Thursday, January 29, 2009


This is the most comprehensive, easy to understand definition of HR676 that I have seen.

The "United States National Health Insurance Act"

("Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Bill")

*Introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

Brief Summary of Legislation: The United States National Health Insurance Act (USNHI) establishes a unique American national universal health insurance program. It creates a publicly financed, privately delivered system of health care modeled on the Medicare program, by expanding and improving it to cover all U.S. residents and residents of U.S. territories. The goal is to ensure that all Americans have access, guaranteed by law, to the highest quality and most cost effective health services regardless of their employment, income, or health status.

Who is Eligible? Every person living or visiting in the United States and the U.S. Territories would receive a United States National Health Insurance Card and ID number once they enroll at the appropriate location.

Health Services Covered: The program will cover all medically necessary services, including primary care, inpatient care, emergency care, prescription drugs, durable medical equipment, long term care, mental health services, dentistry, eye care, chiropractic and substance abuse treatment. Patients have their choice of physicians, providers, hospitals, clinics and practices. No co-pays or deductibles are permissible.

Conversion to a Non-Profit Health System: Private health insurers would be prohibited from selling coverage that duplicates the benefits of the USNHI program, but could insure uncovered care, such as cosmetic surgery. Those who are displaced as the result of the transition to a non-profit health care system are the first to be hired and retained under this act.

Cost Containment Provisions/Reimbursement: The USNHI program will set reimbursement rates annually for physicians, allow for global budgets (annual lump sums for operating expenses) for health care providers; and negotiate prescription drug prices. A "Medicare For All Trust Fund" will be established to ensure a dedicated stream of funding, as well as an annual appropriation to ensure optimal levels of funding for the program.

H.R.676 Would Reduce Overall Health Care Costs - Families Pay Almost 80% Less: In 2007 the average annual premium for families covered under an employee health plan is roughly $11,000 according to the National Coalition on Health Care. A study by leading national economist Dr. Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) concluded that under H.R.676 a family of three making $40,000 per year would spend approximately $1900 per year for health coverage, representing a savings of 80%.

*For more information on H.R.676, please contact:

Joel Segal or Alexia Smokler in the office of Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), at 202 225-5126.