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Ohio State University College of Medicine — DEBATE: Federal Government Healthcare Programs vs. Free Markets

May 3, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm



Government healthcare, or free markets?


Be it RESOLVED: The Federal Government Can Provide More Compassionate and Efficient Healthcare for All Americans than the Free Market.

Do you think you know enough about government-run healthcare? Free market healthcare? Ohio State University College of Medicine BRI chapter and Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) cordially invite you to attend our debate wherein free markets will be pitched head on against federal government, single payer healthcare programs. Which system provides the best solutions for the most people at the best prices? Which takes better care of the doctor-patient relationship? Which is more efficient?

POST-EVENT SUMMARY: Benjamin Rush Institute, in collaboration with Student for a National Health Program, held a debate before 120 people at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, with five physicians gathered to debate government and free market healthcare. The topic was intentionally broad in order to maximize the perspectives that students and faculty in attendance were exposed to.

Moderated by Dr. Ryan Nash, Director of The Ohio State University Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, the debaters argued both sides of the following resolution “The Government Can Provide More Compassionate and Efficient Healthcare for All Americans than the Free Market.”

Dr. Brad Cotton, Columbus-area emergency medicine physician, and Dr. Donald Mack, an assistant professor of clinical family medicine at Ohio State, argued in favor of the resolution, referencing their combined experience working with the underserved and the shortcomings of the current healthcare system. Arguing against the resolution were Dr. Beth Haynes, executive director of the Benjamin Rush Institute, and Dr. Harry Jha, an interventional radiologist at Penn with a knack for health economics. They championed against a potential one-size-fits-all health care model and suggested that our current health care crisis is an issue of poverty rather than “insurance” coverage.

The debate was vigorous and yet civil, and ended with heavy audience participation. Attendees voted on the resolution both before and after listening to the debate.

OSU medical students continue to express their gratitude to BRI organizers for bringing this important controversy to their attention, and presenting it in a format that promotes balanced civil discourse.


Please RSVP using the green REGISTER button above, or here: OSU Healthcare Debate so that we can ensure enough refreshments for all. We look forward to you joining us for what is sure to be a lively, enlightening evening of professional, informed debate!

5:00pm  Refreshments, reception, registration and pre-debate voting
5:25pm  Welcome & Introduction
5:30pm  Debate begins
6:25pm  Moderator Q&A
6:45pm  Audience Q&A
7:00pm  Debate ends. Post-debate voting and tally.
7:05pm  Announcement of results

In spite of ACA’s passage in 2009, the debate over the general direction of much needed health reforms continues, with some arguing that the law takes us in the wrong direction and others arguing that the law has not given the government enough control. Three debaters will uphold the resolution, and two debaters will argue in opposition.


BRI debate Brad CottonDr. Bradford W. Cotton Brad W. Cotton is a full-time emergency physician in the Columbus metro area. Dr. Cotton began his career in EMS as a volunteer EMT/Firefighter and emergency department tech in 1978, graduating from Kent State University School of Nursing 1982. EMS career included 3 years with the City of Cleveland EMS. Dr. Cotton graduated Ohio State University College of Medicine 1991 and OSU emergency medicine residency 1994 earning several clinical honors. Dr. Cotton has served 39 years now in EMS / emergency medicine, including 10 years as EMS Medical Director for Ross County, Ohio and on Region V EMS Advisory Board. Dr. Cotton published research on EMS transmission of 12 lead EKGs leading to updating of Ohio EMS Board rules.

Dr. Donald Mack From his bio: As a family physician for 30 years, I have done birth to death family medicine in a rural setting, and continue to see the fBRI debater Dr. Donald Mackull range of ages in my office practice.  Additionally, I am focusing clinical time on geriatric long term care and end of life care.  My goal is to increase interest and knowledge among medical students, family medicine residents, and fellows in the areas of Geriatrics and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, with the ultimate goal of improving the care of vulnerable, elderly patients. I want to make sure that we have highly skilled physicians to take care of our aging world, my family, and eventually, me.



BRI Haynes Beth Executive DirectorDr. Beth Haynes, Executive Director, Benjamin Rush Institute Previously in private practice with board certification in both Family Practice and Emergency Medicine, Dr. Beth Haynes has been working full time in healthcare policy for the past seven years. She obtained her MD from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine and her residency training at University of Wisconsin in Madison. She also volunteers as an executive board member of Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation, United Physicians and Surgeons of America and the Dr. Joseph Warren Institute.
Jha (2)

Dr. Saurabh (Harry) Jha, Assistant Professor of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Dr. Jha is a radiologist and can be reached on Twitter @RogueRad.  His articles have appeared in Kevin.MD and elsewhere.



BRI Debate Moderator Dr. Ryan NashModerator: Dr. Ryan NashMD, MA is the Director of The Ohio State University Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities.He is an Associate Professor of Medicine and holds the Hagop Mekhjian, MD, Chair in Medical Ethics and Professionalism at the College of Medicine. Dr. Nash is a Clinical Bioethics consultant and Healthcare Ethics Advisor for the OSU Medical Center and is the editor of the Ohio State University Press book series on Bioethics and Medical Humanities. He has published one book, three book chapters, and several essays related to bioethics and has presented numerous scientific papers. Dr. Nash currently serves on the Ethics Committee for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.


May 3, 2016
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Markus Harrigan
(330) 324-8008


Meiling Hall 112
370 W 9th Ave #112
Columbus, OH 43210 United States
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