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Universal Health Care Private Health Care
Debate Score:130
Arguments:58
Total Votes:163
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 Universal Health Care (31)
 
 Private Health Care (27)

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Universal Health Care

The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system. I'm wondering what U.S. citizens would prefer: universal health care or private health care? Why one over the other? Personally, I would prefer government-guaranteed universal health care. I think in the end, we would all save money on health care because citizens would be more likely to see the doctor, dentist, eye doctor, etc. before their health problems progressed to a point where huge medical expenses would need to be covered. This means that the quality of our health care would increase, while the overall cost for each individual would decrease. Since we do not have universal health care on a national level, such programs are being sought at the state and municipal level. I currently live in Massachusetts, which mandates that residents purchase health insurance, however I'm not sure that mandating that residents purchase privatized health insurance is really doing anything to help the problem. Ideally, I think we would all prefer to have health insurance, but if we can't really afford to purchase it, forcing us to and then charging us fines if we don't puts us in a tight spot. I really want to know what other people think.

Universal Health Care

Side Score: 66
VS.

Private Health Care

Side Score: 64
4 points

The penalty for not having insurance in MA is about $900, and it's actually cheaper to pay the fee than to pay for the insurance. I know individuals who have paid the penalty rather than spend more for the actual coverage. I find that incredibly depressing.

Socialist countries such as Denmark are incredibly expensive and the average Dane pays about 51% of his/her paycheck in taxes, but look at the Danes: they're healthy and well tended, have a very high standard of living.

In another thought, if our taxes actually went somewhere, went where they were supposed to, I don't see why we couldn't pay for health care or for our university system. Every European I have met scoffs and is incredulous that we have no universal healthcare and that we pay for university.

And to further drive home frustration, I am one of those who then gets tangential and thinks about the f*ing war in Iraq and the other heinous government spending we've suffered in the last X many years. Big mess, huh!?

Side: universal health care
AltonSmith(111) Disputed
1 point

So, in other words, the costs for the healthcare system is extremely high, which is the exact same criticism that we have come to expect from opponents of the great private system.

Privatized healthcare promotes innovation and ultimately causes novel treatments to become commonplace and, as a result of market forces, much cheaper.

Side: Private Health care
VinRokk(6) Disputed
1 point

Privatized healthcare stands at the center of the problem. The industry is under-regulated, and in many cases unregulated. There are too many honest, taxpaying Americans with medical bills out the wazoo.

For whatever reason, these hard-working citizens were either under-insured, victims of the good ole' "pre-existing condition" clause, or applied to some complicated loophole. Is this what you call "innovative"?

Side: Universal Health Care
VinRokk(6) Disputed
1 point

Privatized healthcare stands at the center of the problem. The industry is under-regulated, and in many cases unregulated. There are too many honest, taxpaying Americans with medical bills out the wazoo.

For whatever reason, these hard-working citizens were either under-insured, victims of the good ole' "pre-existing condition" clause, or applied to some complicated loophole. Is this what you call "innovative"?

Side: Universal Health Care
3 points

I would have to agree with the government-based universal healthcare for U.S. citizens because it has proven to be effective in other countries such as France. I also believe that it will allow all U.S. citizens to save money and to be provided with the care that some may need. Without a doubt, our health insurance needs some sort of improvement and universal healthcare may be the answer

Side: universal healthcare
lawnman(1106) Disputed
3 points

Placing the cost of healthcare upon the shoulders of all of the working class both now and perpetually will not reduce the cost of healthcare. The expense of healthcare is why people can’t currently afford healthcare apart from insurance or medicare. The costs associated with healthcare are not a reflection of the actual costs to provide healthcare, but more accurately are a reflection of the greed for profit that exists within healthcare, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies. We need healthcare that provides reasonable services and products at reasonable prices, not healthcare that compels exorbitant fees at devalued wages. And lastly, the very fact that insurance companies and government, not the patients, are paying for the majority of the cost of healthcare enables the greed of the healthcare industry. Healthcare that only insurance companies and government can afford enriches only the healthcare providers at the expense of the working class. And quite simply is the reason we are in the predicament we find ourselves. Universal healthcare in the U.S. will accomplish nothing but additional problems, for the greed of the healthcare providers can never be satiated and will always seek to maximize profits at higher prices.

Side: Private Health care
Raww(2) Disputed
2 points

I think you have it backwards. Healthcare in this country costs so much because of the profit motive of the capitalist system it operates within, not because of universal healthcare. You can't use existing prices as an argument against universal healthcare when the existing prices were caused by the private system and not a universal one.

