Author Topic: Debate tips  (Read 3161 times)

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Offline wrongfrog

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Debate tips
« on: November 11, 2012, 08:45:17 pm »
Alright, so after ignoring politics for about a year, my mind has deteriorated when it comes to arguments. When people in real life try to debate with me on something, or someone is saying things that I KNOW are wrong, I can't ever think of a good argument. Even if I know why something is wrong and know why my viewpoint is right, I've been having a hard time formulating arguments.

Which is why I think this thread is needed. Here, we can exchange counterpoints to common arguments made by right-wingers, and in general help everyone become a better debater. The idea is simple, so all I'll say is that when you submit a possible point one can make, please consider any potential arguments that could be made against it, and then include how to rebut those counterpoints as well, if applicable.

I guess to start off, I'd like to have good arguments in support of Obamacare. I'm severely uneducated about it, and I want to be able to explain why it is a fundamentally good thing, and why it won't ruin the country.

Offline cheese007

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2012, 09:52:05 pm »
In terms of Obamacare, the death panels in particular, I remind them about the fact that they already have those in private insurance. Also, that if the govt. screws me over in terms of insurance I can vote them out of office, can't do so with private insurance since they all pull the same crap.

Offline Veras

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 10:25:28 pm »
Here is an unbiased and simplified look at what the law does.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Ilc5xK2_E" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Ilc5xK2_E</a>

In terms of Obamacare, the death panels in particular, I remind them about the fact that they already have those in private insurance. Also, that if the govt. screws me over in terms of insurance I can vote them out of office, can't do so with private insurance since they all pull the same crap.

There are no death panels in Obamacare.  There is a provision requiring insurance companies to cover meeting with doctors to discuss options for end of life care.  Saying that private insurance companies have "death panels" is probably unfair.  However, when a critic of the ACA says, "I don't want some government bureaucrat deciding if I get treatment!" you have a few good potential responses.  1) unless someone is covered under Medicare or Medicaid, the government won't be insuring them, and will not have the ability to make that decision.  Obamacare is not in any way a government takeover of medicine.  2)  The people who make that decision will be (and already are) corporate bureaucrats who work for the insurance companies, which are motivated by profit, not your well-being.  3)  Obamacare actually requires insurance companies to cover certain things, so rather than reduce care, the law actually expands it.

The one that I (as a socialist) find most offensive is the claim that Obamacare is socialist.  It is not.  The federal government is not running healthcare itself, nor is it running health insurance under the law.  Medicare, on the other hand, in addition to being the single most popular government program in American History, is also fairly socialistic.  The government provides health insurance to people who meet a certain requirements.  Oh, and in terms of administrative costs, Medicare is massively more efficient than private insurance.
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Offline cheese007

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2012, 10:29:28 pm »
Of course there are no death panels in Obamacare. But private insurance definitely has less incentive to treat you if you get sick, and will try to weasel their way out of treating you in any way possible. Much closer to a death panel then anything in Obamacare.

Offline Witchyjoshy

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 10:32:52 pm »
One thing I don't get is why people put so much faith in corporations whose best interests is making sure you don't get treated for anything.
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Offline Veras

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 10:36:26 pm »
Because people buy the lie that there is literally nothing that governments can do more efficiently than the private sector.  People believe that single-payer systems are more expensive, less efficient, and produce worse health outcomes, despite the fact that all three claims are objectively, demonstrably false.

Yay anti-socialist propaganda!

Of course there are no death panels in Obamacare. But private insurance definitely has less incentive to treat you if you get sick, and will try to weasel their way out of treating you in any way possible. Much closer to a death panel then anything in Obamacare.

You're right, insurance companies actually have an economic disincentive to approve treatment, but no health insurance plan can cover everything, no matter who runs it.  Whether a government or corporate bureaucrat makes that decision, it has to be made.  Thus, it is unfair to accuse private insurers of having "death panels" when such decisions are indisputably necessary and Medicare and Medicaid programs have to make the same kinds of decisions.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 10:41:38 pm by Veras »
RIP Tony Benn (1925 - 2014)

"There is no moral difference between a stealth bomber and a suicide bomber. Both kill innocent people for political reasons."

“If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people.”

"I'm not frightened about death. I don't know why, but I just feel that at a certain moment your switch is switched off, and that's it. And you can't do anything about it."

