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OP-ED: Let’s Debate! Replace Private Insurance With Medicare For All?

Radical Liberals vs. Stubborn Conservatives. That is usually the picture painted when it comes to views on Medicare for All. After attending the Intelligence Squared debate titled “Replace Private Insurance with Medicare for All” on Tuesday, Sept. 17, I was shocked to see that neither side fit the stereotype. Both sides came to the consensus that the health care system needs a reformation and that health care should have easier accessibility. The difference was just how easy. The debate was split into two viewpoints — for and against. Opening statements lasted 7 minutes for each side, then a lengthy Q&A with both the moderator and audience, and 2 minute closing statements. These were the most highlighted:


For: Health care is a RIGHT, not a privilege or benefit but a right to be accessed by every person. This was the most pushed topic for this viewpoint. Another thought-provoking point they mentioned was the fact that private insurance ends up not being helpful because of high deductibles. This is extremely true! Insurance owners pay monthly for coverage and then pay out-of-pocket once an actual sickness that needs treatment occurs. What is the point of paying insurance then? This team’s solution was simple — a single-payer system not motivated by profit.


Against: Not for profit? What’s the point of a business but to make a profit? This team pushed the idea that insurance companies are not intentionally charging Americans an arm and a leg, but they, as a business, must incorporate a business model. Therefore, it is impossible not to be motivated by profit. This team also stated that health insurance was not a fundamental right, therefore it should not be treated as one. Their main point was that a Medicare for All plan would result in a limited supply of doctors due to funding costs, which means longer lines for treatment (which is Canada’s issue now, a country that has a Medicare for All system). The last main point is that it would cut innovation in the health field because less money is being made in the private sector (as if there aren’t foundations and grants to fund this creativity — but what do I know).


Both teams had valid points and a compelling argument.

As stated before, the consensus is that accessibility to health care for all should be easier. No matter the consequences that may occur or how difficult it is, we all agree that everyone needs to afford health care.


Event Speakers:

Dr. Adam Gaffney − President, Physicians for a National Health Program 

Joseph Sanberg − Co-Founder, Aspiration & Chair, CalEITC4Me

Nick Gillespie − Editor-at-Large, Reason

Sally Pipes − CEO & President, Pacific Research Institute


Photo by mollyktadams

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