Obamacare

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In March 2010 President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, the biggest overhaul of our health care system in decades. According to a November poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 40 percent of the public would like Congress to expand the new health reform law or leave it as is, while 49 percent are in favor of repealing all or parts of it. Can the new law reduce the deficit and expand coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, or, as its critics warn, will it actually increase the deficit and fail to control costs that are spiraling out of control?

  • For Repealing Obamacare

    For

    Douglas Holtz-Eakin

    President of the American Action Forum

  • For the motion

    For

    John Shadegg

    Former Republican Representative for the 3rd Congressional District of Arizona

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Paul Starr

    Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University

  • Against the Motion

    Against

    Jonathan Cohn

    Senior Editor at New Republic,

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

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Holtz-Eakin

For The Motion

Douglas Holtz-Eakin

President of the American Action Forum

Has a distinguished record as an academic, policy adviser, and strategist. He is currently the president of the American Action Forum and a commissioner on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. He was the 6th director of the Congressional Budget Office and served as chief economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (2001-2002). He recently served as the director of domestic and economic policy for the John McCain 2008 presidential campaign.

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John Shadegg

For The Motion

John Shadegg

Former Republican Representative for the 3rd Congressional District of Arizona

is a former Republican representative for the 3rd Congressional District of Arizona. He has introduced legislation to promote patient choice, individual ownership and portability in health insurance. His two bills – the Patients Health Care Reform Act and the Health Care Choice Act – offer comprehensive, free-market solutions to health care by allowing individuals to choose a health care plan that best meets their needs.

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Cohn

Against The Motion

Jonathan Cohn

Senior Editor at New Republic

Is a senior editor at New Republic, a columnist at Kaiser Health News, and the author of "Sick." He has been called “one of the nation’s leading experts on health care policy” (Washington Post) and “one of the best health care writers out there” (New York Times); he has also won the Sidney Hillman and Harry Chapin media awards. A graduate of Harvard, he is a senior fellow at Demos and member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

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Starr

Against The Motion

Paul Starr

Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University

is professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University and co-founder and co-editor of the American Prospect magazine, a quarterly about politics, policy, and ideas. He received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction and Bancroft Prize in American history for "The Social Transformation of American Medicine," which is credited for helping to shape the debate about health care reform. He also received the 2005 Goldsmith Book Prize for "The Creation of the Media." During 1993 he served as a senior advisor at the White House in the formulation of the Clinton health plan.

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Declared Winner: Against The Motion

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    5 comments

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    • Comment Link Mike Tuesday, 02 December 2014 21:12 posted by Mike

      Obamacare is not perfect but our health care in the USA sucks. We have a Monopoly Health Care system that, thru a network of computers nationwide, with an application imbedded program, raises prices an average of 7% a year. There is no desire to break up this Monopoly that fixes prices. The Time Magazine article "Bitter Pill" exposed the computer program "Charge Master" and what that is the price fixing program to meet profit, the $100 million annual compensation of health care providers and insurance company CEO's and of course, the $80 million of the five Vice Presidents. It took over 30 years to remove the Independent Billing of health care professionals. Have you gotten and Independent Billing from a Doctor's staff lately?
      The insurance Corporations made it vary difficult for Doctors to get paid, and created shadow businesses named "Billing Services" as an intermediary to the Doctor and sure enough, after eliminating the Doctors Independent Billing, the Coup was complete. The Monopoly was now in place, so the Computer networks, nationwide with the 2,000 health care service entities to raise prices at will and of course, Congress turned a blind eye to this monopoly.
      We are so stupid as a public. I worked in the Health Care Computer Industry for 20 years, and I watched as the Computer networks were linked, the Billing Services shadow companies and the elimination of independent billing by doctors and other health care providers.
      Not sure why people have not figured and are denying that our health care is a major transfer of wealth in this country of the middle class to Corporations.
      We have over 800,000 families that experience Bankruptcies in the USA prior to Obamacare, and 70% had Junk Health Insurance. We also have 1.5 million foreclosures in the USA every year as a result of medical bills.
      When are we going to wake up?

      A suggestion:
      Why not have a debate that asks the question"
      "The Medical Health Care system is a Monopoly"
      or
      :"Is the health care system Immoral for forcing Bankruptcy for getting sick?"
      or
      'Bankruptcy for Medical Bills is Immoral in the USA"

      I just discovered your site, and I have passed along to others.
      Great format, the debates are about as truthful as possible, whereas, we are propagandized by the Right Wing Republican nuts in our area, 11 radio stations everyday, spewing half lies and very little truth, 7 days a week. No wonder we have so much problem.

