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

universal health care

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/30/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,204 times Debate No: 28774
Debate Rounds (3)
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hi, guys. i'm new to debating, and this is my first debate ever..

i'll be fighting against universal health care in the US while pro will fighting for it

just accept in the first round



Welcome to DDO Michster!
I hope you enjoy your time here, and I look forward to this forthcoming debate.
Right back to ya Mich!
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to take this opportunity to thank my esteemed opponent DoctorDeku for accepting this debate (and Happy New Year!)

I will argue that my opponent has full burden of proof. Naturally, we, as individuals, have absolute natural freedom—except for aspects that the law takes away. Full burden of proof is always on the person who wishes to take away from an individual’s current state of natural freedom; my opponent’s position involves obligatory taxation for a public service (and this is, without a doubt, a restriction on absolute freedom.) In order to claim victory in this debate, my opponent must meet his burden of proof, thereby justifying this restriction.

Should all Americans have the right to health care?


“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” [1]

These recognizable words can be found in the Declaration of Independence. Let us take note of the Founding Fathers’ line referring to rights to "life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness." This is based on a part of John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, in which he defended a case for the notion that the sole function of a political (i.e., governmental) society is to defend human property, which he defined as "life, liberty, and estate." [2]

Locke elaborated on this notion by stating the following: “This freedom from absolute, arbitrary power, is so necessary to, and closely joined with a man's preservation, that he cannot part with it, but by what forfeits his preservation and life together: for a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot, by compact, or his own consent, enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the absolute, arbitrary power of another, to take away his life, when he pleases.” [3]

Indeed, based on their Lockean roots, the guaranteed rights to “life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness” were not meant to impose obligations on others to work toward these ends for us; rather, they are meant to express people’s rights to their own life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. And by obligating others to offer us the fruits of their labor, we are obstructing their rights to their own life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness. The rights that the Founding Fathers guaranteed did not impose obligations on other people; in fact, they imply the negative obligation of leaving you alone.

Hence, a right to health care, as a United States citizen, conflicts with the nature of the guaranteed rights the Founding Fathers noted and the Lockean principles on which they are founded.


As my last argument explains, rights certainly don’t guarantee material goods at the expense of others. Aside from the infringement of other people’s rights, a problem arises from the fact that the “right” to material goods is ambiguous in nature.

Here is an excerpt of the article “Health Care Is Not A Right”, by Leonard Peikoff, a libertarian philosopher and friend of the late Ayn Rand explained this best in his haircut analogy:

Haircuts are free, like the air we breathe, so some people show up every day for an expensive new styling, the government pays out more and more, barbers revel in their huge new incomes, and the profession starts to grow ravenously, bald men start to come in droves for free hair implantations, a school of fancy, specialized eyebrow pluckers develops—it's all free, the government pays.” [4]

Where do we set the limit? Do we set the limit at the cutting of head hairor can we also allow eyebrow plucking and hair implantations? This arbitrary bound must also be set in the instance of health. What types of health care are “rights” and what types are not? Should one have a right to a free colonoscopy? Should one have a right to two consecutive colonoscopies? Should one have a right to massage therapy? Should one have a right to cosmetic surgery?

If such a point were set arbitrarily, then it would be unfair to those left out. If people cannot get breast implants simply because the government set a random limit, then they would be rightly upset; it would be an utter injustice. I challenge my opponent to explain how a limit on the “right to health care” could be set by the government without it being arbitrary and unjust.


In the figure above, we can see the differences between the two health care systems, especially in regards to wait time.

The median wait time in Canada to see a special physician is a little over four weeks [5]

The median wait time for diagnostic services such as MRI and CAT scans is two weeks [5]

The median wait time for surgery is four weeks [5]

The salary gap between physicians in the US and those in countries with universal health care is staggering. Those in the U.S. earned an average after expenses in 2008 of $186,582, versus $125,000 in Canada, $159,000 in Britain and just $92,000 in Australia. [6]

Indeed, a system in which physicians are government employees and the use of government-provided health care is incentivizes, there is a lack of competition, a decrease in quality, and an increase in wait times.



[2] Locke, John (1988) [1689]. Laslett, Peter. ed. Two Treatises of Government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sec. 87, 123, 209, 222.

