Resolved: The United States has a moral obligation to adopt a single-payer healthcare system

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Resolved: The United States has a moral obligation to adopt a single-payer healthcare system.

Author: Scott Pettit

Edited by: Kyle Cheesewright

Resolved: The United States has a moral obligation to adopt a single-payer healthcare system. 1



1AC 6

Introduction 7

Value 10

Criterion 11

Observation 1 – Definitions 12

Contention One 13

Contention Two 16

Contention Three 18

Contention Four 20


1NC 23

Value 24

Criterion 25

Definitions 26

Contention One 27

Contention Two 30

Contention Three 32



Additional Web Resources 46


Thanks to the 2016 Presidential Election, single-payer healthcare has become a topic that is receiving a lot of attention in the United Sates. Bernie Sanders made single-payer healthcare a main talking point during his campaign. Donald Trump at one point even suggested that we should be seriously investigating the potential benefits of such a system. There are plenty of resources about single-payer healthcare but beware of the politics. Make sure your chosen resources are sourced from non-bias sources in order to ensure a quality debate.

The first thing to consider when looking at this resolution is the definition of single-payer healthcare. Contrary to popular opinion, the term does not always refer to socialized medicine. The basic definition found in Webster’s Dictionary is “of, relating to, or being a system in which health-care providers are paid for their services by the government rather than by private insurers”. The definition does not indicate who provides the healthcare. Some might chose to argue that the resolution indicates the government would provide the healthcare but this reasoning is reckless and non-topical.

There are examples of single-payer systems in the world that would be good to understand. Canada has been using a single-payer system for many years. The uniqueness of the Canadian system is that it uses private providers. The system has been compared to Medicare/Medicaid in the United States. There are both praises and criticisms for the Canadian system. Praises include equal access and longer life expectancy. Criticisms include waiting lists and a lower quality of care. Keep in mind that most of the literature found through simple internet searches are going to be political on this issue.

In 2011, Vermont passed a bill that would establish the first single-payer healthcare system in the United States. The plan was to use a private/public partnership that would create a single-payer entity, Green Mountain Care, which would insure all citizens of Vermont. In 2014, the Vermont State Legislature abandoned the plan before being fully implemented citing higher taxes and burdens placed on small business owners.

Affirmative strategies most show that single-payer healthcare is morally required. The affirmative does not need to present a plan or defend the feasibility of such a program. The resolution clearly states that the United States only has a moral obligation. Human rights, justice, and morality are going to be the bulk of the affirmatives strategies. The affirmative will also want to address the multiple issues with the status quo of American healthcare such as affordability, accessibility, and inequality. A parametric view may be sufficient to advocate for the affirmative but it isn’t necessary and might provide the negation with an easy way to argue against a very narrow argument.

The negation side of the argument needs to explain why single-payer healthcare is immoral. The negation does not have to try to convince the judge that the status quo is good or doesn’t need to change. Doing so might make the negation seem a little out of touch with reality. You could accept the status quo is dysfunctional and unjust while advocating that a single-payer system will not improve the issues or a single-payer system might make things worse. There is evidence that shows a single-payer system might be more expensive. The negation could use the current status of Medicare in the United States as an example of what would happen if the entire nation would adopt such a system.

Here are a few questions to consider. Can a single-payer system in the United States solve for some of the accessibility issues for the poor or can charitable organizations solve this issue? Would requiring all Americans to participate in a single-payer system violate the rights of the individual? Is it moral for the state to compete against the current health insurance industry in place? Is the access to healthcare a human right? If so, what happens when the right to healthcare conflicts with other human rights?




The US has a moral obligation to adopt a single payer system

Kennedy 1998 (Edward [US Senator], Healthcare for All Americans, Human Rights, Vol. 25(4), 1998)

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and it is fitting to reflect on the nation's progress toward ensuring that healthcare is treated as a basic human right. According to Article 25 of the Declaration [of Human Rights], every person has a right to medical care and security. This ideal was reaffirmed and expanded in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Unfortunately, despite the clear statements contained in each of these basic human rights documents, the goal of guaranteeing healthcare as a basic right for all our citizens remains elusive.

