Starring Wheylous as the progressive and SkepticalMetal as the libertarian. This is to see how good SM is at countering the arguments (in retrospect, bad abbreviation).
Healthcare in the US is in a terrible mess. No one would disagree that our costs are exploding out of proportion and we're not receiving what we're paying for. The US spends more on healthcare than any other nation and we still have millions upon millions of uninsured people who do not receive treatment. Furthermore, insurance companies are able to deny people coverage for preexisting conditions. What if a middle-aged, uninsured, single working-class woman comes down with cancer and no insurance will cover her? We need government to help to cover these people. While the rich can keep whatever healthcare they want, everyone else should be able to access healthcare backed by the government unconditionally. The rich have a large amount of money - why can't they give up a part of that to people less fortunate than them? We need a system of universal healthcare for households than earn less than $50,000 per member. Look at Scandinavian countries for example. Their healthcare spending is only around 9 or 10% per GDP and everyone there can go and get treated.
By stating that we need universal healthcare for all households that earn less than 50,000 dollars per member, you are implying that health care is a natural right for the less fortunate. If we believe in self-ownership, then the idea that you are suggesting regarding the responsability of the rich to pay for the poor's healthcare goes against that very principle. If one does not pay his or her taxes to pay for somebody else's care, then that person is automatically punished for not giving out the fruits of his or her labor. That person earned that money, and regardless of who the money would be given to after the theft, we cannot have the dillusion that it is anything other than what it is - theft. A better word to use would be slavery. And I might also add that in places where universal healthcare does indeed exist, such as Canada (which is often cited as a good example), because of strict regulation on the matter, waiting lists are created, even for people who have extreme illnesses such as cancer. Many have died because of these long waiting lists, and were restricted the right to find private care because of laws that made privately-owned health institutions illegal.
It's certainly no secret that the healthcare system in the United States is no good, but we must not forget that many years ago, BEFORE government intervention in the matter, the United States was looked upon as having the best healthcare system in the world, as it was completely free-market. More advances were made in medicine. Because it wasn't monopolized, competition was allowed, which resulted in increasingly better quality care.
Would you like us to critique after a few exchanges?
Sure, why not.
Is there not free market competition in healthcare industry today? Many insurance companies compete for customers.
“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence.""The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”
In many cases yes, but what I was referring to was the traditional doctor-patient relationship that has been lost over the years because of government regulation and the progressive argument that government should intervene more in healthcare.
You start off with a fairly strong moral critique which starts to devolve the moment you throw out the word "slavery". Rember how arcane and possibly even absurd this argument is going to seem to both your opponent and bystanders, and if you're not very careful then you're going to sound crazy. You should build up more to the conclusion that "slavery is taxation" through reasonably argument, even if you're more or less restating what you've said, make sure that the reasons for the equation are extremely clear.
Your economic critique is rather weak. You don't go into much detail or explain what the government has done, you're not exploiting any of the massive amount of material you have to draw on. The common claim that the U.S has a free market in healthcare IS A LIE, a flat out lie. Government stepped in and has been increasingly and it's been making things worse. At best your economic analysis makes it seem like Canadian healthcare is slightly worse than a free market system. There's so much you could draw on right off the bat that it's almost criminal you do not.
From a stylistic standpoint your critique has a very positive factor to it, and that is that it is direct and to the point, but with this said you're summarizing the matter of a nation's healthcare system into a paragraph and a half. Make sure it's clear that wheylous is the bad guy, not only is what he talking about theft, but what he advocates will make things worse. You do care for the sick and about healthcare, and that is part of why you advocate for free markets. Pull on that pathos and go into more depth with what is causing it, simple cause and effect common sense statements will work just fine here and if you play your cards right then you can make Wheylous look like a fool.
