also to the evidence I gave in the UK as). I’m the only one with a verifiable study, which showed that a UHC system in the US based on the Swedish model would cost the average taxpayer $17,200. Pro argues that this is only one system, which is true, but it’s a cop out for Pro to just say “oh actually my system wouldn’t do that” without explaining what his would do. If it’s fair for Pro to not defend any specific system, it’s fair for me to level my criticisms based upon all UHC systems. Pro argues the German system is economically good, however according to WSJ[1] Germans pay 15% of their income for their system that is "on the brink of financial shortfall". Even Pros model system can't be properly funded.

Moreover Pro provides no logic what so ever for why UHC would be cheaper. His only card argues it would be cheaper assuming: “significant systemic changes including administrative simplification, computerized physician order entry, an automated patient safety/error reporting system, reduction in inappropriate clinical practice variation, and controls of provider payments and premiums”. Face it, this isn’t going to happen and Pro hasn’t proven it will. Pros only economic impacts come from people leaving their jobs where they’re experienced and trying to start new businesses, and Pro doesn’t give you any dollar amounts of revenue that this will generate. It’s literally impossible to weigh. It’s also unfair for Pro to keep citing evidence without linking it in round for review—compare this to my 30 external sources.

Thus the cost argument flows clearly to Con. From this you have increased costs of care with lower quality of care. Remember that Canadians desperate for care come to the US. My credit and heg argument stands as well. There’s no way to predict the future, but having the US acting in the exact opposite manner that S&P suggests is no way for credit success. Even if you buy his arguments that UHC is good, the risks are too high right now.

-Doctor shortages-

Pro never properly responds to the fact that 20% of doctors would quit if we implemented UHC, only arguing that slightly more southern doctors were polled. This however makes sense in a random sample as the south is by far the most populace region[2]. Experiences from countries with UHC also confirm the fact that doctors would quit, creating even more waiting lists.

-Rationed care-

Pro never provides evidence contrary to the waiting lists that occur in countries with UHC, along with the courruption that happens on these lists, and the deaths that occur while waiting for care. You never see Americans going to Canada for care, you see the opposite because a private sector solution to healthcare is clearly superior.

Vote Con.


Debate Round No. 4
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ClassicRobert 7 years ago
(as taxation is still a cost), and he offers a counterplan to more effectively address the problems that UHC attempts to solve. He won this round.
Round 4:
Pro once again states that uninsurance is a grave problem and assumes it"s value to be held true, even though Con has addressed it. His argument that "because we"re not debating any specific form of UHC, the government"could devise a means of funding it that would have little negative economic impact" is entirely unfair and is pretty much one of the main reasons that he had to offer a system of some sorts, as that cannot possible be debated. His case here is simply poorly argued. Con refuted this stuff in a previous round, and Pro just used the exact same arguments to defend against these refutations, when those arguments were effectively refuted.
Con didn"t need to do much in this round, because Pro"s arguments didn"t exactly change.
In conclusion, Pro has not properly explained his impacts, did not provide sufficient enough system to actually be debated about, and he did not adequately address Con"s refutations. It should also be added that his arguments in general were less original; they were some that anyone who decided to google "Pros and Cons for UHC" could find, while Con had arguments that were somewhat more unique. For these reasons, Con wins arguments. Con also wins sources mainly because Pro did not source his material in a way that was easily accessible to me, the reader, which naturally lead to me giving his statistics less credence.
Posted by ClassicRobert 7 years ago
systems, and he showed why Canada should be disregarded. I also liked his point about how substandard care is better than no-care.

Con: Con showed how Pro"s contention that in order to pursue our "desires" we need to be free from concerns over our health is either faulty or unsupported. He also shows how the uninsured are often people who don"t need government supported insurance, how survival rates are higher in the U.S. in our current system for most cases than in countries with national health care, how our current system is better than UHC, how UHC will invariably lead to more debt, and how we would see less doctors in the industry. I also liked when he said that "killing all uninsured people would solve the issue, but would lead to obviously worse outcomes," which essentially means to me that methodology needs to be taken into account. He has shown that Pro"s arguments largely lack impact. In regards to self-esteem, he has questioned whether or not there is an actual moral obligation to help people with that, and that these are not problems more solved by UHC than other alternatives.