And your argument about the working class makes no sense at all. The working class is the group most likely not to have health insurance and the most likely to lose everything were they to get sick. The working class would stand to benefit most from universal healthcare, not the other way around.

Finally, the greed of the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies can be brought under control pretty easily through UH. In such a system the government would be able to bargain drug prices and lower them with impugnity, as it is by far the largest customer on the market. There is a reason drug prices are so high in the U.S. and so low in other countries with Universal Healthcare.

Side: universal health care
2 points

I agree, but I'm also wondering what people think needs to improve? What are some of the flaws that are apparent in the current system and how will Universal Healthcare fix these flaws? If you oppose Universal Healthcare, what about the current system do you think works well? How is the current system better than Universal Healthcare?

Side: universal healthcare
2 points

In Japan, everyone gets equal treatment because everyone gets national health care. In this country, if you have no money, you don't get a good insurance plan which is not fair. In Massachusetts, there is Masshealth for poor people, but it's only Medicare which covers nothing. so if you get into an accident, you will end up paying thousands of money. There are so many people living in this country. I don't understand why we don't have national health care. What annoys me is that medicare and a dental plan are two separate things. I've visiting a dentist because I have to get rid of my wisdom teeth which is a lot of money with no dental insurance. one tooth costs you about 350 dollars. Since I have 4 wisdom teeth, it will cost me about 1500 bucks in total. Do people expect a college student to have that much money? I have 2 jobs, but I don't even get more than $1000 every month. I am really frustrated with American health insurance.

Side: universal health care
1 point

Universal healthcare would eliminate the problems that are posed by privatized healthcare. With it being universal, everyone gets treatment at an equal rate. Taxes would be higher, but the benefits would be better. Take Sweden for example, where a person can walk into a hospital at any moment and get treated without the gratuitous amount of paperwork, or questions like, "Who's your insurance carrier? How much does your plan cover?" etc. Besides, most countries already have universal healthcare.

Side: universal healthcare
frenchieak(1131) Disputed
3 points

OK, it would get rid of some problems with the current health care system, but it would create a whole new set of problems.

Look at the other countries that have Universal Health Care. Let's take your example, Sweden. Sweden has a reasonably manageable population of around nine million. That's about as much as one of the many large metropolitan areas in the United States.

The Sweden government does not need nearly as much money as the American government would to supply its population with health care. The American government can't even afford the services it offers now. If this were passed, taxes would be outrageous. The country would either take more and more of its citizen's money, or become trillions and trillions more dollars in debt.

Supporting Evidence: CIA World Factbook - Sweden (www.cia.gov)
Side: Private Health care
kylert(2) Disputed
4 points

Okay then lets make a list of countries closest in population to the United States and to be fair let's only use the 27 high-income OECD countries. (All the following data comes from The World Health Report 2000)

Country | % of World | US/% of World

-------------------------------------------------

United States 4.52 1

Japan 1.90 2.4

Germany 1.22 3.7

France 0.97 4.7

United Kingdom 0.92 4.9

Now let's sort by overall healthcare performance

Country | Performance | Cost Per Capita

-----------------------------------------------

France 1 4

Japan 10 13

United Kingdom 18 26

Germany 25 3

United States 37 1

Since you were interested in cost let's sort by Performance / Cost Per Capita. It's just a better metric.

Country | P/C

--------------------

France 0.25

United Kingdom 0.69

Japan 0.76

Germany 8.33

United States 37.0

And now let's scale this to the population. ((P/C) (US/% of World)) and let's also reveal what system of healthcare each country uses.

Country | (P/C) (US/% of World) | System of Healthcare

--------------------------------------------------------------------

France 0.6 Single-payer

Japan 1.8 Single-payer

United Kingdom 3.4 Single-payer

Germany 30.8 Compulsory National Insurance

United States 37.0 Voluntary Private Insurance

So as we can see single-payer is clearly more affordable and has better performance than either CNI or VPI systems of healthcare. And I have a hunch that if this sample had included even more countries that there would be a trend that Compulsory Private Insurance (like we have where I live in Mass.) would be better than VPI but still not as good as CNI.

Side: universal health care
KsLawdawg(3) Disputed
2 points

The Government can't afford the services it pays for now, cause it has no control over the costs of drugs and what Hospitals and Doctors charge.

As I said under my plan we control costs and improve care.

Side: universal health care
1 point

Man, it's the government's job to protect the people. Universal health care would be a godsend in our current state.

Side: universal health care
ksuaviator Disputed
2 points

Show me in the Constitution where you will find the power for government to steal money from one person to give to another? I'd love to see it.

Side: Private Health care
1 point

It is time for Universal health care for several reasons.

1. It will grow the economy, by letting consumers and business keep more of their money that goes to pay health care premiums which amounts to a hidden tax.

2. Americans shouldn't have to be forced to lose everything they worked their entire life for just because they got sick, and cannot afford to pay their hospital bill.

3. Every other industrialized nation has it, which puts our business at a disadvantage.

4. In the current system, those of us who have health care insurance end up paying for those who don't because hospitals pass the cost onto the insurance companies in higher costs to recover for those who don't pay. So it is already socialism.

5. We spend more than any other country in the world on health care and yet we have 49 million Americans who aren't covered and we rank 33rd in the world in care. France spends about half of what we do and are ranked 1st.

6. if it is done right it will be a system that offers Americans another choice in care, and provide competition for the private sector which should drive down the cost overall. More choice equals more freedom. And Freedom is what this country is all about baby!

Side: universal health care
ksuaviator Disputed
1 point

1. It will do the opposite of growing the economy. When the government puts price controls on anything (which they have done in the past) you get several negative effects. The first is an artificial rise in demand. In the case of UHC, that means the government will have to ration care through means other than money. The second is you lose production when people that had made a profit off of the product leave because they can't earn a living any more. Finally, UHC would end health insurance. That means the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Nearly doubling our current unemployment.

2. They aren't. Check my post on the opposite side of this page.

3. No it does not. It puts our businesses at an advantage. We just have to get away from this mentality that someone else should pay our bills.

4. If you think that is socialism, than you are either being very disingenuous or you are incredibly ignorant. Do some reading on socialism.

5. Don't buy into those rankings. In France (and other countries) you only get health care if you are deemed worthy. The older you get, the less they will treat you. A 70 year old woman cannot get treatment for Cancer in France, but anyone can get treatment in the US. Does it cost more? Yes, but that has nothing to do with being socialized. It has to do with this mentality that someone else should pay our bills.

6. It can't be done right. The very idea is immoral.

Side: Private Health care
1 point

Insurance companies are making healthcare an unaffordable luxury in america and it really needs to be stopped and or regulated so at the very least people that have insurance can receive the care they pay for. far to many people are being bankrupt by this current system

Side: universal health care
ksuaviator Disputed
1 point

Insurance companies aren't doing that. Medicare/caid, schip and other government programs are driving up the cost of health care.

Do you know what happens when you take cost down to a minimum? Demand goes up. If you have a segment of the population getting nearly free product (health care int his case) and the rest paying for the product....guess what happens? Those getting nearly free health care suck up as much of the product as they can and those of use paying for it are forced to pay premium prices for the artificially reduced supply.

Side: Private Health care
1 point

Being from Canada, I can tell you first hand the pros (and cons) of Public Health Care.

I can tell you that because Health Care is free for everyone (this is a generalization, actual costs vary by province (or territory)), one, I break my arm and call an ambulance without a very strange bill appearing later. Two, the financial burden of Health Insurance is taken off the plates on the individual families, many of whom could not afford it. Instead Health Care is paid for through the province in which you reside. Should you want Private Health Care, it is available.

I can also tell you that often Hospitals are backed up. Not enough staff is usually the case. Lots of the infrastructure (buildings, etc...) are getting older, and may not be being maintained effectively. This is a typical effect of placing, one, health care costs on a single party and, two, in the hands of elected officials. Often the budget doesn't allow for many of the things that are required by the Ministry of Health, or the politicans charged with making decision don't understand the pros and cons.

All in all, I would not change the system, just amend it. Socialism (one of the governing philosophies in Canadian politics), allows for the freedom of the individual while taking care of the needs of the community. Any person in the Province of Ontario (for example) has the right to education, health care, etc... And the province provides these rights to the province. Education is free until Grade 12, and Health Care is almost always free.

Side: universal health care
1 point

Universal Health Care is not an evil institution. I scanned over the opponent's arguments and saw things like, "Universal Health Care is robbery". Is cumpolsory public education also robbery? What about fire protection and police protection for all? There are some things to which all people are entitled, such as education and healthcare, and we live in a nation and time where that is possible.

The private insurers have had ample opportunity to update their business model to actually care for all insured, but have chosen not to. They prioritize profits, denying payment for care whenever possible. They deny people admission into plans based on "pre-existing conditions" and the like. We need insurance that actually covers us and covers us all. Since private insurance companies apparently can't step up to the plate to fill this need, I see no issue with the government doing so.

Side: universal health care

I support Universal Health Care because no one should have the fear of going to a hospital and having an astronomical bill to pay.

Side: Universal Health Care
0 points

People who can't afford health care deserve it just as much as the people that do have it. Should someone with out it get hurt or injured, they won't be able to afford and be in debt for a long long time, and that is part of our economic problem. There are to many people in debt.

Side: universal health care
ksuaviator Disputed
1 point

Ok, so today's limitation on health care is affordability. Do you really want tomorrow's limitation...bureaucracy? Look at what is happening in GB. They are refusing care for breast cancer to women over a certain age because it isn't cost effective. How would you like to get that news? "Well Mr. Birdman, you have cancer and it is curable, but you aren't worth enough to the government to cure."

Side: Private Health care
0 points

Universal healthcare presents an opportunity for the health of all it's citizens. This, in my personal view is what a good government should really aim to do.

Side: universal health care
ksuaviator Disputed
1 point

Government is a zero sum game (in some respects). So, if the government gives people health care, what does the government have to take? For one, they take money. Much more money than private health care if they provide the same level of care. If they provide reduced care (see Canada, Australia, France, Great Britain...) then they can do it for less. The government will also take freedom. They won't allow you to get the treatment you need, rather you'll get the treatment they think you deserve based on some chart. They'll also take the freedom to eat as you wish (see NY and San Francisco). They may even require you to exercise x hours per day.

The point is, there is a huge tradeoff if you allow the government to take over your health care. It is your health care, don't let a bureaucrat decide if you should or shouldn't have access to it.

Side: Private Health care
7 points

Everyone keeps trying to have these one quick fixes of the social inequalities that exist (and are increasing) for the American people. One big stimilus check does not save a bad business. It is a bad business. One switch from private to universal healthcare does not fix the problem: that people cannot afford it because they are poor. Universal healthcare could actually increase the cost of healthcare for some individuals, particularly the middle class. So switching the healthcare system does not solve the problem, it only changes it. What the American people need to focus on is something to alter the actual social condition--to mediate, to relieve, and to solve the growing poverty rates (and to make America as economically equal as it is idealistically equal). What could do this? Changing the healthcare system? Maybe. But maybe not.

Side: Private Healthcare
applecore278(27) Disputed
5 points

I wouldn't necessarily label changing over to Universal Health care a quick fix. In fact, switching over to Universal Health care could possibly be quite the process. We would change the nature of the system, which differs from your example of one large stimulus check. Rather, I would compare Massachusetts's mandated health insurance to your stimulus check, where the action taken is simply a bandage on the overall problem. The stimulus check doesn't help a business that just can't stay afloat, in the same way that mandated private health insurance doesn't help people who can't afford health insurance to begin with. Also, according to the Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care, "The United States spends at least 40% more per capita on health care than any other industrialized country with universal health care." I think that Universal Health care "will alter the actual social condition--to mediate, to relieve, and to solve the growing poverty rates (and to make America as economically equal as it is idealistically equal)". Plus, I think we'll all be a lot healthier and more healthy people equals more people who can go to work and contribute to the overall economy.

Side: universal healthcare
tnextshakesp(8) Disputed
4 points

How is it not a quick fix? For starters, one of the main problems with health care in America is its lack of doctors and its price at doctor fees. America has more malpractice suits than any other country, which means that our doctors need to be heavily insured. The more our doctors need to spend, the more we need to spend. The problem with American healthcare system is not who is paying for it (private insurance agencies, or the government) because in the end the people paying for it are, well, the people. The real problem is becoming a loss in education (check out how the education cuts schools are taking. I know at Framingham State College they are about to cut the English Department by nearly two thirds). Less education means less high paying jobs. Less high paying jobs includes doctors. Universal Healthcare will not work unless America gets more doctors (if everyone has coverage, everyone is going to go--especially in situation where before they had decided not to: this means that some people may expect a doctor to treat their every cold, their every cut, and their every bruise. There will be those who abuse the system) and America cannot get more doctors unless it aids students in becoming doctors (and then protects its doctors from oftentimes ill-advised lawsuits).

Again, I will repeat my main point. A Universal Healthcare system will not aid this country's economic situation. It will not help the people. It will hurt them. The middle class will bear more weight (and taxation) upon their shoulders. The middle class now is already paying for the healthcare of illegal immigrants. I think to solve the problem with growing medical fees in this nation, a change from private to universal healthcare will not promote economic security (in fact, health insurance companies are pretty big companies employing thousands of people across the country--would switching to universal healthcare put them out of jobs?).

Universal healthcare is not a band-aid, so why should it be treated as such? It is just a change of structure, not a change to fix the economic and social crises of the nation.

Side: Private Health care
5 points

Nothing in my argument remotely construes universal healthcare is the cause of the expense of healthcare in the U.S.; however, as an aside argument, I think there is a connection that has yet to be made that the socialist healthcare systems of other countries are at least in part responsible for the costs of healthcare in the U.S.. Merck pharmaceutical sells its drugs to both private and public healthcare systems. Merck will be compensated for losses incurred by sales to public systems by passing the loss to private systems in the form of higher prices. So in a sense it is plausible that the public healthcare systems of the world actually exacerbate higher prices where healthcare is privately owned. Now back to our original subject.

#1. What is the primary problem with the healthcare system of the U.S.?

My answer: Ninety plus percent of the patients of the system cannot afford to pay the price of their own healthcare.

#2. What is the root cause of the patient’s inability to pay for healthcare? Is it A, healthcare is too expensive or B, that their wages are too low, or C other.

My answer: B, their wages are too low.

(My father, earning the wage of a garage mechanic, paid cash for the births of all of his children with less than four weekly paychecks each. Today, how many mechanics are paid 14,000 dollars a month, which is the average cost of an uncomplicated vaginal birth? )

HEY! I am no longer going to continue debating or justifying my argument concerning U.H.

Either people understand or don’t understand what robbery looks like. I am not their god or their moral judge.

Screw the logical formality of debating this absurd question!

• Universal Healthcare is a crime against the working class.

• The question of this entire debate is nothing more than a question about the benefit of outright criminality.

Indulge my short or not so short rant for a moment, if you will. I am extremely disturbed that in the hearts and minds of the U.S. populace, people abound in ignorance of the fact they advocate robbery when they push for public healthcare. They are implicating themselves as criminals and seek to justify their criminality by legislative action of the government. We are truly a nation of thieves. We, as a nation, are so mad upon our right to healthcare we want to violate the right of ownership of property, including the wages of all persons in the U.S. It’s as though there is no other alternative but to steal from one another, our children, parents, and friends. And the justification for all of it is that all is right because everyone will be doing it.

(Bare in mind that they who argue the most for public healthcare have the most to gain by it. There will be 80 million baby boomers entering retirement in the next eighteen years. Should we suppose they want someone else to pay for their healthcare so that they can take cruises around the world? (Have you seen the bumper sticker on the $300.000 RVs that read: “I am spending my children’s inheritance)Moreover how many of those baby boomers want people such as myself and our families to pay for their healthcare needs for the next eighteen plus years? This is too much like social security with perks! )

Know this; we will have in the U.S. within a very short time frame a public healthcare system. And how do I know this? The baby boom generation of 80+million rules the country today and before too many of them have retired they will make certain that their children are bound by taxation for the healthcare needs of the baby boom gen.

And so in conclusion, regardless of what is thought or not thought of public healthcare we working class stiffs will be paying in the form of taxation all healthcare needs of the most debauched, rotten, spoiled generation ever born in the U.S.

The baby boomers are currently socializing the losses of the most cherished institutions of the U.S.; expect the healthcare system over the coming weeks and months of this year to also need taxpayer money.

Yes, I’ve made a judgment of the baby boom gen. I know what to expect from that gen. and I am in no mood to prove they intend to rob from me and mine. The baby boom gen. fixes its problems by acts of governmental crimes against the innocent.

Side: Private Health care
jcampbe(23) Disputed
1 point

Although I do agree the Cost of the system and wages for the average citizen are the problems, I have to disagree with how to fix them.

With many of the problems of our time, they come from either extremely lax regulation or no regulation at all. This is an extremely sad statement on human nature.

The another (unmentioned) part of Socialism is that society helps you when your in need. Sure the Baby Boomers are going to be literally siphoning money out of the US tax payer, I know they are in Canada. But what happens when you reach that age? Are you going to be able to pay medical costs? Are you going to enjoy paying medical costs?

It's a tit-for-tat situation. Sure your covering the costs of others now, but someday others may be covering your costs. And I'm pretty sure, unless your secretly Bill Gates, you, nor your family, have an infinite money source.

Side: universal health care
4 points

One, government (especially in a country like ours) sucks at taking care of the people. Do you really want the Doctor's office to be like the DMV? Do you want to be FORCED to get something done just cause the government papers says you should. Hmm, you're gonna have to get a prescription for this because you have this. yes, the side effects suck, but if you get too sick we'll have to pay a lot more. Deal with it.

Not only will it be ineffective, it'll be taking away our rights as a whole.

We already have medicaid for the poor, do we really have to create Universal Health Care when the numbers don't even add up?

Side: Private Health care
applecore278(27) Disputed
3 points

On a personal note, I'd trust the government to take care of me more than a private insurance company. Also, the most I've ever waited at the DMV is an hour. I had to wait months and months in order to see a specialist my doctor referred me to (of course, one my insurance would cover), and then when I finally got to see the specialist, he had so many appointments that he only saw me for about 5 minutes. I think Universal Health care would be better for everyone, for the reasons I've already outlined. I'm not focusing solely on the poor. What numbers are you referencing?

Side: universal health care
clapan(1) Disputed
2 points

I think that universal healthcare sounds all warm and fuzzy and lets treat everyone equal and whatever, but seriously lets think about it for a minute.

I can empathize with you on the specialist thing. I had to see a retinal specialist last year once a month for 6 months. The receptionist warned us not to bother coming early bc there would be a wait. The wait every month no fail was AT LEAST 3 hours even with an appointment scheduled. Now that was a retinal specialist. Think about how many poor people are plagued with diabetes and are suffering retinal damage because 1. they cannot or/ do not want to care for their diabetes or 2. are not able to get medical attention. If all those people were suddenly blessed with universal health care that wait would be off the friggin chart. And thats just for diabetic retinopathy. Now imagine cardiovascular disease, resiratory and, mental diseases; all of these diseases are more prevalent in low income populations aka those that are most likely to not have health care coverage.

Where are we going to get the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, cardiologists, rheumatologists, CNA's, PCA's, and the like, not to mention room in the wards and equipment to care for there patients? I have been in the hospitals for more than 2 years now and even with that little experience I can say that hospitals, although touted as near rackets by most, are strapped for staff and properly functioning equipment. An average nursing assignment is determined by most facilities to be at 4-5 to ensure safe care for all patients. In reality nurses are assigned upwards of 6. In nursing homes and rehab settings it can be upwards of 16 (where I work). The most I have seen is 22. This means less care for ALL of the patients involved not just the poor, and is frankly dangerous to everyone involved.

As a health care provider it breaks my heart to see people suffering for financial or lack of insurance or whatever, but handing it to everyone in a country this size with a medical field as lacking as ours is is totally unrealistic. First fix the health care system as a whole THEN invite everyone.

I also advocate for plans like MassHealth. So many people knock it but my family was on it for 1 year and it was not bad. I forget the statistic but there is a huge percent of people who are elligible for it that do not utilize it.

Side: Private Health care
4 points

The Case Against Universal Health Care

Why UHC is Wrong

Universal Health Care is unconstitutional. As with many of the social programs that we allow to continue in violation of the Constitution; the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of the government have no authority to redistribute wealth regardless of the purpose.

Most people believe that the Constitution does in fact give the government the right to impose social programs. They derive this belief from two separate, but similar clauses. The first comes from the Preamble which says; “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” It is the phrase “promote the general welfare” that people often quote as the power to create social programs. In actuality, the Preamble does not give any branch the authority to do anything. The reality is, the Preamble is a guideline for the three branches. You could translate the Preamble to like this:

More perfect Union = Better than England

Establish Justice = Establish Justice

Insure domestic Tranquility = Peaceful

Provide for the common defence = one army to defend (i.e. not controlling)

Promote the general Welfare = all laws/regulations should not harm the country

Secure the Blessing of Liberty = Freedom for All

If the government followed those guidelines for every law/regulation they form, they will be on their way to being Constitutional. However, the federal government must use Article 1, Section 8 to derive their powers.

In fact, Article 1, Section 8 is where we find the second common misconception. This is where each power is enumerated to the Congress. The first clause states: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”. We see here that a large part of the Preamble is restated but with a few notable differences. The most notable and important difference is to whom the congress can apply these powers.

Pay close attention to the phrase “of the United States.” Throughout the Constitution the founders use very specific terms to mean very specific things. When they wanted rights or rules applied to citizens they used the term citizens. When they wanted rights or rules to apply to anyone they used “the people.” When they wanted rights or rules to apply to States, they used the term States. When they used the term “the United States” they were talking about the federal government.

If you replace the term “of the United States” with its literal meaning you get a more clear understanding of its true meaning: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the Federal Government…”

Just so there is no confusion, you will find in the 10th Amendment that these powers are limited to Article 1, Section 8 by stating: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words: ‘if it ain’t in the Constitution, you can’t do it.’

Why it doesn’t work

Everywhere Universal Health Care has been tried, it has failed. UHC always becomes expensive, restrictive and lacks innovation.