In this time of unprecedented prosperity for the United States, it is clear that the rising tide is not lifting all boats. Millions of citizens work at minimum wage jobs and are unable to meet the needs of their families. They worry about food, clothes, and child care. Saving to buy a house or to help a child go to college is out of reach for large numbers of families. Tragically, for many of these struggling families, health insurance and adequate healthcare are luxuries they cannot afford.

Most Americans agree that good health is an essential part of the American dream. The pursuit of other goals depends on good health and access to good healthcare. Children suffer because their parents cannot afford decent care. Families face financial disaster because of the high cost of serious illness. Every such case in our affluent society mocks the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that is the nation's founding ideal.

Disease and injury deprive too many Americans of the opportunity to enjoy these basic rights. Many of these individuals and families who go without coverage are the same persons who are disadvantaged in other areas. Good healthcare should be [is] a basic right for all Americans. It is unconscionable that in our wealthy nation, a child from a well-to-do family has a better chance for a full and healthy life than a child whose family must delay or do without healthcare because they fear the expense.

The number of Americans lacking health insurance continues to rise. During our most recent national debate on comprehensive health reform in 1993, 1994, nearly 40 million Americans were uninsured. That number has now risen to approximately 42 million, and is projected to grow by an additional one million a year for the foreseeable future, unless adequate reforms are enacted. Too many people work for employers that do not offer health insurance. Too many people delay medical care because they fear the cost. Too many people face bankruptcy as a result of medical costs. As the world's richest country, we should be ashamed to admit these shortcomings.

The United States spends more per capita for healthcare than any other industrial nation; however, we get far less value for the dollars we spend. Nearly every other developed nation ensures good healthcare to all its people at an affordable price, yet spends a smaller portion of its gross national product on healthcare than the United States. Leading public health indicators in these countries, such as infant mortality and life expectancy, reflect their investment.

Too often, individual providers take the Hippocratic oath to do no harm, but they are no longer the decision makers in today's healthcare system. Instead, HMOs and managed care plans are in the driver's seat, and the system is focused more on profits than on healing the sick or maintaining health.

Even though we are a nation that places a high value on healthcare, we have done very little to ensure that quality care is available to everyone at an affordable price. Inner-city and rural areas have difficulty in retaining doctors and hospitals. Complicated insurance policies confuse and trap patients in gaps, limitations, and exclusions in coverage. Some of these policies offer benefits so inadequate that serious injury or illness can mean financial ruin for many families.

Beginning with prenatal care, timely access to good health services is essential to proper development during the critically important first three years of life. As children grow, they need to be assured access to well-child care--including immunizations and developmental assessments -- to ensure they can perform to the best of their abilities. If a child's vision or hearing problems go undetected or untreated, the child is doomed to struggle unnecessarily, and, perhaps, face failure at school.

Investments in basic and medical research reap rewards in the form of scientific discoveries that can cure, treat, or prevent diseases and conditions that used to kill or permanently disable men, women, and children. But these discoveries are often not available to those in need.

Slowly, we are shifting our focus to preventive care. Managed care organizations, for all their operational flaws, were designed to provide incentives to keep patients healthy. But doing so for the benefit of all Americans requires commitments that we have so far been unwilling to make.

I believe that all Americans should contribute, according to their ability to pay, to a common fund that pays the cost to prevent and treat injury and illness. All should be eligible for the same comprehensive benefits. No one should fall between the cracks in coverage, and all should be continually covered, regardless of the status of their employment. Above all, no one should be excluded from coverage because the cost is prohibitive.

We also need an insurance program that persuades physicians, hospitals, and other providers to simultaneously control costs, monitor and improve quality, and prevent disability. Competition has failed in the current system because it is not a true free market, nor is it likely to become one in the near future. Purchasing healthcare is not like purchasing a car or other goods. Very few consumers are able to accurately evaluate their options and make informed choices. The answer does not lie in a two-tiered system that treats patients who can pay one way and those who cannot another. Two systems of care inevitably lead to two levels of care. If we decide that it is important to provide healthcare for all, then we must do so without the indignities, hardship, and inefficiency of a two-class system. In recent years, we have had modest successes in making incremental progress toward this goal.

In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (the Kassebaum-Kennedy Act), which helps people keep their insurance when they change jobs or lose a job, and to avoid the burden of excessive exclusions for preexisting conditions in their insurance coverage.

