Author: Debate_Guru

The US Should Adopt a Single Payer Health Care System

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PRO (3 arguments)


Single-payer healthcare is a system in which the state, rather than private insurers, pays for all healthcare costs excluding elective healthcare.

1. It is a fundamental role of the state to ensure the health of the general populace.

Quality health care is tantamount to the life, liberty, and happiness of citizens. Without adequate treatment options, it is impossible to maintain one’s body and enjoy one’s life. Access to health care directly dictates our quality of life and ultimately our freedom, and is a civil right entitled to all citizens. Arguably, the primary role of government is to ensure that all citizens are able to maintain their rights. According to the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” If 48 million Americans are uninsured, the state is not fulfilling its obligation to promote unalienable rights, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A system of universal, single payer health care is the clearest way for the government to ensure the rights of the American people. As Dr. Duncan Cross describes, “Civil rights are what we call those claims necessary to secure free and equal citizenship, secondary to basic rights. For example, we have the right to vote because society is ordered in a way that makes voting both possible and essential to our free and full participation in society. Voting is a civil right. Health care is a civil right because society is ordered in such a way as to make it both possible and essential to the free and full participation of the sick, injured and disabled in society. I can tell you: lack of health care makes it impossible for one to participate freely and fully in society.”


In order to have a true democracy and have everyone have the same chance at having a good life, we need to have a single payer health care system. Everyone should have the same chance at having a stable income and that simply cannot happen if 48 million people do not have health care or any other insurance.

2. Adopting a single payer health care system will save the U.S billions of dollars.

The U.S is one of the few countries that has yet to adopt a single payer health care system and therefore, is losing billions of dollars. The U.S is throwing away taxes that all of us have to pay for because it has refused to adopt an efficient system that would save billions. 

The United States spends 17% of its entire GDP solely on health care, by far the highest in the industrialized world. On the other hand, in Canada, a nation with a Single Payer, Medicare-for-all system, everybody has health insurance. And conversely, Canada only spends 10% of its GDP on health care.  A new poll conducted by the Toronto-based Nanos Research points to overwhelming support — 86.2 percent — for public health care (single payer) in Canada, while in the US, only 40% of Americans support the current health care (Huffington Post). Let's say the switch we did was mirroring the Canadian model.Government Accountability Office studies concluded, “If the US were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single  payer, as in Canada, the savings in administrative costs [10 percent of health spending] would be more than enough to offset the expense of universal coverage.” It is a common myth that single payer would increase costs to the government and raise current deficits. But many federal studies have shown that the overall cost saving

would be extremely large, 100-200 billion dollars in savings. If you are assuming local benefits, for example Massachusetts or Connecticut, studies have shown 1-2 billion in savings within those states. A system of, Single Payer health care in the United States will dramatically expand coverage, drive down costs, and ultimately improve the quality of care. In 2007, the US spent an average of $7,439 per person. France however, spent an average of about $3,000 per person. The US's expenditure is more than double France's.


Judge, obviously a single payer health care system will economically benefit the U.S. By benefiting the U.S. Like this, not only do we through racial boundaries out the door and have everyone have health care, but we can do this using less money than the current system.

3. By implementing a single payer health care system, a standardized treatment is formed, and no one can be discriminated against based upon pre existing conditions and one's race or financial status.

According to a Harvard Public Health Care Review, Research continually exposes alarming health disparities in the United States, particularly impacting African Americans and Native Americans. These groups have lower life expectancies than non-Hispanic white Americans, and experience higher rates of most major causes of death including infant mortality, trauma, heart disease, and diabetes. Yet despite their greater need, access to care is worse for minority populations by most measures.


African American and Hispanic median household income was 58 percent and 70 percent, respectively, that of non-Hispanic whites in 2011. In contrast, the median net worth of black and Hispanic householders was $6,314 and $7,683, respectively, vs. $110,500 for non-Hispanic whites, a major difference. With such wealth disparities, minorities are often forced to sacrifice better housing for health care. At present, we have the world’s highest per-capita health care spendings, yet tens of millions remain un- and under-insured, and our health outcomes trail most other wealthy nations. According to the University of Chicago, Racial disparities in health care and health outcomes are a disturbing feature of the American health care system.  

Recent Studies and Headlines “Risk of Fatal Stroke is Greatest for Blacks, Government Says,” “Study Finds Racial Gap in Heart Disease,” “Racial Gap Seen for Prescriptions,” and “Study Finds Racial Differences in the Use of Feeding Tubes” have called public attention to racial disparities in health care and health outcomes in the United States. It is appalling that in the United States of America, a country that is known for being the land of the free and equal, we are facing racism in something, healthcare, which is a human right. And although there may be financial challenges, but we have proven there are not, health care is a human right. We need to make sure that every American, no matter if they are not white, have HIV, have a low income, etc, deserve a chance to live. The single payer health care system is the epitome of what America stands for, equal opportunity and an equal chance. Judge, vote for the proposition for all those who under the existing health care system don't have a chance, who are being denied their right to live based on something as trivial as their skin color.


University of Chicago, Harvard Review