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Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2008 12:00 am

A panel of students from three political groups faced an audience of more than 30 Wednesday as the panel debated about the health care, gun control and the economy.

Seven students representing the College Republicans, College Libertarians and College Democrats addressed the issues in turn, expressing their views for each question posed by the Political Science Association, which sponsored the event.

The first question posed to the debaters regarded universal health care and whether it should be implemented.

Frank Gunter (senior-civil engineering and archeology), who debated for the College Republicans, opposed the idea of universal health care, calling it "a very, very, very bad idea," and suggested people be able to purchase health care across state lines.

A debater for the College Libertarians, Ross Ulbricht (graduate-material science), said the United States has a "massively regulated health care system" and that if deregulation occurred the system would work better.

Ulbricht questioned why people think control of an industry needs to come from a national level.

Speaking for the College Democrats, Casey Crisman-Cox (sophomore-political science) said many people in the United States don't have health care, adding that those without it get emergency care rather than preventative care.

The government has more power in the industry and can drive down prices more than individuals are able to, he said.

Gunter said the system could allow for people who don't necessarily need the care to use it anyway.

"People who don't need the assistance start using it simply because it's there," he said.

Gun control was another topic addressed. Crisman-Cox said rural and metropolitan areas have different needs relating to the issue.

"Our cities have different sets of priorities than our countrysides," he said.

Brandon Means (senior-political science), College Republican member, said "the United States has all the gun laws it needs," and rather than creating new laws, existing laws need to be enforced.

Michael Policelli (junior-material science and economics), for the College Libertarians, said the real purpose of the Second Amendment is to allow people to protect themselves from the government when it becomes too large.

Policelli prefaced the debate with a disclaimer.

He said some things from the Libertarians may seem radical, but they are ideas that people should be moving toward.

"I'm not expecting you to agree with all of our ideas," he added.

The last issue presented to the debaters was that of the economy, including the recently adopted bailout legislation.

Alex Smith, College Republicans chairman, said that in theory he generally opposes the bailout, but in this situation the government may want to fix what it broke.

College Libertarians President Alex Weller said the bailout was not only unfair, but that it would not work.

"If you're just going to be bailed out, why should you take precautions?" he asked.

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