In 1997, as part of the Balanced Budget Act, Congress created a new children's health insurance program (based on the Hatch-Kennedy Act), which will invest $24 billion to extend health insurance to children of low-income families during the next five years.

This year, I have introduced legislation that would expand coverage for early retirees and other uninsured Americans between the ages of fifty-five and sixty-four, until they qualify for Medicare. I have also introduced a bill that would require firms with more than fifty employees to offer health insurance and contribute toward its purchase.

Unfortunately, some in Congress are pursuing regressive alternatives that would encourage individual coverage at the expense of employer-based coverage. It makes no sense to address the inequities in our healthcare system in a way that would further undermine the employer-based system.

In the current patchwork system, too many families are forced to gamble with their financial future and their health because health insurance is out of reach. They cannot obtain good care because their incomes are too low to buy insurance, but too high to qualify for current government programs. Their age, employment status, or health status prevent them from being eligible for health insurance. Often, they live in an area where there is little or no care available. They suffer unnecessarily because the current system is unwilling or unable to respond to patients with special needs, such as those disadvantaged by disability, income, location, or age.

We have the knowledge, wealth, and ability to assure that all Americans get the healthcare they need, and at an affordable cost. What we lack is the will. I continue to be convinced that if the American public insists on reform, Congress will provide it, and I am optimistic that such a time will come sooner, not later.



Gert 1997 (Bernard [Professor of Philosophy], Bioethics: A Return to Fundamentals, Oxford University Press, Cary, NC, 1997)

The existence of a common morality is shown by the widespread agreement on most moral matters. Everyone agrees that such actions as killing, causing pain or disability, and depriving of freedom or pleasure are immoral unless one has an adequate justification for doing them. Similarly, everyone agrees that deceiving, breaking a promise, cheating, breaking the law, and neglecting one’s duties also need justification in order not to immoral. No one has any real doubts about this. People do disagree about the scope of morality, for example, whether animals or embryos are protected by morality; however, everyone agrees that moral agents – those whose actions are themselves subject to moral judgment – are protected. Thus doubt about whether killing animals or embryos needs to be justified does not lead to any doubt that killing moral agents needs justification. Similarly, people disagree about what counts as an adequate moral justification for some particular act of killing or deceiving and on some features of an adequate justification, but everyone agrees that what counts as an adequate justification for one person must be an adequate justification for anyone else in the same situation, that is, when all of the morally relevant features of the two situations are the same. This is part of what is meant by saying that morality requires impartiality.

Everyone also agrees that people, for example the severely retarded, should not be subject to moral judgment if they do not comprehend the nature of the general kinds of behavior morality prohibits (such as deceiving), requires (such as keeping one’s promise), encourages (relieving someone’s pain), and allows (going to a movie). Although it is difficult even for philosophers to provide an explicit, clear, and comprehensive account of morality, most cases are clear enough that everyone knows whether some particular act is morally acceptable. No one engages in a moral discussion of questions like “Is it morally acceptable to deceive patients in order to get them to participate in an experimental treatment that has no hope of benefiting them but that one happens to be curious about?” because everyone knows that such deception in not justified. The prevalence of hypocrisy shows that people do not always behave in the way that morality requires or encourages. It also shows that people know the general kind of behavior that morality does require and encourage even if they sometimes have difficulty applying this knowledge to particular cases, especially those in which they are emotionally involved. That everyone who is subject to moral judgment knows what morality prohibits, requires, encourages, and allows is part of what is meant by saying that morality is a public system.


Categorical Imperative

Encyclopedia Britannica (Accessed online at:

Categorical imperative, in the ethics of the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, founder of critical philosophy, a moral law that is unconditional or absolute for all agents, the validity or claim of which does not depend on any ulterior motive or end. “Thou shalt not steal,” for example, is categorical as distinct from the hypothetical imperatives associated with desire, such as “Do not steal if you want to be popular.” For Kant there was only one such categorical imperative, which he formulated in various ways. “Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” is a purely formal or logical statement and expresses the condition of the rationality of conduct rather than that of its morality, which is expressed in another Kantian formula: “So act as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in another, always as an end, and never as only a means.”