Offline ScrappyB

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 10:45:26 pm »
You can find a ton of straightforward information on Obamacare here:

http://www.heartofobamacare.org/

It's in plain English and is easy for laymen to understand. They have a blog that reports news related to the act and has personal stories that put a human face on what it was like under the old system. Some of them make you want to smack the "Repeal Obamacare!" morons over the head with a medical textbook. Preferably a large, heavy hardcover medical textbook.

I'm a freelancer, so I probably have more familiarity with the way the old system worked than most. Frankly, it was set up to screw anyone who needed private health insurance. With all the clauses on preexisting conditions, many people could not get private health insurance at any price.

For example, say you had cancer while you were on an employer's health insurance plan, but you got treated and it went away. Then you wanted to go freelance or start a small business. The insurance company would not cover you for cancer treatments if it returned or you had complications arising from the illness or treatment. That's if you could find any company that would even write you a policy to begin with.

I will say while there were freelancers who would have rather seen healthcare reform implemented differently, none that I know of want to go back to the old system.
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Offline wrongfrog

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 11:43:34 pm »
Ah, thanks guys, that video and those resources are very helpful! now I just need to know if the notion that universal health care is less efficient in the actual care people get. That seems to be a talking point among the non-crazy opponents of socialized medicine, so I thought I'd see what you guys have to say to that.


(This is somewhat unrelated, but I'd like to clarify that I am not trying to come off as someone who is too lazy to look things up for themselves; the problem is that whenever I try to look up information on topics, I'm presented with a clusterfuck of information that I need a ton of prior knowledge I don't have to understand it, so that;s why I thought a thread like this would be good.)

Offline Veras

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 12:12:15 am »
I would say that the United States is the only nation in the developed world that does not have universal health care.

I would point out that the World Health Organization ranked the healthcare system of United States 37th in the world, despite the fact that we spend more per capita on healthcare than any other nation.  So basically, we pay for a much better system than we actually have.  In fact, the American government alone spends more per capita on healthcare than any other government in the world.  This includes nations that provide free healthcare to all of their citizens.  In other words, if we had an efficient, 21st Century single-payer system, we could provide free insurance to every American, and spend less than we do now by a margin as big as every single dollar that goes to private insurance companies.

The problem is that instead of having one central bureaucracy to handle health insurance, we have a massively fractured system.  Every private insurer has its own bureaucracy, which must comply with a different set of laws for each state in addition to federal regulations.  Every single healthcare provider must negotiate with every insurer (which is why some doctors won't accept certain insurers).  Basically, it is inaccurate to even say that the United States has a healthcare system, so much as a patchwork clusterfuck.

If you want to talk about effectiveness of results, look at life expectancy.  The United States is 51st in the world, just behind Guam and dead last in the industrialized world.  How about infant mortality?  We're 34th in the world, just behind Cuba, and dead last among industrialized countries.  Naturally, there are other variables at play here, but still, the numbers are very powerful.

We could examine the wider economic effects of our healthcare system.  The number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills.  I've read that there are literally zero cases of medical bankruptcy each year in the industrialized world outside of the United States, but even I have a hard time believing that.  Those of you who live in industrialized nations outside of the United States:  are there cases of medical bankruptcy in your countries?  How common is it?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 12:14:44 am by Veras »
RIP Tony Benn (1925 - 2014)

"There is no moral difference between a stealth bomber and a suicide bomber. Both kill innocent people for political reasons."

“If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people.”

"I'm not frightened about death. I don't know why, but I just feel that at a certain moment your switch is switched off, and that's it. And you can't do anything about it."

Offline wrongfrog

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 12:51:53 am »
We could examine the wider economic effects of our healthcare system.  The number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills.  I've read that there are literally zero cases of medical bankruptcy each year in the industrialized world outside of the United States, but even I have a hard time believing that.  Those of you who live in industrialized nations outside of the United States:  are there cases of medical bankruptcy in your countries?  How common is it?
I have used those arguments before, but I've never really seen people say that the actual care people get is worse than what they get in America. I have heard, though, that we have many countries that have a higher rate of satisfaction with their medical care than we do. I've also heard things about universal healthcare systems in other countries causing major problems, but I am awful at researching the economics of other countries.

