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.


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22 Responses to “National Health Insurance Act Resurfaces”

  1. Sue Coker says:

    The value added tax on property sales, performance of services etc would ultimately be paid by individuals, not by the businesses. Businesses pass all taxes on to the ultimate consumer via the price of the goods or services.

  2. Susan Luedtke says:

    The idea of the cost eventually becoming the burden of the taxpayer is quite true. That’s the way most businesses handle their overhead.

    I think the problem lies with those that think the government will pay for everything and that they do not need to work. Having incentives for low income people in order to experience the privilege of health care is where we have to start. The state Medicaid programs now are full of fraud and, as a medical staff member, I see daily those that have no business being on the program and should be looking for a job. But until the state programs and government wise up to the fraud and abuse going on, nothing will change. The businesses will be taxed, businesses will pass on the overhead to consumers, and we will continue to pay medical costs for those that should be looking for a job.

  3. Kerri Connell, CPC says:

    I (as well as many of you) have worked with the Medicare and the Medicaid programs for many years. During that time we have experienced the Federal and State Governments’ ability, or lack there of, to administer efficient healthcare. Who here believes this extension of healthcare will be any different?
    As for the business’ paying for this service, not only will the cost be passed onto the consumers making their products/services unaffordable, but you will soon see less and less small business. The taxes one faces to start and maintain their own business is one of, if not, the highest in the world. Now add the value added tax onto it. The independent physician and small group practices as well as other commercial business’ will not be able to survive. When that happens, who will pay for this healthcare package?

  4. c martin says:

    I don’t understand the part about benefits being limited to only those services not covered under Medicare??

  5. Michele, CPC says:

    The property taxes, in this bill is what gets me, not everyone pays property taxes, what about those that rent or better yet live in subsidized housing where do their payments come into play. Also, as many have seen, the Medicaid program state controlled is so different from state-to-state and so out of balance with most state budgets and completely abused by individually that have no reason except laziness for being on the program, where do their payments for health care come into play. All in all it sounds like a ‘few’ within the population will end up footing the bill for everyone to have health care. This I do not agree with, I think a lot of programs already in place need another look and need to be drastically revised before movement of a National Health Care Plan, and then everyone in the country must contribute something for their own health care, no more ha ha I am on Medicaid and don’t have to pay a dime for health care. Some how everyone must have input to this type of funding.

  6. Susan says:

    It appears there are still anumber of issues to work out with this new ‘program’. Either the small business’ pay for it, which as pointed out, would incur an additional tax they can not afford, or the homeowners pay for this in form of increase property taxes. Undouubtedly, at least in NYS, the Medicaid program is in dire need of restructuring. So, yes, it is an excellent place to start. The recent (way overdue) increase to their fee schedule will, perhaps, allow more providers to seek enrollment, better serving theneeds of all communties. But, nonetheless, sooner or later someone, somewhere, somehow will have to take on the additional financial burden to to ‘insure’ every American.

  7. Judy DePalma says:

    All of what I have read is true. We see Medicaid recipients come into our office with gold necklaces, gold teeth, and not just cell phones but blackberries. They show up late, are rude, and cannot pay their $2 copays required of some of the plans. Sure, there are those who really are in need of help, but help should be temporary and not a permanent entitlement. Those that receive Medicaid should be required to demonstrate some form of employment, even if it’s working at a minimum wage job, in order to receive Medicaid benefits or welfare. Unfortunately the way Medicaid is currently structured, even these jobs put them “over the allowable income limit,” so where’s the incentive to work? Some way or other, the piper has to be paid and we have all been paying through the nose for years for this kind of system abuse. The idea that everyone deserves health care is true. But everyone should also be willing to do what they can to help the situation and not sit back on their laurels and expect the other guy to do it all. Homeowners have worked had to buy their homes. The majority pay their taxes without squabble. But even this silent majority has its’ limits.

  8. Robin Distler says:

    With unemployment so high today there is going to be many,many people with out health care.The health care they have is through their work place that has now closed down on them.I feel that if the state (because it differs State to State) would have guidelines for those applying for the health care program it may work.
    Such guidelines could be:
    A. Any one with proof of working, ( pay stubs).
    B. They must be training/schooling for a job, (weekly reports of attendance).
    C. Any one on unemployment looking for a job,etc.
    Just a few ideas to keep people that are able to work from sucking off of those who do work and struggle to survive much less have health care.This is something that has to have a lot of thought and in put from the people,Not just the States decision!

