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Will Donald Trump or Joe Biden be better for healthcare?
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Americans don't want public healthcare

The culture in the US is one which highly values the individual and free choice above all else. As in the Declaration of Independence: "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Americans want to have control over their lives and not be constrained by government wherever possible. This includes healthcare decisions.


Senator Bernie Sanders is a known advocate for universal healthcare in the US. Joe Biden does not advocate for the same policies Sanders does, but his stance is to increase spending and promote a reformed version of the Affordable Care Act and increase the scope of programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The Argument

Care and coverage are not the same thing. Many nations who boast universal healthcare struggle with the influx of patients and have long and drawn out waiting lists, with patients waiting months to see a specialist. According to a 2018 study, only 6% of US patients had to wait longer than 2 months to see a specialist contrasting 39% of patients in Canada and 19% in the UK. [1] Furthermore, Economist Kenneth Thorpe of Emory University suggests Bernie Sanders’ plan for universal coverage and revenue plan to pay for it is not viable and would see 71% of American households paying more for their healthcare than they do at the moment. As it stands, 66% of Republicans believe the government is not responsible for insuring the whole population has adequate health coverage. Of the remaining third the debate still stands whether the current situation is a better alternative to dismantling the system and building something new. Many Americans see healthcare as something to be earned through work. Only 37% of Americans believe free healthcare is a right and 57% are unwilling to pay more than an additional $1000 a year for health care which is fully funded[2].

Counter arguments

Many Americans don’t know how much they are currently spending on healthcare. The US health expenditures is one of the highest in the developed world but outcomes do not reflect this spending. Furthermore, polls show many Americans don’t know the basics of the system, such as enrollment dates or requirements for application. It is likely this extends to the costs of their plans and insurance. As it stands, a growing proportion of the population favors government led healthcare coverage for all. These figures are growing faster in the democratic side of the political spectrum, particularly among younger voters[3].



[P1] Americans want quick and good medical service. [P2] Americans know countries who have universal healthcare have long waiting lines for specialists and a slow system. [P3] Americans don't want universal healthcare.

Rejecting the premises

[P2] There is more to good healthcare than long waiting lines. Access to expensive treatment and support are also factors to consider.


This page was last edited on Friday, 9 Oct 2020 at 14:03 UTC

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