John Conyers Introduces National Health Insurance Bill

Volume CIV, No. 6June, 2004

The United States National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 676) establishes a new American national health insurance program by creating a single payer health care system. The bill would create a publicly-financed, privately-delivered health care program that uses the already existing Medicare program by expanding and improving it to all U.S. residents, and all residents living in U.S. territories. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that all Americans, guaranteed by law, will have access to the highest quality and cost effective health care services regardless of one’s employment, income, or health care status.

With over 42 million uninsured Americans, and another 40 million who are under insured, the time has come to change our inefficient and costly fragmented health care system. The USNHI program would reduce overall annual health care spending by over $50 billion in the first year. In addition, because it implements effective methods of cost-control, health spending is contained over time, ensuring affordable health care to future generations.

In its first year, single-payer will save over $150 billion on paperwork and $50 billion by using rational bulk purchasing of medications. These savings are more than enough to cover all the uninsured, improve coverage for everyone else, including medication coverage and long-term care.

Employers who currently provide coverage for their employees pay an average of 8.5 percent of payroll towards health coverage, while many employers can’t afford to provide coverage at all. Under this act, all employers will pay a modest 3.3 percent payroll tax per employee, while eliminating their payments towards private health plans. The average cost to an employer for an employee earning $35,000 per year will be reduced to $1,155, less than $100 per month.

For more information, contact Joel Segal, legislative assistant to Rep. John Conyers, at (202) 225-5126, or