Observation 1 – Definitions

Single-Payer Healthcare

Webster’s New World Medical Dictionary

Single-payer health care: A system of health care characterized by universal and comprehensive coverage. Single-payer health care is similar to the health services provided by Medicare in the US. The government pays for care that is delivered in the private (mostly not-for-profit) sector. Doctors are in private practice and are paid on a fee-for-service basis from government funds. The government does not own or manage their medical practices or hospitals.

Single-payer health care is distinct and different from socialized medicine in which health care facilities and workers receive payment as government employees.

Contention One

Access to healthcare is a human right

Denier 2005 (Yvonne [PhD., Professor of Ethics], On Personal Responsibility and the Human Right to Healthcare, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Vol. 14(2), April 2005, 224-234)

Why are certain interests, in this case healthcare interests, so important that they deserve such special protection? What is it about healthcare that is so special? A possible answer is that healthcare is special because of its instrumental power. Healthcare is the means to an end that is highly valued in most cultures: good health and a long life free from pain and disability. Without life-long access to appropriate healthcare, our chances of attaining [a life free from pain and disability] this goal are likely to be impaired. Yet the high value of good health alone cannot explain the particular status of healthcare as a focus of moral concern. There are many things we value highly, like companionship, aesthetic pleasure, love, and other such benefits to which we do not necessarily have a right. So in addition, three main arguments deserve attention: fair equality of opportunity, basic healthcare needs, and collective social protection.

First, contemporary healthcare involves a complex and heterogeneous framework of institutions, services, and policy measures that aim at prevention of disease and disability, restoration of health where possible, and personal and social support and care for the long-term ill or disabled. As such, healthcare greatly affects the risk of persons getting sick, the likelihood of being cured, and the degree to which one will receive support. Within this line of reasoning, healthcare theorist Norman Daniels has pointed at the way in which healthcare protects our level of normal functioning and consequently our opportunities to form, pursue, and revise our life-plans. Impairment of normal functioning through injury, disease, and disability creates significant disadvantages and reduces a person’s opportunities in life. What appears to make healthcare of special moral importance is its particular capacity, through prevention, restoration, and support, to affect our chances of leading a full, active, and morally fulfilling life. In this context, fair equality of opportunity means that all individuals are entitled to an equal opportunity for a chance to be healthy, insofar as possible.

Second, the effect of healthcare services on opportunities in life is a general fact that is common to all. This is ultimately grounded in the concept of basic needs or, as David Braybrooke has called them, “course-of-life-needs.” Basic needs are the things that are functionally necessary for the most fundamental projects, involved in living a human life, and are essential to living or functioning normally. They apply to an entire range of interests that concern a person’s physical (food, drink, shelter) and psychological existence (communication, affiliation, support). They are basic because they are restricted to universally recurrent phenomena rather than to particular individual whims or frivolous pursuits. This implies that basic needs are distinguishable from felt needs, preferences, or wants. Persons simply have these needs, whether they want to or not. To use a term from Harry Frankfurt: basic needs are “non-volitional needs”; they do not depend on what a person wants. As such, they are typically assumed to be given rather than acquired characteristics of the human condition. That means that they are not constituted by any action for which the person is responsible by virtue of his or her greater effort. Consequently, essential needs are independent from merits. Where they are unequal, one thinks of them as fortuitously distributed, as part of a kind of natural or social lottery or as the result of good or bad luck.

Likewise, healthcare needs are those things that every person needs in order to maintain or restore normal and healthy functioning (like adequate nutrition, shelter, sanitation, unpolluted living and working conditions, and preventive and curative medical services), or that a person needs to equal normal functioning as much as possible (like glasses, wheelchairs, hearing aids, and guide dogs). Essentially healthcare needs are basic needs: universal in character, necessary for the fundamental projects of every person, and generically originating from human vulnerability. Very often the advantages of health and the burdens of illness are arbitrary effects of a natural lottery (like one’s genetic makeup) or social conditions (being poor) or of bad luck (being at the wrong place at the wrong time) or good fortune (accidental discovery of cancer at a curable stage). Although there are interpersonal differences in healthcare needs to reach a normal functioning level, enjoying reasonably good health, being able to function normally, and through this having normal opportunities for a fulfilling life are of fundamental value for every person, and eliminating or reducing barriers that undermine this value, like disease, illness, or injury, is a basic moral obligation for every just society.

