Fall 2007 Sample Reconstructions

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Please Post your sample reconstructions below.

(Duplicate the header below "Sample Reconstruction #N" as needed.)

Sample Reconstruction #1

Would Universal Healthcare Wreck Cancer Treatment?

In this article, the author is trying to prove that socialized medicine will help people and help improve cancer treatment in the long run. He has many premises for this conclusion, even ones that come from counter argument. The main counter argument is that while US has a 63% five year survival rate, Great Britain only has a 53% survival rate and their health care, which is universal, was near the bottom of 23 European countries surveyed. However, the author argues that Britain is not known for their healthcare and that most of the countries on that list have universal healthcare and are at the top of the list. Another argument the author puts forth is that cancer survival rates are about equal between countries on that list with universal healthcare and the United States. For instance, Iceland, Sweden and Belgium all have a 62% five year survival rate, just one percentage below the United States.

It is also known that countries that spend more on universal healthcare have better healthcare and generally had better cancer treatment and survival. Since the United States has one of the largest expenditures on healthcare, then they will give more money to Universal healthcare. This healthcare is about providing healthcare to the people and the clinical research would not be affected, so the clinical research centers would continue researching, providing more research about cancer.

The United States’ cancer research also would not falter from universal healthcare because of our well-known facilities. People come from around the world to the cancer research centers in New York and Texas because they have the best programs. The United States is superior in cancer treatment because of these research facilities, not because of the healthcare. Change to socialized healthcare could only help to improve cancer research and survival.

Sample Reconstruction #2

Would Universal Health Care Wreck Cancer Treatment?

In reading the article by Timothy Noah, one can summarize that the general conclusion of the article is that adopting a universal health care system would have no effect on the United States’ lead in cancer survival.

The author creates his argument by refuting and pointing out the weaknesses in the arguments of John Stossel of ABC News and Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York. He attacks McCaughey argument that socialized medicine does not improve survival rates for cancer. The author also uses the premise that cancer treatment in the US would not be affected by a universal health care system because of the definition and bounds of a universal health care system. He says that a universal health care system is in place to give people access to medical care. He claims that cancer survival rates would not be affected because the socialization of medicine would not affect clinical research and its pace. In this argument you must assume that the survival rates of cancer are determined by clinical research and not by access to medical care.

The general conclusion is reinforced by the author’s sub-argument that the reason the US is in the lead for cancer survival is because it is the wealthiest nation on the planet, not because of its private health care system. Therefore, one must assume that if a switch were made to universal health care, no effect would be felt on cancer survival. The author demonstrates this point in his use of the statistics of cancer survival in different countries. It shows that while there is a difference between the countries in regards to survival rates the reason is most likely due to the wealth of the country and not the type of health care. The study stated that, “Survival rates tended to be highest in northern and Central Europe, middling in southern Europe, dreadful in the United Kingdom, and abysmal in Eastern Europe. Except for the anomalous poor survival rates in the U.K., these findings track with the relative wealth of the countries surveyed.” He uses these statistics to disprove the idea that America is more successful in treating cancer than other countries because of its private health care system.

Noah uses a number of techniques are arguments to prove his main conclusion that if America were to switch to universal health care, its lead in cancer survival rate would not be lost because of the switch.