[3] (The text of Two Treatises of Government, see Chp. I, Sec. 23)






Outright, I must clarify that the Contender to a motion never has the burden of proof unless it is agreed upon prior to the beginning of the debate. The obligatory taxation argument is invalid as there are taxes paid in the status quo which are obligatory despite providing no benefit to the one paying the tax. A perfect example of this is would be public education, those who put their children through private school are still under the burden to pay taxes for public education despite not utilizing this right.
In the same vein of thought, we come to the realization that those living within the social contract[1] do not have absolute freedom, as their living within this contract means that they've given up absolute freedom in exchange for the protection that society provides.

I ask that the voters stay mindful of social Contract theory throughout this debate
That said, I move onto my opponent's more pertinent arguments,

Should all Americans have the right to health care?-
This analysis is inherently flawed for the same reasons that my opponent's analysis concerning the burdens in this resolution are flawed; humans living within the social contract do not have absolute freedom, and the right of the government to tax it's citizens for a public good is not absolute power. Just like citizens may opt out of taking advantage of Public education, they may also opt out of taking advantage of universal healthcare in favor of private clinics just as they do in Europe[2]

Next we see that Con's opposition to the resolution stems from a desire to keep his pockets padded; he doesn't want the government to tax him. However my opponent over looks the fact that Universal Healthcare would actually be good for the economy. [1]When people sick they can't work, and that inability to work means that they aren't able to contribute to the economy. Obviously this hurts them but it also hurts their employer and those who depend on him. Assuming his employer doesn't outright fire him as soon as he is unable to work, it means that he needs time off to heal; during this time, the employed still has to pay him and the he doesn't get a benefit from him working.
On another note, assuming the employer was a jerk and did fire him, it means he now has to shell out the money to hire and train a new employee to do the sick man's job. Even if this man worked at McDonalds he would have to be trained at least a little bit, but if he had a more complicated job such as being a machinist then the employer would have to spend even more on training costs.

We must remember that to an extend Universal Healthcare is already provided[4]. If I came into a hospital throwing up blood because I have throat cancer, the hospital would have to provide emergency care by virtue of the Hippocratic oath. This costs hospitals untold amounts of money because most people wait until they're beyond the point of return to seek help since they can't afford regular healthcare. If we would simply fund preventative healthcare, not only would this not be a problem, but we would also cut down on employers who lose money because their employees get sick and are unable to work.

As for my opponent's hair cutting argument; it's an Argumentum ad Absurdum and a Slippery Slope argument. If I need healthcare and don't get it, I'll probably die; If I need a haircut and don't get it, I'll probably be fine. In a worst case scenario I could get a pair of scissors from the dollar store and do it myself; I can't perform cardiovascular surgery by myself. Getting a hair cut and getting healthcare and two fundamentally different things, to compare the two and come to the conclusion that we mustn't allow Universal Healthcare is absurd; if we get to that point then get back to me.
As for the Slippery Slope? I challenge my opponent to make a link between Universal Healthcare and Universal Hair-Care. If he cannot this is a fallacy.

Also, breast implants are a cosmetic procedure. A patient will not die without them; diabetic insulin and preventative health care are necessities. We place the limit on universal healthcare on what is a necessity; if one could truly show that without breast implants that they would die, then Universal Healthcare would cover it.

Finally I can't see the chart my opponent has provided very clearly; but a Logical Refutation should stand.
For the wait time; having to wait two or four weeks is better than not getting healthcare at all.
Payment isn't going to be solely dependent on the healthcare industry. My opponent never tells us what the average income of a person living in these places is so we don't have an accurate point of comparison. The average Canadian makes $25,363 a year while the average American makes $31,111[5].

With my opponent's argument rebutted; I will offer a few argument as to why Universal Healthcare would be a good idea.

First; Money-
As I've shown in refutation of my opponent's case, it would be economically beneficial for employers, workers and Hospitals if Universal Healthcare was enacted[3][4]. Preventative care would make sure that workers would be able to continue to work without.

Second; Permissibility-
As I've shown in refutation of my opponent's opening analysis, it would be perfectly acceptable to provide Universal Health Care just as it is to provide Universal Education. If one doesn't want to partake of the public healthcare then private healthcare is an option. However they don't get to opt out of Social Contract responsibilities because they don't want to do it[1].

Third; Possibility-
My opponent has provided plenty of examples of first world countries who have Universal Healthcare, and these countries have pretty high standard living[6][7]. In Fact Great Britian enjoys the second highest standard of living in the European Union[7]!

In Conclusion,
Universal Healthcare is not a violation of the rights of free citizens, it is not a bad ideal Economically and it is over a very good idea.
As character space allows I will expand upon my own arguments in greater detail in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


the_mitchster084 forfeited this round.


Mich why would you do this to me D:
Oh well :B Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF