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Publically funded Healthcare

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nzlockienzlockie (PRO)
I’d like to thank my Opponent for joining me in this debate and especially for being gracious enough to take the weak side of the argument. Hopefully this will be an engaging discussion on a topic that is especially topical for the USA right now.

I’m not normally a big believer in statistics but in this case they do speak volumes. The USA is almost completely alone in the developed world in being a country which does NOT provide a State funded healthcare program to its citizens. The nice thing about this is that it will provide us with an excellent control with which to compare the pros and cons of such a program.

I’d like to open with a few short points which I believe stand on their own merits and then I’m happy to elaborate on them in further rounds if my opponent needs some more clarification on them.

1. Economics
Medical healthcare is something that the vast majority of people need at some stage in their lives. In fact, if you include your own birth in that, EVERYONE needs it! In the USA, a conservative estimate at the cost of giving birth without insurance is a figure between $30 – 35K. In the USA, roughly a third of births require a Caesarean which will push that figure higher. [1]

In New Zealand the average cost of giving birth is $2400. A C-Section will cost almost twice that. Almost 100% of that is covered by the State funded health plan, meaning the family pays nothing.
The average American in 2010 paid $8,233 per person for healthcare [3], nearly two and a half times the OECD average and more than twice the amount paid by people in countries like France, Sweden and the UK where healthcare is largely funded by the Government. [2]

Simply put – at an economic level, Public Healthcare works. The cost is spread over the majority of a population meaning that the individual impact is minimal, and it has been proven in many different parts of the globe to provide medical results equal and greater than countries employing alternative systems.

Healthcare is something needed by people from all walks of life and yet is something that many people on a low income simply can’t afford. A state funded program allows the greater population access to the same medical treatment. Having a greater percentage of the population healthy generates more income and a healthier local economy.

2. The Moral Issue
In most of the developed countries of the world, Health is considered to be a human right. In the USA it is considered to be a privilege – like a car or a TV, only available to those who can afford it.
My contention is that many of the loudest arguments AGAINST a Public healthcare system invariably boil to pure selfishness. “I want mine for mine” and “You better take care of yourself, because nobody else will!”
Allowing this kind of mindset to be seen as “normal” by the next generation can only lead our civilisation further down the road to destruction.

With the wealth of knowledge and technology mankind has available now, surely we should be at a point where we can embrace the idea that we can give health to another even with a small personal sacrifice?

3. The Results
Statistics gathered by the World Health Organisation, (WHO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, (OECD) tell us that far from producing a lower level of average health amongst their citizens, countries which have a Public healthcare system in place actually average higher than global averages in all the key indicators of public health.This can be largely attributed to the fact that with Healthcare being free – more people will take advantage of it.
When it comes to Life Expectancy at Birth, one of the richest countries in the world, the USA is ranked two places below the OECD average in 27th place. EVERY country above it employs a system of State funded health care.

Citizens looking for a more comfortable degree of health care can choose to go private. Having this as an alternative allows these private practitioners to charge a premium and therefore creates a market that attracts and keeps the highly skilled medical professionals.
A Public healthcare system creates a demand for a Private sector but also keeps it in check.
The net result is an overall rise in the quality of health of a Nation’s populace.

In summation, a State funded Healthcare system is capable of delivering as a minimum, an OECD average in all of the chief indicators of health for a small fraction of the cost of a comparable largely privatised system. In almost all recorded instances, it is capable of delivering well above average.

The willingness to contribute personal funds by way of tax to a programme that not only helps themselves but those less fortunate than themselves, sets a great example of love and compassion for one’s fellow man as being a fundamental principle of humanity.

“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” - Ghandi

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2013-12-13 06:39:04
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haha - nice. I'd be keen to hear that case. I can think of a few downsides to it, but on balance I think I'd struggle to accept that purely private is a better solution in a developed country.
Posted 2013-12-12 23:45:57
I totally have a perfect devil's advocate case here, but I'll give others a fair chance to defend their actual beliefs first.
Posted 2013-12-12 22:14:09
I've sat quietly through many a smoko-rant by my American friends railing against the evils of Obamacare and a state funded healthcare program. Coming from NZ, I've never really understod what the big problem with it is. I'm hoping this debate might give me some clarity on that!
Posted 2013-12-12 21:43:10
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This debate will examine the pros and cons of a Full or Partially funded State healthcare program.
The exact details of how such a system is funded has been left open, although it is assumed that ultimately the funding will come from the taxpayer.
"Healthcare" covers treatments for medical ailments, although recontructive cosmetic surgery may be included at the State's discretion.
This plan will also include full or partial discounts on prescribed medicines.
It is expected that private medical providers will still be operational for those who wish to privately fund their operations, although electing to take this route will not exempt those taxpayers from contributing funds to the State program.