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Debate: Single-payer universal health care

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-===Is free, publicly-funded universal health care a good idea?=== 
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-===Background and Context of Debate:=== 
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-*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care See Wikipedia:Universal health care] 
-*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publicly-funded_health_care See Wikipedia: Publicly-funded healthcare] 
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-===Motions: What are the general motions of the pro and con sides?=== 
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-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-*This house believes health care is a right, obligating governments to provide it universally.  
-*This house believes profit companies cannot provide adequate care. 
-*This house believes private companies should be excluded from the system. 
-*This house argues that profit companies are less economical and efficient. 
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-|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
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-*This house contends that health care is not a right, making it unnecessary for governments to supply it universally. 
-*This house believes that companies can better provide health care.  
-*This house maintains that if a universal system is pursued, it should involve for profit companies and insurers.  
-*Some on this side maintain health care is a right, but that private companies should be involved in providing it.  
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-===Human rights: Is health care a human right that a government is obligated to provide universally?=== 
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-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
-*[[Argument:Health care is a basic human right or entitlement| Health care is a basic human right or entitlement]]''' This argument centers around the following points. 
-**Health is fundamental to the preservation of all other individual rights.  
-***One is not at full liberty if they are in a hospital bed. 
-***One cannot pursue happiness if they are in a hospital bed. 
-***Opportunities are generally constrained if one is in hospital bed. 
-***An analogy can be drawn to a prisoner's limited rights and opportunities. 
-**The definition of rights is always progressing to include more things we deem important for it to include. 
-**Health care fits naturally within the list of new rights that have been provided to citizens by governments to present. 
-**Universal health care protects healthy citizens from many health risks, and thus helps preserve their safety, rights, and liberty.  
-**When an individual is sick, they shouldn't have to think about how to pay for their treatment. 
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-*The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights enumerates medical care as a universal right. 
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-*[[Argument:The government ensures that many services are universally provided, why not healthcare?| The government ensures that many services are universally provided, why not healthcare?]] The government taxes citizens to fund and provide numerous services universally, including policemen and firemen. These services are comparable to physician services in many ways, particularly in the sense that they help protect the life, safety, or health of citizens. Why shouldn't health care also be provided universally through the same means - taxes? 
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-*Universal healthcare helps foster greater equality across classes. In the United States, the poor commonly go without access to healthcare.  
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-|WRITE ABOVE THIS TABLE CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
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-*[[Argument:Health care would be an illigitimate "positive" right| Health care would be an illigitimate "positive" right]]. The main premises here is that "rights" should only protect individuals from harm from others and allow them certain freedoms, but a right to universal health care entails individuals burdening other members of society (possibly violating the liberties of innocents) for things that are perceived as needed or desirable. The extreme of this argument is the circumstance in which a careless smoker is given the "right" to burden others for their expensive health care costs.  
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-*[[Arguments:A right to health care violates the rights of physicians| A right to health care violates the rights of physicians]] One cannot have a right to other people's services. Does a physician not have the free right of association and contract with patients? Why would physicians be forced to perform free or government-set prices for their labor? Why shouldn't they be able to charge market value for their services? Did they enter into their practices with the understanding that they would not be able to charge fair market value? No. They are generally service providers like any other that expect fair, market-based compensation. Universal health care would deprive physicians of this freedom to charge market-value by imposing government pricing on their services, almost certainly at a discounted rate.  
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-*'''A right to health care is not necessary in taking care of indigent patients.''' Indigent patients have been taken care of by physicians with dignity and compassion in the name of genuine charity, pro bono. 
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-*'''Many things are necessary for human life but aren't considered rights that a government must secure:''' Food, for example, is not considered a right. 
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-===Quality of care: Would a publicly funded universal system better provide for doctor-patient care? === 
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-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-*People are more likely to seek preventive care in a free health care system. Preventive care is the most important element of improved health standards.  