    • Comment Link Tony Thursday, 30 October 2014 04:30 posted by Tony

      @Chris Walczyk

      Wherever you get your information, they are bad sources. Our government is mandated to pay back debt before any other expenditures, which means the only way it couldn't pay back debt is if the debt owed per month was greater than income per month. Right now, today, debt owed per month is roughly 5-10% of the income per month. So no, we are in no danger of not paying our debts, anyone who tells you that we are is lying to you.

      Now you are right that the increasing amount of money we owe is a danger because someday we will get to a point where we can no longer even pay our debt. And the longer we run in a large defecit, the more loans we have to take, and harder and longer our eventual recovery will be.

      As an analogy imagine you spent more money than you made, and to pay for this lifestyle you started getting credit cards to pay for it rather than cutting your spending. Eventually you'd need to get a 2nd credit card and then a 3rd. At some point in your future the credit card companies would cut you off, at that point, you would have to declare bankruptcy. That is the danger we are in, if we keep going into debt, at some point the US is no longer going to be given any more loans, and the people that gave us those loans are going to expect us to repay them. The CBO reports paint a pretty grim message if you actually read and understand them.

    • Comment Link ChrisWalczyk Tuesday, 22 October 2013 18:06 posted by ChrisWalczyk

      There is no question in my mind and in the minds of every single republican in the United States that Obamacare should be repealed. I understand that there is nothing I can say to change the unrealistic ideologic mentality of democrats, but please, listen to what I am saying. I truly do not understand how ignorant and pathetically mindless the American people can be by believing that healthcare is just going to be handed to them at the cost of the middle and upper class. Not only Obamacare is unconstitutional, but it is absolutely unaffordable in every sense of the word. Our nation’s current debt is over 16 trillion dollars! For the first time in our nation’s history, we are unable to pay back our debts to foreign nations because there is virtually no government income. I do not understand how the American people believe that a healthcare system that will cost 1 trillion dollars, will help our nation’s economy. This is the exact reason why Obamacare is without a doubt, unaffordable. Even if the U.S. government is able to collect 1 trillion dollars from hard working Americans over the next 10 years, do you really think that these people are just going to be handed health insurance? The answer to this question is unequivocally no. It’s simple, if you are a Medicaid patient, or a low-paying Medicare patient, your doctor will refuse to see you. Do you really think that medical doctors in the United States stayed in school 11 to 14 years after high school to accept 8 dollars for a 45 minute appointment, 20 dollars for a 300 dollar medical procedure, and 2, 000 dollars for a 50, 000 dollar surgical operation? This is how much these insurance companies will be paying if 60, 000, 000 people do in fact get health insurance over the next 10 years. It’s unbelievably ridiculous that these uninsured Americans actually believe that they’ll just be able to walk right into a doctor’s office a get healthcare for the ridiculously low amount of money that these insurance companies are paying. This will never happen, especially with 95 percent of the medical and surgical specialists in America, who have trained longer than some people have been alive to acquire their success. This is what the America people do not understand. It’s not about the Affordable Healthcare Act’s constitutionality; it’s about the simple fact that it is unaffordable in a nation who’s debt is over 16 trillion dollars! These are the facts, and this is what the American people have to understand.

    • Comment Link Sash Sunday, 30 December 2012 18:29 posted by Sash

      I agree with Jonathan Cohn on this issue. We should have a foundation in the pursuit of Universal Healthcare in the United States. Obamacare is that foundation. The lady in the audience made an interesting point about the human component of this. The fact is that Obamacare gives people more choices so that second class people don't get second class insurance and there is less prejudice in insurance about their customers. John Shadegg admits that the Republicans had a chance to give this to America and they blew it so Democrats should be able to have their shot at it because everyone wants the government to create Universal Healthcare. Obamacare is Step 1.

    • Comment Link Cengeng Tuesday, 13 November 2012 02:54 posted by Cengeng

      A lot. More today than a year ago.Because of Obamacare, no company in America offers stand alone children's health insurance.Why? Obamacare dictates that it is guaranteed issue, without rate ups, regardless of health. Therefore, there is no reason to purchase it until there is a claim needing to be paid.That's not health insurance. That's a confiscatory tax on health insurance companies. Fortunately, they aren't slaves yet, so they exercised the F U clause in the contract with the purple bellies from Washington and just refused to do business where they are guaranteed to lose money.How do you fix the problem of un- and under-insured? By making health insurance affordable.How do you make it affordable? By removing ALL government mandates, loser pays tort reform, encouraging competition between providers (enforce existing anti-trust laws), eliminate the AMA monopoly on billing codes, and eliminate the connection between employment and health insurance.Do these things and we'll see health insurance cost less than auto insurance. More people will be covered, more people will be healthy.

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