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July 31, 2017

My analysis of the Ben Shapiro - Cenk Uygur debate at Politicon 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:33 pm

OK, so I never got my Bernie vs Trump debate so many people in the country wanted to see so badly. Maybe not the debate we deserved, but the one we needed. At least I got my Bernie vs Cruz debate later. And that drew a nicely sized crowd!

Well, here comes the Ben Shapiro vs Cenk Uygur debate. Both are really smart guys, with different approaches to politics. Both have large followings, and yesterday didn’t disappoint in terms of turnout! However, in other ways, it was a mixed bag and disappointment. I wanted to share my thoughts on the first 15 minutes below:

Beginning: The crowd definitely has more fans of Ben than Cenk, as can be seen by the amount of people cheering and booing for the mere mention of their names or when they came out. As political debates usually go, the majority of the crowd is unlikely to change their mind in response to logical points, so we, the online audience will have to ignore the cheers and boos for the rest of the debate :)

4:50 Ben: “You can only have two of Affordability, Universality and Quality”. In Israel, for instance, they have all three. Quality of medicine is world renowned, and Israel has better health outcomes than the United States on many fronts. Wait times are much lower. And of course everyone in Israel has access to affordable healthcare – even a tourist like myself. And the country can afford it, which is true of every developed country around the world except the USA.

6:40 Cenk: “I really want to make sure Ben’s opinions are heard… and there’s an exchange of ideas. Believe it or not there are some things we agree on…” I applaud Cenk for saying this right at the outset. There is too much left vs right political bickering today, when the public agrees on so many things. I sent an email to Ben before the debate, asking him to emphasize just how much agreement both sides actually have on many issues. Too bad he didn’t read it.

7:10 Cenk: Actually answers the moderator’s question, invokes Ben’s own statements, and points out that Obamacare was based on Heritage foundation. Finally talks about public support for Medicare (77%), Medicare for All (60%), Federally Funded Insurance for All (61%) and ribs Democrats for not having the guts to support popular bills the people actually want. Finally explains that healthcare is different than sneakers and other goods.

10:30 Ben: “It is going to lead to a decrease in the number of people entering the medical profession, and decrease the level of care overall.” This is simply contradicted by data around the world. In many countries where there is universal health care (and in fact, single payer systems) there are MORE doctors per capita (not less as Ben’s theory predicts) and MORE hospital beds per patient, LOWER rates of infant mortality, HIGHER life expectancy. And BETTER health outcomes. And lower prices per capita, and lower growth of prices too. Around the world, the USA pays the most per capita for healthcare. Yet, its wait times were the among longest in the developed world even before ObamaCare (even ignoring the “infinite wait times” of those who can’t even afford basic healthcare). USA has been ranked dead last in certain cohorts.

Something that used to be a good in the past (let’s say, running water via aqueducts) became a right today (access to clean running water). And so forth. Believe it or not, something can be a good traded in the marketplace (fruits) and we can still try to make sure everyone has access to it (food stamps or UBI, or single payer systems).

I’m going to stop here because I can see where this is going, and if someone comments on my analysis above, they can actually address what I’m saying.

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