  9. Danille Lacey says:

    My husband and I have worked all our life and very little of it have I or my kids had insurance. My husband has isurance provided through his job. If we bought family insurance, it would cost half of his monthly income. What would we live on? We don’t have a new car, or a fancy house. I’m good at bargin shopping becouse I have to be.
    Most people don’t have insurance becouse they can’t afford it even when they are working. So if we can’t afford to pay for insurance, when we get sick we can’t afford to go to the Dr. (no sliding scale clinics in rural areas) so we don’t go to the doctor until it is really bad or have to have emergency surgery. How do you think that is going to get paid for? Don’t get me started on medicine.
    Also how many 19 and 20 year olds can get jobs that have insurance? But they can’t get a medical card unless they have children.

  10. Trina Warren says:

    I have a decent job that I love and still can’t afford to pay medical insurance for my family. My husband’s job doesn’t offer health insurance. We own our home and pay taxes, which makes us not eligible for any government assistance. I think the system should be set up to also help subsidize health care for those who are working putting money into the system but still can’t afford healthcare. Instead it rewards those who fraud the system and have no intention on working and paying any kind of taxes. Some people just continue to have children they no they can’t afford because they have faith that our government is going to foot the bill. They’re just sucking the life out of the system. How unfair is that to those who make great sacrifice daily?

  11. Tammie CPC says:

    CMS has already projected a $9 trillion dollar deficit by 2010 or 2011. They keep taking from the Medicare system to fund Medicaid. WA state is one of the easiest states to obtain assitance. We have people moving to WA all the time from surrounding states so that they can get medical care who don’t work. I agree that people who are trying to support a family and work should receive some type of assisted healthcare. We have WA Basic Health Plan for low income people with children or not. I am fortunate to have always had healthcare available where I have worked all my life. There were times of transition where I had to pay COBRA for my family or risk a medical emergency which I knew I would not be able to afford. Things were very tight during these times and our family did without any extras why this was going on. I think that it should be temporary and not a permanent benefit. I saw several women when I was a single parent who chose not to work and use the Medicaid system to raise their many children, while I struggled with raising one! But I worked and didn’t decide to abuse the system as seems to have become a standard in our society that so many believe they are deserving of. I reviewed this in our state about five years ago and found that our federal laws have to change in order to avoid the funds being sucked out of our system from immigrants. My mother who is on Medicare and worked a good part of her life and raised 2 children being a widow and working full-time has less benefits available than an elderly person who has immigrated to the US because they have better care here than they would in their own country. I hate to see someone come in that works full time and has no healthcare on minimum wage and is denied by Medicaid on a temporary basis for medical. These are the people who are suffering at the mismanagement of our funds.

  12. Gloria says:

    COBRA is soooooo expensive. What’s the point. Then, if you can’t find a job with group, or if you apply for individual insurance, and are on two medications, you are high risk and denied.

    What does the premium pay for? It feels like the premium itself goes toward nothing. Then you have annual deductibles and out of pocket maximums and co-insurance. On and on it goes, it’s so complicated.

    It shouldn’t have to be so complex. And why get punished for being on two Rx’s at age 62. And why get “rejected”. Lots and lots of people of group have all kinds of bad habits, sick kids, serious health problems, congenital stuff, etc. They can’t get rejected, but I can? I just don’t get it.

  13. Rhonda says:

    We also have to stop the people who receive “free health care” from calling an ambulance for menstral cramps and such. The police scanner here in Nashville has those type of calls on a regular basis. I work in a clinic with alot of Medicaid, here it’s TNCare, patients. I too see them with more jewlery than I can afford and better cell phones. Their complaints are not something I would pay even my co pay to go to the doctor for as well. Until these problems are addressed, I am offened that it’s even mentioned that working folks should pay more………..Because as others have said. Businesses pass the cost of doing business, including taxes, onto the consumer.

