Tag Archive | "debate of the month"

Resolved, that the Affordable Care Act be fully repealed

Resolved, that the Affordable Care Act be fully repealed

Chapter Debate Results Submission Form: https://goo.gl/forms/1YlLUGiTknUgtRBq2

Resolved, that the Affordable Care Act be fully repealed

Brief: In the first years following his inauguration into office, President Obama and the Democratic Congress worked on legislation that would serve as a major overhaul of America’s healthcare system that later passed by a party-line vote. The law is officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but is commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” The law is extremely complex and contains a multitude of provisions some of which are extremely popular, such as the requirement for insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions. However, some are broadly disliked, such as the government mandate for individuals to purchase insurance. Now that the political conditions have reversed and the White House and Congress are both controlled by Republicans, the future of the ACA is in the balance. Most Republicans tout a plan to fully repeal the ACA and then replace it with a different system that may contain some of the more popular portions of Obamacare. On the other hand, Democratic lawmakers argue that while the law is imperfect, it would be better to address its specific flaws while keeping the majority of the legislation in effect. Since the ACA has become law it has been credited with a variety of impacts, from rising insurance premiums as a negative, and more Americans covered under insurance as a benefit. Full analysis and debate about our nation’s healthcare system requires a tremendous amount of information and nuance, but in the end our policymakers have to come to a decision as to what they see would most benefit the American people. But this month, the question is also yours to decide: does a good future American healthcare system require the full repeal of Obamacare?

 

Pro Arguments:

  • Health insurance premiums have increased by double digit percentages in most states in the years since Obamacare went into effect. The ACA was supposed to lower average family’s healthcare expenses by $2500 a year, instead their healthcare cost have increased from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
  • Obamacare has inhibited the growth of small business and jobs. If a business wants to hire more than 50 people it has to provide health insurance for all its employees or pay a tremendous fine, keeping many business from hiring more Americans.
  • Obamacare was rushed through Congress without time for a proper review. The law is the longest in U.S. history but then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.”

Con Arguments:

  • The Affordable Care Act has expanded access to healthcare to millions of Americans. The U.S. rate of uninsured was nearly cut in half between 2010 and 2016, the expansion of Medicaid has brought affordable care to millions of Americans, and now young people are able to stay on their parents plans until they reach age 26.
  • Obamacare contains many protections for American consumers. The ACA prevents insurance companies for denying you coverage, dropping your plan, or increasing your premiums if you get sick or have a pre-existing conditions. The law also prevents insurance companies for charging women more than men.
  • According to a survey conducted by Hart Research Associates, more than two-thirds of Americans favor fixing the flaws in the ACA rather than repealing it entirely and replacing it with something new.

 

To read a summary of the Affordable Care Act’s major provisions click here. For an analysis of the positive and negative effects of the law click here. For an article advocating for a repeal of Obamacare click here. For an article pushing to maintain the law click here.

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Resolved, that the United Nations does more harm than good

Resolved, that the United Nations does more harm than good

Chapter Debate Results Submission Form: https://goo.gl/forms/1YlLUGiTknUgtRBq2

Resolved, that the United Nations does more harm than good

Brief: The United Nations was founded in the wake of the Second World War with the goal of establishing an international organization committed to using the principles of cooperation and diplomacy to seek peace, prosperity, and security around the world. The U.N is now comprised of 193 member states and 2 observers, who determine international policies through a General Assembly, Security Council, and various other councils, organizations, courts, and treaties. But critics argue that the U.N. has strayed away from its original mission and has actually become an impediment to progress on the world stage. Proponents of the United Nations say it is often used as a tool for the world’s governments to act with a unified voice, whether it be for sending aid to impoverished regions, condemning human rights atrocities, or promoting social causes like increased educational opportunities for women. However, detractors claim that the U.N. has allowed many atrocities to go unanswered, is politically biased, and is used to erode national sovereignty. With both a new U.N. Secretary-General and a recent place in the media spotlight after a controversial Security Council resolution condemning Israel, many have been assessing the pros and cons of the U.N.’s track record over the last 71 years. And now, many debate over if the UN has really done more harm or good. The question is, which do you believe?

