National Health Insurance Act Resurfaces
National health care is the talk of the town lately, especially since it was one of President Barack Obama’s campaign platforms. What better time to reintroduce a bill for national health care that died two years ago?
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced the National Health Insurance Act (H.R.15) Jan. 4. In short, this bill promises low-income individuals health care regardless of insurance.
The way the bill is written, health care professionals and hospitals can enter into agreements to provide services to eligible individuals. The responsibility for administering benefits, however, falls on local administrative committees or officers; or states can assume responsibility.
Federal control would come from a newly-established National Health Insurance Board in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Advisory Medical Policy Council. The Secretary of HHS would determine individual eligibility for benefits, which would be limited to only those services not covered under Medicare. The Board would determine the amount of federal dollars each state would receive, which would be based on population, available health care services and facilities, and the cost of compensation.
If passed as written, the Act would allow the board to make grants for the training of health care professionals providing benefits.
Who would pay for all this? Businesses mostly. The Act would amend the Internal Revenue Code to impose a value added tax of five percent on property sales, performance of services, and importation of property in the United States by a taxable person in a commercial-type transaction. Medical care would be exempt.