We’ve been told that UHC is cheap. Well, that isn’t the case. UHC is as expensive as the government lets it be. We only have to look here in our own country to see evidence of that. Medicare sets limits to what a doctor can charge for a visit or procedure. Every doctor charges the limit set by Medicare. They have to. If they don’t, Medicare will assume that they have set the bar to high and lower it. Apply this to the entire health care system. If we expand that policy to cover every doctor and every procedure we will have several negative results.

The first is the loss of talented doctors. People that become doctors don’t just do it for the gratification of saving lives. The fact is, they lose every patient sooner or later. Doctors do what they do for the money, especially the good ones. If you take away their ability to demand a fair market price you take away the incentive to be a doctor and we lose good doctors.

Another problem we will encounter is a short coming in available services. We can see this in other countries. Many countries with socialized medicine require patients to wait months or years to see a doctor. In some parts of Canada, the wait to see a doctor for a routine exam is two years. This problem is compounded by the lack of monetary incentive to be a doctor.

Finally, because the government sets the prices, inventors and manufacturers of medical equipment will just fade away. Price controls never work. Further, innovative people will always find a free market where they can excel.

Why we don’t need it

Most people have this idea that if they don’t have health insurance that pays for everything that is even remotely health related that they will go bankrupt and die. That is not the case. Most people just need a type of insurance that is usually referred to as Catastrophic or Major Medical Insurance.

Major Medical covers some very basic health issues. A good generalized definition is “everything that is life threatening or life altering.” In practical terms, that means if you have an expensive problem, you are covered. So you can go to the ER or hospital and pay only the deductible (or deductible plus a percentage depending on the plan). Major Medical plans can also be purchased with a prescription drug rider that will cover most prescriptions you will need.

The health insurance we have all been told we have to have is called Comprehensive (or Premium) Insurance. Comprehensive Insurance covers everything Major Medical covers but also ads routine visits to the doctor. In fact, we all purchase Major Medical Insurance with the Comprehensive Clause added to it. This means that the coverage for ER and hospital stays is identical. The only difference being what you pay for a doctor.

I got quotes from eHealthInsurance.com. I put in a family of four with both parents 30 years old non-smokers and 10 and 5 year old children. One quote was from Humana (Major Medical) and the other from Cigna (comprehensive). The Humana quote was for $196.04 per month, coming out to $2,352.48 per year. The other was from Cigna (comprehensive) and was very affordably priced at $292.00 per month or $3,504 per year.

For a typical year, the family of four would probably have six visits to the doctor. Most doctors charge around $150 for a visit. If the family is on the Humana plan, they will pay $900 out of pocket because they pay for the whole thing. If they are on the Cigna plan, they will pay a $30 deductible per visit plus 20% which comes to $324. When you figure in the added premium, they don’t save money.

There is one big difference though, if someone goes to the hospital and uses more than $10,000 the Humana plan becomes much better. After $10,000 the Humana plan covers 100% of the cost, where as the Cigna plan covers 80%. This gives the person on the plan that we’ve all been told is not good enough a huge cost savings.

What needs to be done

I’m not one to dismiss an idea if I don’t have a better idea of my own. My plan incorporates promoting Major Medical Insurance in conjunction with Health Savings Accounts. Health Savings Accounts are just as they sound, savings accounts specifically for health care. The government allows us (gee, isn’t that nice of them) to put money into a savings account, before income tax is removed, and use it for health care. The catch is, at the end of the year anything that is left in the account becomes property of the government.

My solution is to allow HSAs to roll over from year to year untaxed (unless used for purposes other than health care) and after an individual reaches retirement age the account can be used for any purpose. This will have numerous advantages from free market pressure on visits to the doctor to increased savings rates for the average citizen.

We all know how the free market works and despite what some say, it works very well. When people have control over their money, they use it wisely. It is a precious commodity and they won’t hand over more of it than they have to. Even today, some health care centers are bowing to the pressure of the free market. Urgent care centers (doc in the box as my wife likes to call them) allow uninsured people to visit the doctor for as little as $75. As a patron of our local doc in the box, I can say that the care in these centers is fantastic.

Part of the reason the down turn in 2008 and 2009 has been so severe is the negative savings rate that plagues the nation. With an incentive to save money before it is taxed, people will be more inclined to put their money aside for rainy days than use it to make monthly payments on maxed out credit cards that bought a house full of useless crap. In addition, I’d allow them to put their excess HSA savings in bonds and cds so that they earn a small amount of interest with virtually no chance of loss. If the average family put $100 a month into savings from the time they are 20 to the time they retire, assuming they don’t have more than 2 major medical bills in 40 years, they will have saved close to $1 million (after interest).

