Intelligence Squared: Universal Healthcare is a Federal Responsibility
One of my favorite podcasts that I make sure to listen to (unedited whenever possible) is the Intelligence Squared US debates published by NPR. I love that show because they gather some of the brightest minds to argue cogently for and against a relevant issue of the day. I’m planning on excerpting pieces from the debate analyze the arguments in the future, because such a condensed level of argument is too much to do at once but absolutely worth analyzing in greater detail.
For now though, I’d like to comment more generally on the recent healthcare episode. When I listened through, I was surprised to realize that no one had picked up on the nuances of the motion as they had in previous seasons. It seems to me that everyone would want “Universal” coverage, but who pays and how it’s administered are the arguing points. Yet nuanced points centered around why the federal government shouldn’t be responsible stayed relatively clear from the debate.
So then, I would’ve figured that innovation would be the key argument. Surely systems that can simply be lobbied for more money rather than bothering with innovation would be a focal point… but apparently not. Instead the arguments were focused around the effectiveness of present Universal systems elsewhere, why they work or don’t work, how expensive they are or aren’t, and why just plain they suck or don’t suck. I find this strange, because no matter how much the US copies another country’s system, we will never be another country. Particularly with regards to health, there are several levels of nuance that would make a system work drastically differently in the US, even if we copied it exactly from another country.
Also, as is typical when I listen to these debates, I ended up wishing that I could get access to their sources more easily. There were several allegations this time of making up facts and citing erroneous statistics, and perhaps that’s because in the scheme of things this debate doesn’t matter much. However, I wish there was a better way to fact check each side, because I’m afraid that our culture has let blind ideology creep in to even our intellectual debate circles.
All in all? A good debate I would say. If you have an hour and forty minutes to spare (or need something to listen to while you do something mindless), I’d highly recommend it. Look for pieces of the debate to be analyzed here soon.
Filed under: Analysis, Intelliegence Squared, Politics | 1 Comment