Las Vegas Sun

September 19, 2019

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Pros, cons of single-payer health care up for debate

Las Vegas residents who’d like to see a battle between a powerhouse hometown team and a top-level opponent are in luck this week.

But we’re not talking about the Vegas Golden Knights, or about athletics at all.

We’re talking about UNLV’s debate team.

In a special event on campus Thursday, two of the university’s exceptional debaters will take on a pair of visiting scholars from the Brookings Institution over whether the U.S. should establish a single-payer health care system.

Vying for UNLV will be senior Jeffrey Horn and junior Ember Smith, while Brookings’ representatives will be John Hudak and Richard Reeves.

Horn and Smith have played key roles in elevating UNLV’s debate team to elite status nationally. As a junior last year, Horn teamed with Matthew Gomez to advance to the quarterfinals of the annual National Debate Tournament — UNLV’s best finish in school history. Horn finished ranked No. 15 in the nation as he and his teammates defeated such perennial powers as Harvard, Northwestern and UCLA.

As for Brookings’ representatives, their resumes are too extensive to list here, but suffice it to say they’re among the nation’s leading minds — authors of influential books, internationally recognized experts in their fields, etc.

It will be a major test for UNLV’s debaters, but also a showplace for the community to see the team’s extraordinary talent on display.

It’s also a chance for local residents to get a 360-degree examination of the pros and cons of adopting a single-payer health care system.

The debate is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Greenspun Hall.

Seating is available to the public, but space is limited. To RSVP, email [email protected]

For those who’d like to watch the event but can’t attend in person, a livestream is available on the Brookings Mountain West website — More information is available on the site or by calling 702-895-0088.