I know that we do not need Universal Health Care. It is too burdensome on the tax payer, it provides for poor care and it is solving a problem that just doesn’t exist.

Side: Private Health care
applecore278(27) Disputed
1 point

I agree with your claim, "Throughout the Constitution the founders use very specific terms to mean very specific things."

You also claim that, "Promote the general Welfare = all laws/regulations should not harm the country"

Dictionary.com defines the term promote:

1. To help or encourage to exist or flourish; further: to promote world peace.

2. To contribute to the progress or growth of; further. See Synonyms at advance.

3. To urge the adoption of; advocate: promote a constitutional amendment.

4. . To contribute to the growth, enlargement, or prosperity of (any process or thing that is in course); to forward; to further; to encourage; to advance; to excite; as, to promote learning; to promote disorder; to promote a business venture. "Born to promote all truth." --Milton.

Dictionary.com defines the term general:

1. of or pertaining to all persons or things belonging to a group or category: a general meeting of the employees.

2. of, pertaining to, or true of such persons or things in the main, with possible exceptions; common to most; prevalent; usual: the general mood of the people.

3. not limited to one class, field, product, service, etc.; miscellaneous: the general public; general science.

4. considering or dealing with overall characteristics, universal aspects, or important elements, esp. without considering all details or specific aspects: general instructions; a general description; a general resemblance one to another.

5. not specific or definite: I could give them only a general idea of what was going on.

I believe that promoting general welfare is not intended for the federal government strictly due to the use of the term general instead of simply stating "Promoting the welfare of the federal government." Promoting general welfare would involve more than simply making sure the law/regulations we put in place do "not harm the country."

You make the rash claim that, "Everywhere Universal Health Care has been tried, it has failed. UHC always becomes expensive, restrictive and lacks innovation." Can you expand upon one example where it has failed and what its failings were?

Side: universal health care
ksuaviator Disputed
0 points

"I believe that promoting general welfare is not intended for the federal government strictly due to the use of the term general instead of simply stating "Promoting the welfare of the federal government." Promoting general welfare would involve more than simply making sure the law/regulations we put in place do 'not harm the country.'"

Seriously? Your logic doesn't even remotely support your conclusion.

"You make the rash claim that, "Everywhere Universal Health Care has been tried, it has failed. UHC always becomes expensive, restrictive and lacks innovation." Can you expand upon one example where it has failed and what its failings were?"

If my claim is so rash...why didn't you just post one example of the shining ER on the hill?

Side: Private Health care

I've been to Austria (Socialist country) they have universal health care. In order for doctors to make money, they have to find something wrong with you first. And they are only allowed to make mediocre recommendation to cure you (nothing too expensive). And the waiting line is enormous.

Side: Private Health care
applecore278(27) Disputed
1 point

Can you elaborate? How long were you in Austria and what for? Why do the doctors have to find something wrong with you in order to make money?

Side: universal health care

three weeks. but my x-wife is the one that told me the stories. but if I have to elaborate more than that then..... I made it all up. I'm really tired today. I just don't have the energy. Maybe tomorrow.

Side: universal health care
1 point

private health is the way to go look at canada and europe countrys who in the hell wants that not me obama needs to focus on the job things creating jobs the goverment screw up every thing its gets its hands into old hillary tired it failed this will fail too obama get your cotton picken hands out of it and create jobs . always doinf something to create a mess

Side: Private Health care
jcampbe(23) Disputed
0 points

First punctuation is something to be learned. Second stereotypes and racism tend not to created strong arguments.

"[...] gets its hands into old hillary tired it failed this will fail too obama get your cotton picken hands out of it and create jobs [...]"

Public Health Care means government regulated Health Care, prices are tightly regulated, costs are tightly controlled. Because it is government regulated, one, Jobs are created and, two, Job security is created. You can have many Jobs, but you would probably prefer to have Job security.

And in case your confused; Job Security means that I don't have to stand in an unemployment line every couple of months. It also means I can read and write.

Side: universal health care
ksuaviator Disputed
1 point

jcampbe

There is no political or economical theory that supports your assertions. You are putting together wild speculations combined with fantastical day dreams and calling it a guarantee. It won't work because you can't control costs, you can't recruit personnel and no government can sustain the system.

Side: Private Health care
1 point

It is a far more efficient system that enables innovation and establishes a far more effective system of treatment. One will find that universal healthcare systems derive their revenue from taxes (meaning that you still must pay for treatment) and the quality is vastly decreased as a result.

Side: Private Health care