Offline Veras

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 12:57:44 am »
Every systems will have its strength and weaknesses.  Canada, for example, has substantially longer waits to see specialists than the United States does.  There are undoubtedly world-class doctors and facilities in the United States, but not everybody can have access to even basic care.  That is why our quality of care is so low when taken in the aggregate.  There are people who can't get any care short of the emergency room, and by that point something that could have been easily prevented is catastrophic.  This has negative consequences both in health outcomes and in cost of care.
RIP Tony Benn (1925 - 2014)

"There is no moral difference between a stealth bomber and a suicide bomber. Both kill innocent people for political reasons."

“If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people.”

"I'm not frightened about death. I don't know why, but I just feel that at a certain moment your switch is switched off, and that's it. And you can't do anything about it."

Offline niam2023

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 01:56:36 am »
Using the Death Panels, the Government collects Death Energy, another source of such being the Death Turbines, which, for some reason, did not nearly get the same amount of press coverage.

...

Okay, horrible jokes aside, there are not any in Obamacare.

While it was a conservative program, it can definitely be improved upon, as a basic model.

And I agree, there are strengths and weaknesses in each of them.

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Offline Smurfette Principle

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 02:06:25 am »
Anyone who says anything about the government covering birth control or forcing businesses to cover birth control: no. This is incorrect. All the mandate says is that insurance programs have to cover it. This means that, yes, technically a business is paying for 60% of whatever insurance you get, but it's no different than a Jehovah's Witness employer paying 60% of your insurance that gives you a blood transfusion. There's no guarantee you'll use it for birth control and it's not their business anyway.

Offline Smurfette Principle

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 02:12:05 am »
We could examine the wider economic effects of our healthcare system.  The number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills.  I've read that there are literally zero cases of medical bankruptcy each year in the industrialized world outside of the United States, but even I have a hard time believing that.  Those of you who live in industrialized nations outside of the United States:  are there cases of medical bankruptcy in your countries?  How common is it?
I have used those arguments before, but I've never really seen people say that the actual care people get is worse than what they get in America. I have heard, though, that we have many countries that have a higher rate of satisfaction with their medical care than we do. I've also heard things about universal healthcare systems in other countries causing major problems, but I am awful at researching the economics of other countries.

The way I've best heard it described is this: my mom has a colleague who lived in England for many years. While there, his son was diagnosed with diabetes. They gave him as many insulin syringes as he needed for free. They came back to America, and he was fitted with a then-new insulin pump. It was ridiculously expensive but it was simpler and more technologically advanced. So basically, universal health care can get you good basic care but maybe not the best of the best specialist whatever. America, we have the best MRIs and the best CAT scans and whatever shit, but it's all expensive, and basic care is also really expensive.

Offline Material Defender

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Re: Debate tips
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 09:39:40 am »
We could examine the wider economic effects of our healthcare system.  The number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills.  I've read that there are literally zero cases of medical bankruptcy each year in the industrialized world outside of the United States, but even I have a hard time believing that.  Those of you who live in industrialized nations outside of the United States:  are there cases of medical bankruptcy in your countries?  How common is it?
I have used those arguments before, but I've never really seen people say that the actual care people get is worse than what they get in America. I have heard, though, that we have many countries that have a higher rate of satisfaction with their medical care than we do. I've also heard things about universal healthcare systems in other countries causing major problems, but I am awful at researching the economics of other countries.

The way I've best heard it described is this: my mom has a colleague who lived in England for many years. While there, his son was diagnosed with diabetes. They gave him as many insulin syringes as he needed for free. They came back to America, and he was fitted with a then-new insulin pump. It was ridiculously expensive but it was simpler and more technologically advanced. So basically, universal health care can get you good basic care but maybe not the best of the best specialist whatever. America, we have the best MRIs and the best CAT scans and whatever shit, but it's all expensive, and basic care is also really expensive.

ALl a CAT scan is an MRI that gives you a big dose of radiation.

Good times. But yeah, I basically agree with all this.

Talking on the medical debt, some might mention preparedness (Yeah, cause people can prepare for a nice dose of car to the face.) and stuff, but we don't have police or fireman debt. If a policeman or fireman saves your life, your not in a life debt or something to them, nor do you need to pay them. It's weird I live in a country where you need something absolutely essential to save your life right now can ruin the entire rest of your life. This has never made any sense to me.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 10:35:56 am by Material Defender »
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