  14. Sandy, CPC-H says:

    I agree with Wanda, Tammy and Susan. Here are some facts to consider:
    If you have no ins, become ill/injured/pregnant- in a matter of days-weeks you can be approved for DSHS in WA state. Then when the provider bills DSHS, only 25-35% is payable, the remainder has to be written off. Ambulances are called for any minor thing you can think of on a daily basis 24hrs a day and they can not refuse to transport them. Many of these “types of calls” have no ins. If you have no ins or home in WA state you are auto approved for Free Medical/Dental for 1 year even if you have a job. If you have a child and live in WA state, have no job, you do not have to look for work, work, can receive free medical/dental/food stamps/money for each child, and extra money is sent to you a month if your child has any health problems. Anyone can get on SSI with almost any complaint. If you are ever denied, appeal it and they will aprove you second time around. Once you are on it, you have SSI forever. If you are elderly and can not work due to health problems, you have to fight with tooth and nail to get any help from DSHS. If you do get any help, DSHS looks for ways every couple of months to take some of or all of your assistance away from you.
    What does that tell you about our Health Care system???????

  15. Joanie says:

    The government is not the answer to our healthcare problems — they are partially the cause of it. As far as I know there are no entitlements for car insurance or home owners insurance or even life insurance — and eventually we are all going to die.

    For physician only – I think they could come with a patient payment system — no insurance involved. That would save cost on software, renewing contracts, lots of employee time, etc. Competing with other physicians would cause competitive pricing. The problem occurs when the patient goes to the hospital. Not sure how that could work.

  16. Sandy Carroll says:

    I don’t get it! What are our representatives thinking? We must first get control of the current program, before we add amendments to cover low-income. First, there should be a concrete definition of low-income. If a person, is of age and quite capable of working then this person must show proof of past/continued steady income (minimum 12 months, past). Along with this healthcare benefit, we should consider offering a Training Program and as long as a beneficiary participates in an Employment Training Program while continuing to actively work or look for employment (must show proof), they also would be a candidate for this benefit. Physicians, Hospitals and other Healthcare Providers need to come together on how they can offer benefits to those less fortunate, without the financial impact falling on those that have a Benefit Plan of coverage. It is criminal for a minimum wage working single mother of two, to have to take food from her children to pay for a Wellchild visit, routine immunization, or medication for an head cold/ear infection. Healthcare Benefits are not a privilege. Employers need to have their Agents educate their employees on the different services (i.e. using network providers, or how the cost of going to an emergency room versus a physician’s office for a head cold, impacts the cost of their current premiums).

  17. HeidiO says:

    Can I hear an AMEN!!

  18. Steph says:

    I’m clearly not as educated on the issue as most of the people who have posted these comments. I can provide my own personal experience. I’m a single mom. I work 60 hours a week and go to school full time, to better myself. I just recently lost my Medicaid benefits, because of my yearly raise, which is only 5%. It put me $50 over the income limit. Because of my loss of assistance with daycare for my two year old, and insurance. I am now paying about $500 more in daycare, and $150 for insurance, monthly (which is a great premium for myself and my son). Do you think a five percent raise enables me to cover all my expenses? It doesn’t! There are people receiving benefits that don’t have any plans of ever working, and basically living off of the state. It is not fair to single working moms like myself, to be cut off at an income limit. There needs to be requirements regarding work, school, or at least drug testing. There should also be some kind of sliding scale to provide assistance to people who are in the same situation (just over the income limit but still unable to make it). I am depending on student loans to provide what my income can’t and it’s unfortunate that I am putting myself further into debt to live because people are taking advantage of the system. Not only that, the economy is so bad, companies have hiring freezes, and aren’t paying employee’s what they deserve.

  19. Shirley says:

    All i have to say is watch the movie sicko by Michael Moore.

  20. lynn CPC says:

    Everyone knew this was Obama’s agenda…did any of you vote for him??

  21. Debra says:

    I say the Obama administration is doing this because he thinks the poor population voted for him. And they may have, but only to say they were a part of making “history” by electing this president…dumb reason.

  22. Amy says:

    What if you just had your medicaid taken away because your 18 yo child moved out and you are dying with AIDS? I cant go out to work. I have worked for 30 years and love it. My physical and mental condition does not allow me to work. DSS says I cant have my medicaid back until I apply and approved for diability through SSI. Everyone knows you are always denied the first two times you apply sor SSI. I have no husband and no one to take care of me. I’ll probably die before I can get my Medicaid back. Dr’s wont see you for free and my meds cost $1780.00 a month just to stay alive. There is a catch 22 here. It’s not always people that dont go out and work because they are lazy and don’t want to that get medicaid, it’s sick people like me that cant work and need it the most to live. Somethin aint right here and nothing will change until I am silenced if it ever does change. Good luck and God Bless to everyone.

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