The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

wait times are no real problem with single payer systems

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/29/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 698 times Debate No: 105400
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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the idea that we have to wait longer in a single payer system is mostly a myth. according to the Commowealth for most procedures the usa is well below average in wait times. for some specialized care, the usa is towards the top, but still not best.

what can we conclude?
-wait times is mostly a red herring- if we want decent access to doctors we shouldn't limit the supply of doctors like we have in the usa. let the free market work more in this regard.
-every other developed country is either single payer or has some sort of government involvement majorly. and they all are almost half as costly. most countries to save money by regulating costs. this is probably why specialized care wait times has been hurt some in other countries. but the fact that the usa is not the best in that regards, shows that it can be done better than here and with government involvement that covers everyone. and, all it means is we shouldn't be too gung ho on over regulating specialized care.
-other countries are like us. to the extent that there are wait times, it's mostly for people who dont need urgent care. the more urgent your situation, the faster you get seen. that's how it's done here too. any delay to the less urgent isn't significant enough to justify all the good points of single payer or a government involved method.
-there might be some limitation to access if we open up access to doctors to the remaining ten percent of uninsured just by demand going up some, but ten percent more people would not cause a significant shift in outcomes, and most states have less than that uninsured. and, is it all that moral to make your own care better by denying it to someone else? especially when you can just find a way to take care of them that doesn't really affect you, but simply choose not to?


First of all single payer system is not a standardized policy. Depending on how you structure your health care industry and system you will solve some problems and face others. Single payer health care systems come down to a VA like government run hospitals system or medicare for all system, other places are a tiered system although they do not call it that, it is essentially like the big brand name hospitals with the top name doctors that does not accept medicaid vs smaller ones.

I'll explain the reasons behind the high costs bad results US healthcare system, then I'll make my point and conclude.

Costs reflects resources spent to provide service, for a faster service you need more resources so higher costs.

The USA System costs are high with bad results because of many built-in disadvantages, expensive features, and unique structure.

The insurance system encourages waste and overcharging for services, also hospitals are over cautious where they would call in any doctor that might be relevant to the issue, so that is a contributor for high costs, another is the hospital administrators that make sure to operate a profitable hospital, not mentioning the health insurance loophole.

Then we go to the expensive features: the US subsidizes the rest of the world in medical devices and medical research, especially in cancer. In medical advances the US carries the most critical and expensive part in medicine: taking a procedure or a device from research and proof of concept to formal application of medicine, if more of the world does that the medicine would be way ahead, there is a good reason why 80% of new medicine comes from the united states, and since it is not a chinese propaganda they don't have to boast about it. Another expensive feature is the med school quotas, and the extensive studying years, most countries treat med school like engineering with 2 more years of residency, or something like that. This limits the supply of doctors, on the other hand you ensure only the best people become doctors, I'm not sure how the free-market would work, even it you remove the quota, you still have the lengthy study period and I'm not sure if med-schools want to increase their enrollment, very few schools increase theirs. This caution is shown in the limiting of over the counter medicine, countries with single payer system, at least the UK for sure, for many common health problems wouldn't admit you to see a doctor, you go to the pharmacy and ask for an antibiotic for your flu.

The bad health of the American's some of it is genetic, especially compared with hispanic population. Other problems are cultural: bad diet, recklessness, etc. Other is the uniform low density of the country, making some needed healthcare harder to reach.

the prefect healthcare has three features: Accessibility, Quality, and Affordability. You could have 2 and sacrifice the other. The US system has Quality and Accessibility but not affordability. The VA like system has a good quality and Affordable, but not accessable long waiting lines and have to go to a specific VA hospital. The Medicaid like system is affordable and somewhat accessible, but good hospitals wouldn't accept it.

So if you mean by single payer medicare, I don't think it is sustainable, the costs would fly of the roof. hypothetically we could significantly increase med school students, at some point you will graduate a significantly lower quality of doctors, guess what the good ones will have waiting times, while the mediocre ones people will run away from. Trust me doctors are not a commodity, no doctor is better than a bad doctor. Even if somehow we were able graduate a more quality doctors, doctors pay is an only small part in the healthcare costs.

The problem with the uninsured is not that they cannot afford health insurance, there is medicaid for that. These people would rather to spend that money on something else that they deem of higher priority, since they are in a good health and the odds are in their favor, they are not being denied they opted out, yeah if that had lots of disposable income they would joined but where to set the limit, I know someone who earn good income and not married yet, they would rather to keep save that money until they settle down. Even in the special cases, there are still charity hospitals that could help. I'm not saying the American healthcare system does not have people fall through the cracks, but the number is much lower than you think.

For me to be convinced and concede, you have to demonstrate one of these points:
1- What type of single payer health care system you suggest, how it works, and why it is superior to any free market alternative? You can't through developed countries names because every country has their own unique situation gets them their results. I don't expect you to give exact detailed answers but a rough idea that show me the potential.

2- Is universal healthcare as universal right a good by itself, and the government is the only way to insure it? if so, waiting lines don't matter because we are fulfilling a right we follow it regardless of the consequences.

The same way I think free-speech, or saying the truth as rights I follow them and accept them regardless of their consequences and my opinion of them, because I believe going against them kills the soul of both the individual and the society, for example if nazism was right and reflects and predicts reality much better than my thought, I looked into their litteriture, no they are not, but that had some good motivational concepts, mostly Nietzsche ripoffs, the same way I'm on afraid of an AI take over, if they are better than us, and a war was inevitable and the they won, they will be our perfect non-biological descendant, I will not run away from the truth no matter how disturbing it is, because eventually the truth wins over. So if someone says something disturbing and offensive, as long as it does not directly cause violence, not through reading though the lines and intentions, I'm fine with it. In fact, censoring ideas, especially dangerous ones shows your fear it is either The ideas are true and you're afraid of being exposed, or you think that I lack intelligence and ethics to know from what's right what's wrong. The first shows evil, the second shows mistrust, disrespect and contempt for me, either way I wouldn't like you. if they ideas are bad let them expose themselves. while both show cowardice, they says a lot about your sandcastle and how it will disappear with the next wave. (This is an example of me defending free speech as a right, I Linked it to the truth then a bunch of rhetoric, you don't have to do it this way)
Debate Round No. 1


i'm not sure why con is talking about the high cost of health care. we are debating wait times.

but in that vein he should have talked about the over priced cost of our health care, given that price control is the number one way single payer countries save money over us and what makes ours the most expensive. research accounts for only four percent of our healthcare spending, or in other words less than a percent of our GDP. healthcare spending in general is seventeen percent of our GDP. here is some numbers on this research spending point on that it's mostly just more expensive here, not all these other problems listed by con so much. also it's possible that we could starve innovation switching to single payer, but we probabaly wouldn't... the usa would never starve innovation and would find a way to make sure it flourishes. that's just the way this country is. it's bad judgment to say otherwise.

i could go on trying to put everything else in perspective too. it's not medical school for example that's the problem, it's a small fraction of the problem. but i will leave it at this for now i guess.

given con is talking about everything other than wait times, the theme of this thread, vote pro.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by usawinseverytime 2 years ago
Extended wait times in socialized medicine is most definitely not a myth. Shortages (which is what the "wait time" really is) is found in every government run industry ever created, and the healthcare industry is no exception. The NHS in Britain and the VA here in the US are examples of the vast inefficiencies of government run healthcare. America has never had a free market in the healthcare industry, so using our situation as an example of free market run healthcare is misleading and wrong.
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