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-*[[Insurance companies often put patients at risk to cut costs]] 
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-*'''Doctors should be able to address patient needs without the consent of insurance companies.''' It is not right for doctors to have to check with insurance companies before they perform a service. Managed care networks, in addition, with their extensive provisions and guidelines, reduce doctor flexibility and limit patient choice.  
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-*'''Only the government can provide a unified and standardized health care system.''' Such a system is important from the standpoint of providing quality care, in that only a standardized system and unified database can enable doctors to treat any patient that comes in front of them. Privatized systems often see doctors unable to access the history and files of patients that come before them. The main reasons include the cost and complexity of unifying and standardizing a system as well as the lack of a private-industry interest in seeing such a system emerge.  
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-*Universal health care reduces the amount of paperwork that medical professionals have to deal with, allowing them to concentrate on treating patients. 
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-*[[Argument:Sources finding quality of care to be higher under universal plans| Sources finding quality of care to be higher under universal plans]] 
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-*[[It is a myth that the United States' private system has fewer delays]] In the United States, delays are often caused by insurance companies trying to save money.  
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-*[[Argument:Without universal health care, the United States' health standards have fallen comparatively]] 
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-|WRITE ABOVE THIS TABLE CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
-*Free healthcare can lead to overuse of medical services, and hence raise overall costs. 
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-*'''The markets are better at providing quality products and services, including health care.''' The markets and competition generally help produce higher quality products for the least money (the highest value). The same applies to health care.  
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-*Government-mandated procedures would reduce doctor flexibility. 
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-*'''By decreasing compensation for physicians, universal health care would devalue and degrade the practice:''' With fewer monetary rewards for physicians, fewer individuals would make the life choice to enter the practice. Fewer would feel that the hard work would pay off. The result is a general devaluation and degradation of the practice.  
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-*Universal public health care sees patients waiting too long for care. 
-**Canada is prime example of this.  
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-*Universal care slows down innovation and inhibits new technologies from being developed and utilized. The primary cause is a reduction in economic incentives for innovation. 
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-===Economic efficiencies: Would universal health care be more economically efficient? === 
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-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|  
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-====Yes==== 
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-*Costs are inconsequential if health care is considered a universal right. 
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-*[[Argument:Universal health care lowers long-term health costs| Universal health care lowers long-term health costs]]...by helping prevent illnesses and health problems that are more costly to treat or that are just generally damaging to an economy (sick-leave...). 
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-*[[Argument:Universal health care systems are more economically efficient| Universal health care systems are more economically efficient]] America spends a far higher percentage of GDP on health care than any other country, and has worse ratings on a variety of subjects such as quality of care, efficiency of care, access to care, safe care, equity, right care and wait times according to the commonwealth fund. New Zealand, which spends one third per capita what the US spends on health care beats the US on every marker of efficiency and care. Although not definitive, this does lend credence to the idea that universal health care is more efficient than our for profit health care system as the US was inferior to Germany, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and to a lesser degree Canada in nearly all health care quality issues. This despite the fact that the US system costs 2-3x more per capita than the systems in these other countries. 
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-*[[Private healthcare providers are more expensive than public providers]] They take more money for overhead as well as profit than a public system would. Some claim that private providers take as much as 30% of every healhcare dollar, versus estimates of below 10% for public providers. 
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-*'''A universal system would align incentives for investment in long term health-care productivity, preventive care, and better management of chronic conditions:'''[56] According to an estimate by Dr. Marcia Angell roughly 50% of healthcare dollars are spent on healthcare, the rest go to various middlemen and intermediates to providing healthcare. A streamlined, non-profit, universal system would increase the efficiency with which money spent on healthcare goes to healthcare. 