Sample Reconstruction #3

In “Would Universal Health Care Wreck Cancer Treatment?” Timothy Noah uses facts to disprove Betsy McCaughey’s belief about the implementation of universal health care being a detriment to cancer survival rates in the United States relative to other countries. His main reason for believing that McCaughey’s claim is false is due to the inaccurate content and research on which she bases her arguments. Noah challenges McCaughey’s view of internationals in the U.S., her definition of universal health care, and the actual effect universal health care has on the a country’s ability to help cancer patients survive. Using these three arguments Noah is able to refute McCaughey’s points and show that universal health care should not be so quickly disregarded because of the effect it most likely will not have on cancer survival rates. While Noah recognizes McCaughey’s view that internationals tend to seek care and knowledge regarding health in the U.S., he does not credit this to the U.S.’s current method of medicine as she does. There is a multitude of reasons as to why international students study medicine in the U.S., which makes it impossible to pinpoint it on cancer research alone. Noah then further states that universal health care is not about research at all, but about funding. Unlike McCaughey, Noah differentiates that the purpose of universal health care is to make medical treatment available for more people, not to further research and improve cancer treatment. While he is able to grasp what McCaughey is trying to say, he shows how what she actually says is completely unsupported by her facts. When regarding McCaughey’s example that Britain’s cancer survival rate is one of the lowest out of the 23 surveyed, Noah points out important aspects of this survey that McCaughey failed to mention. While McCaughey blames Britain’s low percentage on the fact that they have universal health care, she doesn’t state that almost all 23 of the countries used in the survey provide universal health care as well. This does not only make her statement questionable, but it eliminates any real evidence that would have supported her claim. Noah continues to contradict McCaughey’s example by showing that the differences in percentages can be more concretely based on each country’s relative wealth, rather than their health care methods. Since the U.S. doesn’t have the wealth issue like these other countries, universal health care would not make the impact on cancer treatment the way that McCaughey seems to think. While McCaughey brings up a couple of good examples, she was unable to provide enough factual information to support her claim that universal health care is detrimental to the survival rate of cancer patients, as Noah easily makes apparent. Noah shows how if anything, the cancer survival rate should stay the same because universal health care really has no effect on it’s success. McCaughey tried to prove that universal health care would worsen cancer survival treatments, but as Noah shows, her claim is completely unsupported by the examples she uses. Noah provides factual reasons in order to disprove McCaughey and shows that universal health care really has nothing to do with the cancer survival rate in the U.S., so it should not be written off so quickly.

Sample Reconstruction #4

In this article I found that the general conclusion Noah was making is that adopting a universal health care system in the U.S. would not wreck cancer treatment. His first argument or proof of this conclusion is because the U.S. already has superior treatment and medicine available to its citizens. Since the U.S. already has all of the treatment available for its citizens then why would it hurt them if they adopted a socialized medicine program? This statement serves as his second argument. Naturally this makes sense because how can you lose something if all you are doing is adding on to what you already have. The first counter argument comes after this when Noah quotes McCaughey saying that universal health coverage does not improve survival rates for cancer. Noah’s response to this counter argument uses McCaughey’s wording in order to exploit her flawed statement. She says that universal health care would not improve survival rates but Noah responds with a logical statement saying that if the worst thing about adopting socialized medicine is not improving survival rates for cancer then why not adopt it. A sub-argument follows that the reason for adopting government funded health care is to provide people with treatment not to improve cancer survival rates. In other words if the U.S. adopted universal health care then they would receive that health care and the superior treatment for cancer. The second counter argument by McCaughey states that the U.K. has government-run health care and terrible cancer survival rates along with it. She is connecting these two facts logically and arguing that because the U.K. has government-run health care in turn, their cancer survival rates are miserable. Noah responds by saying that if something were wrong with the ability of socialized medicine to deliver treatment then there would be a big difference between those countries with socialized medicine and the U.S. He uses the Lancet Papers as proof that those countries with universal health care are not far behind in the statistics of cancer survival rates. Therefore it logically follows that adopting universal health care would not set us back or severely diminish the cancer survival rates in the U.S. The final argument Noah makes is that the wealthier you are as a country and the more money you spend on health care the better cancer survival rates you will have. As proof he explains that the U.S. is obviously very wealthy and also has great survival rates. Lastly he claims that to argue that universal health care would wreck cancer treatment in the U.S. means that you would have to follow with the argument that universal health care would wreck the U.S. economy. It is doubtful that this crisis would occur within the U.S. economy. Since the argument has two important parts and they depend on one another, if one is false then it is safe to say that the other will be false too. In other words adopting universal health care in the U.S. will not wreck cancer treatment.