Round 3: Pro"s round 3 was a little less exciting than his previous rounds. It largely relied on the idea that health care is a necessity in all cases, which just isn"t true. Pro was accurate in his statement that Con only addressed specific ailments, however, those are some of the main killer diseases, so Con"s point here still stands. Pro also claims that he does not need to offer any system. This falls apart, as he claims that it would save huge amounts of money, and he needs to justify how that could actually happen. His points about self-esteem boil down to "it"s a nice thing to do, so it is morally something we ought to do."
Con once again shows that Pro needs to provide some sort of system, as the morality includes all outcomes. Con stated that his diseases presented are the main killers, that health care is not necessary in all cases, that costs increase (as ta
Posted by ClassicRobert 7 years ago
Text of RFD

In order to be truly autonomous, our basic needs must be met. By not providing for UHC, more people will die, more people will go bankrupt, dilemmas such as "food or healthcare" are created, and people will have less issue integrating into society.

Con was accurate in his definition of the actual burden of proof that Pro had, in that he needs to argue how a system for UHC would solve the problem. In clarifying this, he is able to argue against Pro and drop arguments such as "people being healthy is a good thing" without losing any of his stance. In doing so, he shifted the focus of the debate to the issue of a UHC system rather than UHC itself, and was able to say that a UHC system presents issues of inconvenience with wait times, corruption, and general wastefulness. He was able to effectively argue the long-term negative side-effects of this massive governmental spending, and in my eyes, this entire round was an effective refutation of Pro.


Pro: Pro almost immediately weakens his argument when he tries to play down feasibility"s role in the debate rather than simply refuting it. His argument also suffers from a lack of clear organization of thoughts. Anyway, onto his arguments. He disregards what Thett3 said with his argument about credit ratings largely based on what Crowley said. He says that Rowley didn"t draw the connection between credit rating and UHC. However, Con clearly did that himself when he spoke of the fiscal burden and it"s connection to UHC. Essentially, it was just a refutation that didn"t actually refute the point. He also said spoke of the 1-3 odds, which also failed, because Con showed how those odds would be worse given the additional strain of UHC fiscally. He then spoke of how it could bolster the economy, which was effective, but not how it would handle the debt, which was ineffective. He was also correct when he showed that overall empirics favor Pro with his 27 of the world"s best healthcare
Posted by Raisor 7 years ago

Arguments to Con.

I thought Pro started out ahead between R1 and R2, but Con really pulled in front in R3. Con"s R4 could have been a lot better but he still managed to keep the edge. Both sides would benefit from more comparisons of the impacts. For example, how do I weigh the healthcare impacts against the economic impact? Good debate on both sides.
Posted by Raisor 7 years ago

The part of this debate that really stands out in my mind is the numbers comparison con offers in R3- that UHC survival rates put 90,000 lives at risk vs Pro"s evidence that 40k die due to lack of insurance.
On corruption, Pro wins that status quo has the same issues with greater chance of systematic perpetuation of inequality.

On doctors, Con wins that some amount of doctors will leave the system but I view the number as <20% by taking into account study bias that Pro points out.

I grant that Obamacare offers limited solvency of status quo, using the number of 405 reduciton in uninsured. I think con should have ran with this number to do a more concrete impact calc and knock down the 40k lives Pro tries to save by 40%.

Con wins that looking at the general population of UHC countries, they underperform the U.S. Pro keeps saying how we shouldn"t look at individual countries, but this is not a very compelling argument. Perhaps is Pro had presented compelling success stories to counter Con"s compelling failure stories the point would have been more convincing. Again, I think Con should have pushed harder on the argument that US will look like Canada"s system, that it will be underfunded given political gridlock and the bad state of other welfare programs.

Con wins that UHC will leave the U.S. worse off in terms of lives saved by the healthcare system and quality of service.

I think Pro suffers from focusing too much on defensive arguments and not leveraging the positive health impacts of UHC.
Posted by Raisor 7 years ago
That being said, I just don"t think con painted a clear enough story of exactly how UHC will hurt the economy. He says its obvious that UHC runs contra to S&P fiscal tightening recommendations, but doesn"t do much to provide evidence to refute Pro"s economic benefits. I give Con that reducing ER use has negligible economic impact. I think con could/should have made better use of his political gridlock and welfare meltdown arguments to create a case that political realities of the US mean UHC will fail, he gets at this with his R3 argument about how US will underfund like Canada, but that was more in line with the healthcare side of the argument. Pro keeps articulating no specific Link to UHC, and I kind of agree.

The link is through spending, but I don"t think Con is making the case that UHC increases spending (again I think Con lets the argument get conflated with general economic performance). The $17.2k argument is good but articulated late in the debate. Con mentions a few off the cuff cases of how UHC is bankrupting other countries but doesn"t flesh out these empirical examples. Con is creating very good brink arguments, but I am not totally sold on the link.