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-|WRITE ABOVE THIS TABLE CODE FOR "YES" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No====  
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-*[[Argument:The profit motive and competition are an important source of efficiency and cost control in health care| The profit motive and competition are an important source of efficiency and cost control in health care]] The notion of the free markets as a source of efficiency dates back to Adam Smith. The health care industry is no exception to this rule. If it is open to the free-markets, it will be more efficient. Free universal health care would interrupt this all and reduce efficiency.  
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-*'''Universal health care plans will reduce administrative efficiency:''' The cause of this is greater bureaucratic oversight and more paperwork. This lowers the productivity of hospitals, and thus increases the costs for the same amount of work done. 
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-*Evidence on single payer-insurance programs demonstrates that the cost exceeds the expectations of advocates.[69] 
-*Universal health care, like any government benefit, is eventually going to be interpreted as a "right" by the public, making it politically impossible to curtail the program when it becomes too costly.  
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-|- 
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-===Administrative costs: Would it reduce administrative costs or add to them?=== 
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-====Yes==== 
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-'''Universal health care would reduce administrative costs:''' A single payer system could save $286 billion a year in overhead and paperwork. Administrative costs in the US health care system are estimated to be substantially higher than in other countries and than in the public sector in the US: one estimate put the total administrative costs at 24 percent of US health care spending. 
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-'''[[Argument:There are many ways to pay for any added costs of universal health care| There are many ways to pay for any added costs of universal health care]]''' 
-*A cigarette tax. 
-*Repealing tax cuts for the wealthy. 
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-|WRITE ABOVE THIS TABLE CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
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-'''The costs of universal health care would be substantial:''' 
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-'''The costs of transition to a universal health care program would be large:''' It would involve lost insurance industry jobs, business closures, and new patient record creation, among other things. 
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-===Access/expense: Does universal healthcare lower costs and increase patient access? === 
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-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-*'''Total costs for individuals would be reduced by universal health care:''' The current US system is already funded 64% by tax money with the remaining 36% split between private and employer spending. A universal healthcare system would merely replace private/employer spending with tax revenues. Total spending would go down for individuals and employers. 
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-|WRITE ABOVE THIS TABLE CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
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-*'''All taxpayers would be burdened by universal healthcare, so there is really no overall cost savings for citizens:''' 
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-|- 
-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-===Privacy: Would universal public health care be consistent with doctor-patient privacy?=== 
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-|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-====No==== 
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-*[[Argument:Government-funded universal health care would violate patient privacy| Government-funded universal health care would violate patient privacy]]  
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-===Health tax: Can we tax people for unhealthy lifestyle to discourage them and reduce costs === 
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-|- 
-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-*'''[[Argument:A cigarette tax is a socially responsible way to pay for health care| A cigarette tax is a socially responsible way to pay for health care]]''' 
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-|WRITE ABOVE THIS TABLE CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
-*This puts government in the role of arbiter of what practices are healthy and unhealthy. 
-*The collection and enforcement of these taxes is not free, but will entail additional bureaucracy. 
-*Some controversial practices could be taxed. e.g. medical marijuana. 
-*Such taxes are likely to be regressive, especially taxes on tobacco. 
-*The healthfulness of some things is dependent on context, e.g. pain killers. 
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-===Businesses: Would a universal health care system be better for businesses?=== 
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-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-'''Universal health care could act as a subsidy to business, at no cost thereto:''' (Indeed, the Big Three of U.S. car manufacturers cite health-care provision as a reason for their ongoing financial travails. The cost of health insurance to U.S. car manufacturers adds between USD 900 and USD 1,400 to each car made in the U.S.A.)[58] 
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-====No==== 
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-'''Universal health care would cause the loss of insurance industry jobs and business closure in the private sector:'''[53] 
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-'''Universal health care risks monopsony:''' Universal health care systems, in an effort to control costs by gaining or enforcing monopsony power, sometimes outlaw medical care paid for by private, individual funds. 
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
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-===Monopsony power: Can/should universal health care avoid government monopsony?=== 
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-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-====No==== 
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-*Governments might attempt to control costs by gaining or enforcing monopsony power. For example, governments, such as Canada, have outlawed medical care if the service is paid for by private individual funds. 