Neodoxy pointed out most weak points I think. If you're going to tackle the issue of 'rights', you should do this by explaining that any 'right' imposes an obligation on another party, and that a 'right' to healthcare means forcing someone to treat you. Now in that argument there's little point claiming that such a practice is in itself immoral if your opponent disagrees with you, so you should simply put the question to them: 'Do you think you should be allowed to force other people to provide you with goods or services?' If they do, there's no point calling it slavery, since they evidently have no problem with slavery.
But yeah, on the healthcare issue your main point should be that the lack of a free market is the problem, and list all the ways in which the state controls the market, explaining how such controls cause problems.
What kinds of things does the government do to increase demand? What do they do to restrict supply? How did people cope before regulations? Were people about to solve their own problems before a regulation? Who wanted said regulation?
The first two are absolutely key in providing any decent economic argument and many poster have many times posted such arguments.
The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist.
So much for Wheylous vs. SkepticalMetal...
How does the responsibility of the rich toward the poor violate self-ownership? No one has violated their person. We are merely taking part of the large sums of money that they do not need and giving it to those people whose lives are threatened by disease. Since we're using the money to save lives, what we are doing is in fact reaffirming self-ownership by placing life on a higher value scale than mere money and helping the poor. Furthermore, you can hardly say that the rich person earned all of that money with harder labor than the poor person. Many rich people just put their parents' money into some general stock funds and let it accumulate without really caring too much for it.
You cite Canada as a supposed example where there are long waiting lists. But nowhere did I state that Canada has the best system possible. There are many ways to improve their system. For example, this website says that there are ways to improve the public health system by making adjustments to it. In the age of modern technology, we can surely analyze the system to find places for speedup. Moreover, the same page claims that wait times in parallel privatized systems are as long or longer, directly countering your point. Even if I concede that, you say that many have died because of the long waiting lists - even if that's so, what about all the American poor that die because they can't afford healthcare. You're so ready to blame the Canadians without seeing the sin in your own system.
You mention a time "BEFORE" government intervention, but you give no dates whatsoever. You just make a very bold claim that the US was looked upon as having the best healthcare system in the world.
As it stands, you made a weak moral argument, a factual claim directly refuted above, and then a baseless claim. You're obviously trying to cover up your lack of understanding or compassion with vague words about evil foreign socialist governments and some imaginary awesome free market.
I ask other posters to refrain from helping either side. This is a test of skills for SM, not a test of skills for the libertarian hivemind.
So if the poor are entitled to health care, please tell me what else they are entitled to. A swimming pool? A car? Personally I'd like to have a government supply of sunscreen, because that is a part of my essential needs if I go to the beach on a regular basis.
Without healthcare, the majority of people won't die for quite some time. Without food or water however, everyone will die in a matter of weeks. So isn't food and water more urgent then healthcare?
So under your logic, wouldn't food and water be of much more importance? So I guess we also have to have government running the food and water production, like in the Soviet Union where there was mass famine, or like North Korea today. Regardless of how the rich earned their money, if they earned it fairly, then to extract money from them is indeed theft. And if you say the poor are entitled to health care, doesn't that mean that doctors should be forced to serve those who have a right to it? Nobody is BORN with a responsability to anybody else. But your argument suggests that basic human compassion would cease to exist when there is no coercion from the state.
Also, I'd like to say one other thing - we do not have anything near private healthcare in America, contrary to what you believe. Government is ALREADY majorly in healthcare. These is strict regulation by the FDA which makes the process of releasing of new drugs and healthcare technology very expensive to the consumer. So much for those evil insurance companies making everything expensive. And, there are strict regulations prohibiting international drugs and healthcare services provided to the nation in general.
IP laws negatively affect the industry by hampering innovation, and the ability for religious organizations and non-profits to provide free or low-cost healthcare has been restricted.
More regulation will just create more malfunctions of the market. As it turns out, the socialization of dentistry in Britain has plunged them back over a century in tooth care. People pull out their own teeth because of the waiting lists that are mandatory with socialized medicine.