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Repeal Obamacare

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  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin on Obamacare

    Clip: Douglas Holtz-Eakin argues for the motion "Repeal Obamacare."

  • John Shadegg on Obamacare

    Clip: John Shadegg argues for the motion "Repeal Obamacare."

  • Paul Starr on Obamacare

    Clip: Paul Starr argues against the motion "Repeal Obamacare."

  • Jonathan Cohn on Obamacare

    Clip: Jonathan Cohn argues against the motion "Repeal Obamacare."

Debate Details

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?

The Debaters

For the motion

Douglas Holtz-Eakin

President, 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... Read More

John Shadegg

Former Representative, 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... Read More

Against the motion

Jonathan Cohn

Senior Editor, 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... Read More

Paul Starr

Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, 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... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • Instead of reducing the deficit, the health care act will increase the deficit by $500 billion.
  • Insurance will become more expensive and health care costs will rise faster than they would have otherwise.
  • Millions could lose the insurance they already have and because of Medicare cuts, many seniors will lose access to care.
  • The mandate that all Americans obtain health insurance coverage is unconstitutional.
Against The Motion
  • The health care act will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion over 10 years.
  • The bill will expand coverage to 32 million who are currently uninsured and insurers would not be allowed to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, cancel policies without proving fraud, or put lifetime limits on benefits
  • Exchanges would allow people not covered by their employers to shop for insurance at competitive rates.
  • While not perfect, this is an important first step toward providing universal health care.


  • Live Audience
  • Online Audience
  • Results
  • Breakdown

The Research

The Research

Top Ten Reasons ObamaCare is Unraveling

Grace-Marie Turner
October 22, 2010

How Does Health Care Reform Work?

Ellen-Marie Whelan
March 19, 2010

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

111th Congress of the United States
May 1, 2010
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