Third, it would be unreasonable to expect that individuals generally should be able to gain sufficient access to healthcare by relying solely on their own private resources for several reasons. First, healthcare needs are more unequally distributed than other basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter (some people need considerably more healthcare than others, whereas people’s need for food and clothing is generally the same). Second, healthcare needs can be highly unpredictable due to the element of luck. Third, the fulfillment of healthcare needs has an important impact on a person’s range of opportunities. And finally, healthcare can be catastrophically expensive. If private resources could generally cover healthcare needs, there would be little point in declaring entitlements to healthcare. This means that whereas it might be reasonably expected that people can adequately provide for food, clothing, and shelter from their own private shares of income and wealth, this does not apply to goods like healthcare services, which are an appropriate object of collective cost sharing schemes. Private insurance alone cannot provide sufficient access to care for everyone because those who are most in need of healthcare, as well as those with especially high risk of ill health, will not be able to purchase affordable coverage, if they can find insurance at all. That is why we speak of a collective obligation on the part of society as a whole.

Hertel & Libal 2011 (Shareen & Kathryn [Both Ph.D., University of Connecticut], Entrenched Inequity: Health Care in the United States, Human Rights in the United States: Beyond Exceptionalism, Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, 2011, 153-174)

The right to health is enshrined in international legal instruments, many of which were drafted with U.S. leadership. Among the most important are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) IUD. HR 1948; ICESCR 1966). A focus on health care leaves aside many salient issues concerning the right to health and its implementation at the national level. For example, the right to health requires not only that certain minimum standards of care be met or exceeded, but that basic preconditions to health also are met, including adequate shelter, food, and sanitation (CESCR 2000; Toebes 1998). In addition, as is the case with civil and political rights (e.g., the right to a fair trial), a government's responsibility to ensure the right to health is equally about process and outcome. Although the government must work to promote health, it cannot be held responsible for ensuring a particular individual's health unless that person's health problems stem directly from discrimination or other human rights violations. In other words, the right to health is not equivalent to a guarantee that one will actually be healthy.

Contention Two

Americans do not have access to appropriate healthcare

Burkick 2016 (James [MD], Talking About Single Payer Health Care Equality for America, Near Horizons Publishing, St. Michaels, Maryland, 2016)

Too often a sick patient in America may be threatened not only by the illness but by the worry of how much the treatment will cost, unlike in other countries. Of course this is particularly true for the uninsured but also pertains to those who have insurance but are not well-to-do. For them, the questions of whether the care is covered and what the copayment will cost loom large. There was considerable public interest in the run-up to the passage of Obamacare. A Harris Interactive-Health Day poll found that 84% of people 45 – 64 years old with insurance still were worried about being able to pay for health care in 2009. Other polls underscore this: over 80% said that changing health care to make it more affordable is very important. When compared to other issues, 30 – 50% said improved affordability is more important than anything else. In the NYTimes/CBS News poll of June 2009 cited by Paul Krugman, 72% supported a government-sponsored health plan that would compete with private plans. Even with Republicans it is a toss-up with 50% support. Fifty percent overall thought the government would be better at providing health care and 59% said that the government would be better at containing costs. The percent in agreement with each of these increased quite a bit over the 2007 responses. These concerns of those with insurance have not changed since the ACA.

There are many examples of responsible, working citizens who are being dragged down by the traps in U.S. health care coverage. Incredibly, in Kaiser Family Foundation data, of the 22% who had trouble paying their medical bills in 2008, 4% had declared bankruptcy due to medical expenses. A recent study by Dr. David Himmelstein and other members of the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) predicted over 800,000 bankruptcies due to illness in 2009. Very commonly this happens in spite of the bankrupted person having had health insurance. True, it seems likely that other factors are important in at least a reasonable fraction of these cases. But it is hard to avoid the conclusion that large numbers of bankruptcies would not have occurred had it not been for medical costs. Moreover, about 20% of people put off medical care or prescription medicine purchases because of cost (this has been found repeatedly). So medical costs because we lack a national system are hurting the health of those who are still solvent.

