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CNN Obamacare Debate: Ted Cruz vs. Bernie Sanders

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Robert Camou, Intern

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Debate regarding health care reform, doesn’t aim to harm the other’s health, but rather, tests the resilience of people and their ideas against opposition. This makes debate useful for sharing information, which was the main objective of CNN televising the 90-minute debate between Congressmen Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders. This debate anticipates eminent legislation following Trump’s recent promise to reform the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare).

Ted Cruz, a conservative Texas Republican and Bernie Sanders, a liberal Vermont Democrat, represent a dichotomy in political ideology, but both believe in the importance of health care for society. Overshadowing the debate is the question of whether health care opportunity resides in guaranteed access or allowed privilege, extended to whether current legislation will be reformed or repealed.

Bernie Sanders begins the debate with a vision into an undesirable future through a humanitarian lens where repealing the Affordable Healthcare Act outcasts 20 million Americans who benefitted from receiving coverage, 10 million senior citizens aided in their struggle to afford prescriptions, and those who are currently benefitting from guaranteed insurance despite pre-existing conditions. He believes that America should join the rest of the world in providing necessary and expedient socialized health care by reforming the Affordable Healthcare Act to involve Medicaid because it is the moral thing to do.  To Bernie Sanders, health care is a right not a privilege.  He also separates the idea of rationing between the public and private sector, which is a crucial distinction.  He acknowledges that government rationing is done through redistribution of wealth, but also identifies that Cruz’s vision doesn’t acknowledge the rationing of private sector inequalities between socio-economic classes and their ability to afford health care.

Ted Cruz responds with a worldview that is pro-laissez-faire capitalism.  He understands that the persons of the private sector are in the business of working with the people and allowing them to provide health care for themselves.  He argues that the level of care provided by private insurance is greater than that of public coverage.  Reasoning for this is because sanctioning, or overseeing distribution of health care will cause wait times to increase, decreasing access to needed health care.  Cruz upholds a humanitarian view in that he thinks access to newly developed foreign medications shouldn’t be denied to treat ailments, and that the choice to keep existing plans shouldn’t be infringed upon.  Cruz also argues that providing free health care is not financially viable.  To ensure future sustainability, taxes for Americans would need to be tripled, which would deplete the wealth of the people.  He also conducts a cost-benefit analysis in terms of funding based on taxing all whose wealth exceeds $1 million and explains in another example how even through entirely seizing the wealth of highly profitable companies, a socialized health care program wouldn’t be fiscally sustainable.      

In the case of this debate, there are good points on both sides which makes it difficult to claim the other’s view invalid.  However, considering political philosophy makes choosing a side based on the larger issues of whether you think healthcare should be considered an allowed privilege or a guaranteed right and whether you can afford your own health coverage, not wanting to pay for others’ or want the system to provide it for everyone.

Through agreeing to disagree, tolerance is upheld in differing opinions protected under America’s freedom of speech.  Atrocities throughout history have been allowed by people who were “just doing their jobs” to make ends meet, which gives hope for democratic socialism to cover the basic physiological needs of people.  This could free the people from being financially dependent to the point of being manipulated into furthering the agendas of corrupt systems of oppression.  However, while providing universal care will help people, it has the potential to financially cripple the nation in the process.  It is highly encouraged that if you are interested in the issue of health care reform, you watch the debate, which is on YouTube, and personalize your own informed stance.  

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “CNN Obamacare Debate: Ted Cruz vs. Bernie Sanders”

  1. IW on February 17th, 2017 10:22 am

    Is it asking our government to pay it all, or simply makes it affordable to all? If we are concerned about the latter, which of course is the core issue here, how is this going to bankrupt the country as Cruz is somewhat insinuating? Other countries who are less financially off are doing this, so why can’t the US — the superpower, and more financially stable do the same? It think it all boils down to this: Politicians have the tendency of squeezing the poor and disenfranchised so their drug companies buddies can make mega profits. The bottom line is simple, making healthcare affordable(not accessible)will not allow politicians to benefit from huge kickbacks!

    [Reply]

    Robert Camou Reply:

    Thank you for your response,
    Both candidates speak to affordability for the people, but Cruz’s reason for the overburden on the government is due to Medicaid’s involvement in Obamacare. Cruz says, “Here’s something many don’t know…most of the people covered by Obamacare are on Medicaid.” Medicaid is a social welfare program that provides health insurance to those with low income and consumes a significant portion of the annual federal budget. He advances this position by saying that people on Medicaid have, “…markedly worse health outcomes than people with private insurance.”

    Cruz wants to repeal Obamacare in favor of providing individuals with ability to afford private health insurance policies. Bernie wants to shift those in need who are covered under Obamacare to Medicaid.

    [Reply]

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CNN Obamacare Debate: Ted Cruz vs. Bernie Sanders