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-===Countries: Where do countries general fall in this debate?=== 
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-|- 
-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-*28 industrialized nations have single payer universal health care systems. Germany has a multipayer universal health care system like President Clinton proposed for the United States. The United States is considered the only industrialized nation to not have universal health care. 
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-|WRITE ABOVE THIS TABLE CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
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-*The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not provide universal health care 
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-===United States politics: Where do various politicians stand in the United States on this issue?=== 
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-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-*John Edwards is the only candidate in the 2008 US presidential elections advocating a publicly-funded, universal health care plan.[http://johnedwards.com/issues/health-care/]. 
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-|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
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-===Key players=== 
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-|- 
-|WRITE SUBQUESTION ABOVE THIS CODE BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
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-*Harry Truman advocated universal healthcare. 
-*Paul Krugman.[http://www.pnhp.org/news/2007/july/the_waiting_game.php] 
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
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-|- 
-|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
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-===Organizations pro and con === 
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-|- 
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-====Yes==== 
- 
-*[http://www.amsa.org/uhc/ American Medical Student Association (AMSA) - Statement supporting universal health care] 
-*[http://www.onecarenow.org/index.html California OneCareNow Campaign] 
-*[http://cthealth.server101.com/ Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care] 
-*[http://www.healthcareforall.org/ Health Care for All—California] 
-*[http://www.pnhp.org/ Physicians for a National Health Program] 
-*[http://www.sicko-themovie.com/ ''Sicko'' - Official site] 
-*[http://www.uhcan.org/ Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN)] 
-*[http://www2.umdnj.edu/omcweb/1999/universalhealthcare.htm Universal Health Care / National Health Insurance] 
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
- 
-*[http://www.heritage.org/Press/NewsReleases/NR092900.cfm British, Canadian Experience Shows Folly of Socialized Medicine, Analyst Says.] Press release, [[Heritage Foundation]]. Sept. 29, 2000. 
-*[http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4511 Capitalism Magazine] 
-*[http://www.onthefencefilms.com/video/deadmeat/ Dead Meat] On The Fence's short film about Canada's socialized healthcare system. 
-*[http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=10333 The Heartland Institutes' Health Care Issue Suite] 
-*[http://www.liberty-page.com/issues/healthcare/socialized.html/ The Problems with Socialized Health Care] from Mark Valenti's Liberty Page 
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-|WRITE "NO" CONTENT ABOVE THIS CODE AND BELOW "===NO===" colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-===Bibliography pro/con=== 
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-|- 
-|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====Yes==== 
- 
-*[http://www.pnhp.org/news/2007/july/the_waiting_game.php Krugman, Pual. "The Waiting Game". New York Times. July 16, 2007] 
-*[http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=482678 Commonwealth Fund. "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care".] The report indicates that the United States falls behind 5 other countries on numerous characteristics of performance and costs of health care. The conclusions draw a negative picture of the United States more private system. 
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-|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| 
-====No==== 
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-==Motions:== 
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-==References:==  
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-==This debate in legislation, policy, and elsewhere== 
- 
-==See also on Debatepedia== 
- 
-==Neutral sources== 
- 
-*[http://www.balancedpolitics.org/universal_health_care.htm BalancedPolitics.org - "Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?"] 
-*[http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10719.html Hidden costs, value lost: uninsurance in America.] Institute of Medicine Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2003. 
-*[http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-44.html World Health Organization.] Assesses The World's Health Systems," Press Release, WHO/44, June 21, 2000. 
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-==External links and resources== 
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-==Books== 
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-[[Category:Health]] 
-[[Category:2008 US presidential elections]] 
-[[Category:Welfare]] 
-[[Category:2008 US presidential elections]] 
-[[Category:Underdeveloped debates]] 

Revision as of 13:03, 19 November 2007

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