Pro Arguments:

● The United Nations’ repeated targeting of Israel showcases a complete double standard, with the General Assembly ending its 2016 legislative session by adopting 20 resolutions condemning Israel for human rights violations and only 4 for the rest of the world combined.

● The United Nations peacekeeping missions have come under fire for not only being ineffective at achieving peace in many conflicts, but also face allegations of gross misconduct including widespread perpetration and coverups of sexual assault by peacekeeping forces.

● The structure of the Security Council that grants permanent membership status and veto power to Russia and China often prevents U.N. action to stop atrocities perpetrated by those countries or their allies like Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Con Arguments:

● The United Nations has prevented many conflicts by facilitating international agreements on issues like border disputes, maritime law, human rights, nuclear weapons, and war crimes. Without the United Nations it is very likely that there would be many more violent conflicts throughout the world.

● The United Nations does great work through its establishment of organization like UNESCO, WHO, IPCC, and UNGEI that respectively preserve cultural landmarks, promote global health, research climate change, and empower young girls through education, along with much more.

● The United Nations facilitates international cooperation to counteract aggression like that of Iraq in 1990, to impose sanctions on rogue states like North Korea for their nuclear program, and condemn human rights violations like those in South Africa during apartheid.

To learn more about the history, functions, and missions of the United Nations click here. For a source critical of the United Nations click here. For a source in support of the United Nations click here.

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Resolved, that the U.S. President be elected by the national popular vote, not the Electoral College

Resolved, that the U.S. President be elected by the national popular vote, not the Electoral College

Resolved, that the U.S. President be elected by the national popular vote, not the Electoral College.

Brief: When drafting the United States Constitution, the Framers of our government developed the Electoral College, the system by which we elect our Presidents. The Electoral College assigns each state a number of electoral votes based on its number of representatives and senators in Congress, and the Twenty-Third Amendment granted three to the District of Columbia. The electors are chosen by their respective state party and will only vote should their party’s candidate win their state. All but two states assign their votes on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who received the most votes in their state. A candidate must receive at least 270 electoral votes to win a majority in the electoral college and be officially elected President. This system was designed to give each state an individual voice in the selection of the President but it does not consider who receives the most votes at a national level. Five separate times in America’s history, including in the most recent election, has the President won a majority of the Electoral College without winning the national popular vote, leading some some to argue the system by which we elect presidents should be more reflective of the voice of the American people as a whole, not as separated by the states. Is the Electoral College system too undemocratic for our current elections, or is it a necessary institution for the preservation of our republican system of governance?

 

Pro Arguments:

  • The President serves as President for the entire country, not the individual states or just those that voted for them, if we really live in a democracy then the President should be selected by the will of all of America’s voters.
  • By giving each state at least three votes, the Electoral College unfairly makes some people’s votes count more than others depending on the state they live in.
  • The Electoral College causes candidates to focus all of their attention to just a few “battleground states,” essentially rewarding candidates for ignoring most of the country and the issues important to them.

Con Arguments:

  • We are the Untied States of America, not the United State of America, the Electoral College recognizes our federalist system of governance and gives each state an individual voice.
  • Under a national popular vote candidates would only campaign in major population centers and ignore the issues important to Americans living in suburban and rural areas.
  • The Framers instituted the Electoral College because they understood the dangers of direct democracy, the electoral college prevents a “tyranny by the majority” from any one region or population of the country.

For more background on the formation and functions of the Electoral College click here. For more arguments in favor of this resolution click here. For more arguments against this resolution click here.