Matthews 1998 (Eric [University of Aberdeen], “Is Health Care a Need?, Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, 155-161

There are some who would say, on these grounds, that the market is actually morally superior in a certain respect to other methods of allocation. For in a market system, each individual chooses for him- or herself which goods he or she will have (provided he or she has the money to pay for them), so that the market economy is morally superior in that it respects the freedom of choice of the individual. This argument is used by some to justify a market system of health care allocation. In a free health care market, for example, no one who wanted renal dialysis would be denied access to it as a result of decisions taken by others, as such sufferers are in the non-market allocation practiced in the British National Health Service. However, a market system denies access to medical treatment to those who are unable to pay for it (or who do not qualify for charitable provision). Under the market system, freedom of choice only really exists for those who have the ability to pay. This sort of objection on the part of writers such as Englhardt does not really, therefore, establish the moral superiority of market provision of health care.

Charitable healthcare organizations are not sufficient for everyone

D’Oronzio 2001 (Joseph [], A Human Right to Healthcare Access: Returning to the Origins of the Patients’ Rights Movement, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Vol. 10(3), July 2001, 285-298)

Healthcare ethics includes within its scope of legitimate concerns the establishment and maintenance of an ethical environment for the delivery of healthcare services. The lack of readily available, appropriate healthcare creates an environment as clearly conducive to illness as many identifiable pathogens or carcinogens. It makes little difference if there are committed and ethically motivated professionals delivering episodic care to the uninsured in this context. The care delivered is not equal, the health outcomes are not equal, and the resulting poor health of the uninsured is an ethical challenge to the healthcare professions as a whole. It is another example of the health impact of a human-rights deprivation.

Contention Three

The United States should implement a single payer healthcare system

Benefits of Single-Payer Healthcare in the United States

Shuster 2013 (Kenneth [Rabbi and Attorney], “Because of History, Philosophy, the Constitution, Fairness & Need: Why Americans Have a Right to National Health Care, Indiana Health Law Review, Vol. 10(1), 2013, 76-113)

Although all such approaches have some merit, the best avenue by far that the United States should take to insure its people is a single-payer approach. This is for at least six reasons. First, unlike private insurance and even hybrid health care, all Americans regardless of income and assets would be covered for all medically necessary services, including physician visits and services, hospitalization, long-term care, dental needs, vision care, and prescription drug and medical supply costs. Such a plan is extremely necessary, because presently many government subsidized programs exclude many of the above services. Second, because a single-payer system will be funded and operated by a single entity, i.e. the government, it will cut down on the administrative costs that private and hybrid insurance plans require. Third, a single-payer plan will keep drug prices under control. This is because when patients are covered under one system, the payer, in this case the government, has more power to control costs than when multiple sources are responsible for providing drug care. To be sure, the unified source of their health care is a major reason drug prices in other countries are lower than they are in the U.S.. Fourth, because single-payer plans would cover items that are not traditionally covered in many plans, and would probably not carry copayments or deductibles, they would provide coverage to the presently underinsured as well as the uninsured. This is vital because as recently as 2009, 62% of U.S. bankruptcies were due to medical expenses and 80% of those bankruptcies were filed by people who had health insurance. Fifth, a national single-payer health plan will keep overall health care costs down by de-commercializing health care and limiting for-profit involvement in how health care is delivered. It would accomplish this in three ways. First, the payer (the government) would not spend more on medical technology than is needed to provide health care. Second, because a single-payer system would be delivered by the government, it would eliminate the excessive executive compensation packages in vogue at private insurance companies. Third, it would block the often enormous costs insurance companies spend to influence the public that private health insurance is the preferred manner in which they should obtain their health insurance. Finally, because a single-payer plan would be operated by the government, all medical data, including patient and hospital records, could be housed in one central computerized repository. This would further keep administrative costs down, discourage doctors from fraudulently billing for unperformed procedures, and make it much easier to coordinate patient health data between physicians and hospitals in the event a patient changes doctors or moves to another locale.