Pro could have tried making some uniqueness overwhelms the link arguments- if S&P is already considering downgrade, welfare systems are already broken, etc. then Con"s economic impacts are going to happen no matter what. We might as well get UHC if we are screwed either way.

The economy argument is difficult for me to resolve, especially since I can"t read the Thorpe evidence. In the end I think I am not totally sold on Con"s link argument. I also don"t think Pro garners offense on this issue. So there may be some risk to con"s disadvantage but it doesn"t seem substantial.
Posted by Raisor 7 years ago

The Heg impacts depend on the economy link, so I evaluate these issues together. I assume Con just added in Heg to get an impact magnitude boost, but this purpose isn"t served when Con fails to mention it in the final round impact calc.

I think it would have been easier for Pro to just pick a rough outline for an actual UHC plan and defend it. I buy that the Rez allows Pro the flexibility to just defend the general course of action, but I also buy Con arguments that political realities of the US and the example of other countries constrain what a US system could look like and how we can expect a UHC system to perform. I think defining a plan would have given Pro more control over what he has to defend.

I think Con"s US credit scenario outweighs most of the other impacts in this debate- but Pro doesn"t clearly articulate this point, especially not in the final round. This scenario hinges on the impact UHC has on government spending, which is a point worth noting. A lot of Pro"s arguments were just "UHC helps the economy" but if this economic boost doesn"t offset the government expenditure, Con"s impact is still triggered. Again, the point was not articulated by Con so I evaluate the issue largely as "does UHC hurt/help economy?"

Pro relies heavily on the Thorpe and Murray evidence, but it is hard for me to weigh this heavily as a judge if I can"t read the card. I think con"s final round argument that the Thorpe card relies on multiple factors should have been made earlier- its an effective argument but it is a new argument in the final round so I ignored it. Pro"s job lock stat is hard to evaluate, but it exists as a gray blob weighing in Pro"s favor.
Posted by Raisor 7 years ago

I lazy-flowed this debate:


To Con because Pro did not offer links or even full citations to sources. This made it actively harder for me to judge this round.


Con wins that the moral obligation of the Resolution should be weighed through consequentialism. This is because most of Pro"s arguments trying to dodge implementation are just arguments that ough=moral obligation. That"s all well and good, but as con points out, Pro offers no moral framework as an alternative to consequentialism.

Therefore, I evaluate Pro"s solvency stemming from solving for uninsured- I grant Pro that UHC will grant everyone insurance and judge the debate based on the impacts.

Con tries to make the case that Pro needs to prove that there is a moral obligation to take care of other"s needs. Yet con makes this point almost as an afterthought and doesn"t justify how this consideration stacks up against consequentialism. Even more problematic is that Con himself advocates from the start that we evaluate "on principle" as the government acting in the citizen"s best interest. So this point seemed like a poor use of argument space.
Posted by Bullish 7 years ago

I spot checked some of his sourced and stars, and they turned up well. This compounded with his record makes me think he's not BSing us. That's why I gave CON the the sources point.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Contra 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The arguments provided by both sides were solid. Pro's strongest points were the negative impact of those lacking health insurance, while Con strongly argued that total costs, especially for individual taxpayers would rise substantially, and is thus unaffordable and destructive for America's economic vitality. Thus, Con's argument wins out. Pro also provided no paragraphs or spacing, which made his arguments difficult to read coherently. Con provided more sources, and Pro could have done better in this area by offering more sources, with stronger empirical evidence for his case.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro needed to prove solvency and refused to do so. One "ought" to do something only if it is financially viable and better than other ways of spending money. If health insurance were a necessity then the US could not have survived until the relatively recent invention of health insurance. Con did a careful job of establishing the difference between health insurance and actually delivered health care. Con made the case that UHC would cost more, result in doctor shortages, and lead to rationing. con's case was well supported by sources, while had only a few weak references. Pro should leave a blank line after paragraphs, but that isn't too big a problem.
Vote Placed by ClassicRobert 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Also in comments.
Vote Placed by Raisor 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Bullish 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: S&G - CON had consistently better organization than PRO, with bolded headings and everything. ARGUMENTS - On the issue of empirics, PRO had much more statistics that were more sweeping, where as CON's stats were more focused on isolated cases, as PRO pointed out. CON also seems to agree that uninsurance is bad. SOURCES - Although PRO sites sources, he did not provide links, so it was a hassle to look them up. CON also used more sources.

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