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Resolved, that the legal voting age in all American elections be lowered to sixteen

Resolved, that the legal voting age in all American elections be lowered to sixteen

Link for reporting chapter debate results:HERE

November Debate of the Month: Resolved, that the legal voting age in all American elections be lowered to sixteen

Brief: The 26th amendment, ratified as part of the Constitution in 1971, lowered the legal voting age of all U.S. citizens to eighteen years of age. At the time, the public saw a grave injustice in the fact that many of the thousands of young men who were dying for America in Vietnam were not even legally old enough to vote in their county’s elections. In the present day, some have begun a new movement to once again lower America’s voting age, this time to sixteen. Some localities like Takoma Park, Maryland have already lowered the voting age to sixteen for all local elections, and many states allow for seventeen year olds to vote in state and presidential primaries. With recent elections highlighting dramatic political apathy among America’s youth, our nation must ask itself if lowering the voting age will generate fresh enthusiasm among young people towards civic engagement, or will it simply increase the size of America’s large number of young eligible voters who never make it to the polls?

Pro Arguments:

  • Preventing sixteen and seventeen year olds from expressing their views inside the ballot box ignores the reality that millions of teenagers are just as politically informed as the rest of the voting population.

  • There are a plethora of issues, from education to climate change to the national debt, that will especially affect America’s future generations but are currently being ignored by politicians who have no incentive to address the concerns of the youth.

  • Our government trust sixteen year olds enough to allow them to drive 2 ton vehicles at many miles per hour. If these citizens are capable of doing something so complicated and dangerous as driving, surely they’re capable enough to know which candidates reflect their political beliefs.

Con Arguments:

  • Although many teenagers may be informed about political issues, the vast majority of them aren’t and couldn’t care less about them. It would be irresponsible for America to hand the reigns of power to such a politically apathetic demographic.

  • Most sixteen and seventeen year olds have not even finished high school, let alone taken a class in civics or government. We need to ensure our country’s voters have at least progressed to adulthood before we can assume they are capable of making informed decisions of such importance.

  • The American young people who are currently eligible to vote have some of the lowest turnout rates of any group in our democracy. Lowering the voting age even further will not address the issues of young voter apathy, it will merely extend it to millions of more teenagers.

For more background on the ratification of the 26th Amendment click here. For more information on where the voting age has already been lowered in the U.S. click here. For more information about the youth vote in the United States click here. For more arguments in favor of this resolution click here. For more arguments against this resolution click here.

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Fall State Pricing Guide

Pricing package details for all Fall State conventions are listed below.  Note that these prices apply only to chapters that register online using MyJSA. The paper registration fee is an additional $10 per student.  There is also a late fee of $15 per person for chapters that do not complete their registration by the registration deadline.

Fall State Pricing Package Details 2017

CONVENTIONEARLY REGISTRATION PRICESREGULAR REGISTRATION PRICES
Southern California
(Los Angeles)
Oct. 28 - 29, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $125.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $125.00
Southeast
Fort Lauderdale Marriott North
Oct. 28 - 29, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120.00
Northern California
Santa Clara Marriott
Nov. 11 - 12, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 13

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120.00
Ohio River Valley
Sheraton Columbus
Nov. 11 - 12, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 30

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Pacific Northwest
Doubletree Seattle Hotel Airport
Nov. 11 - 12, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $200.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 30

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $225.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100.00
Mid-Atlantic
Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel
Nov. 18 - 19, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 10

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $200.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $220.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $225.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $220.00
Southern California
(Orange County)
Nov. 18 - 19, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 17

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $125.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 31

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $125.00
Texas
Sheraton Austin Hotel
Nov. 18 - 19, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 25

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $215.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $250.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160.00
Midwest
Madison Concourse Hotel
Dec. 2 - 3, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Nov. 8

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $215.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $220.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $240.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $220.00
Arizona
Tucson Marriott University Park
Dec. 9 - 10, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Nov. 8

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 27

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Northeast
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Dec. 9 - 10, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Nov. 8

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $210.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $320.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 27

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $250.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $320.00


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