Socialized medicine is compatible with capitalism

Shuster 2013 (Kenneth [Rabbi and Attorney], “Because of History, Philosophy, the Constitution, Fairness & Need: Why Americans Have a Right to National Health Care, Indiana Health Law Review, Vol. 10(1), 2013, 76-113)

The reason socialized medicine is compatible with capitalism is because a government-funded and executed health care program, like other socialized entitlements (such as police, sanitation, education, etc.), does not prevent Americans from competing in a capitalistic, free-market environment to provide luxuries and a better standard of living for themselves in other areas that affect them. For example, even with government-guaranteed health coverage, Americans will still need to compete in a capitalist marketplace to obtain more spacious homes, more expensive cars and clothes, better vacations, etc. This reality takes the lie out of the misconception that capitalism is preferable to any amount of socialism because socialism, like communism, will chill incentives individuals have to work harder and be more productive. In fact, a "modified capitalism" which, as a result of the socialized benefits Americans already enjoy is the norm in present day America, may actually provide us with greater incentives to work and be productive. This is because, unlike members of a entirely capitalist society whose labor dollars must go to meet more of their basic needs, workers in a modified capitalist society that is paying more of those needs have that much more income at their disposal to fund a higher standard of living for themselves and their families. The awareness that their labor is helping to finance their dreams and goals, and not merely paying for essentials or increasing their employers' wealth, may motivate workers in a modified capitalistic environment to be more industrious.

Single-Payer Healthcare solves for medical costs and access

Oberlander 2016 (Jonathan [PhD. Political Science], The Virtues and Vices of Single-Payer Health Care, The New England Journal of Medicine, 374(15), April 24, 2016)

The lessons of Canadian national health insurance are as straightforward as they are neglected. Having a single government- operated insurance plan greatly reduces administrative costs and complexity. It concentrates purchasing power to reduce prices, enables budgetary control over health spending, and guarantees all legal residents, regardless of age, health status, income, or occupation, coverage for core medical services. Canadian Medicare charges patients no copayments or deductibles for hospital or physician services. Controlling medical spending does not, the Canadian experience demonstrates, require cost sharing that deters utilization. The Canadian system is hardly perfect. All countries struggle with tensions among cost, access, and quality; at times, Canada has grappled with fiscal pressures, wait lists for some services, and public dissatisfaction. Yet its problems pale in comparison to those in the United States.

Contention Four

All people in the United States should contribute to the healthcare of everyone

Shuster 2013 (Kenneth [Rabbi and Attorney], “Because of History, Philosophy, the Constitution, Fairness & Need: Why Americans Have a Right to National Health Care, Indiana Health Law Review, Vol. 10(1), 2013, 76-113)

An issue that crops up repeatedly regarding national health care plans is the seeming unfairness of requiring more affluent and healthy individuals to pay, indirectly through taxation, for the health needs of the less affluent and less healthy in society. This objection is often compounded and complemented by the realization that many Americans bring disease onto themselves through lack of exercise and unhealthy food choices. Although there is truth to this complaint, when health care is seen as a right, it loses much of its bite. This is because there are numerous other areas of American life, from police protection and sanitation benefits, to public school education and military operations, which are supported by the tax dollars of Americans who live in affluent and clean neighborhoods that may not need as much police surveillance, or clean-up, as poorer, crime-ridden locales do, or who may not agree with all details of foreign policy expenditures. The fact is that just as police protection, sanitation benefits, educational resources, and a strong military presence are necessary if society is to function at a high level free from crime, garbage borne diseases, illiteracy, and threats from abroad, national health care is required to keep as many members of society healthy and therefore presumably productive, as possible.

The question of why society should pay to cover the health care expenses of those who have not made healthier lifestyle choices, may be answered via a two-pronged approach, both of which require not merely compassion, but a healthy dose of realism. First, I again look to those services that most Americans do not mind paying for to point out that many of them are necessary due to both the ill behavior of at least some members of society, as well as the impracticality of requiring individuals who are generally ill-equipped to effectively manage various facets of their lives, to teach themselves. For example, police are needed largely because people do not always act legally or peacefully. Public schools are needed, not just for the children of less affluent parents who cannot afford to send them to private or parochial schools, but for students whose parents are themselves illiterate, alcoholic, emotionally or developmentally disabled, or otherwise incapable of educating them. If this is true in these and other areas in which people are challenged and incapable, due to either irresponsibility or innate deficiency, why should it not be true in regards to the bad choices whole segments of our society make when it comes to life style? In fact, all of society will lose out, in lost productivity, prosperity, and contribution, if our government does not encourage us, through national health care, to provide health insurance for those who are less healthy than others, even if such compromised health status was caused by personal irresponsibility and neglect.

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