Monday, January 26, 2009

Support Rep. John Conyers' Universal Healthcare

Rep. John Conyers is again introducing a bill, H.R. 676, to establish a national healthcare system by which every American will receive healthcare free of charge. Where do we get the money? Why not ask the Wall Street Criminals to pay back the money they stole from us? Or end these horrible wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, shut down that horrendous Fort Bush Palace built in Baghdad, shut down wasteful U.S. military bases throughout the world which apparently exist mostly to help the Pentagon and Defense Contractors keep bloated budgets. Increase capital gains taxes from the maximum 15% which rich people now pay instead of paying income tax. Re-instate the estate taxes so that rich people who steal millions during their lifetimes don't get to pass all that money on to their useless children tax-free when they finally die. Use our tax dollars to help the people of this country instead of the corporations.

Below is just one section of the proposed bill. Everybody gets healthcare. It includes dental which is critical.

I just got a notice that my health insurance premiums are going up 13% in March. You know where that money will go? To the insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals, all of whom are making millions of dollars off of selling citizens unaffordable and often inadequate healthcare.

Take the profits out of healthcare. Pay these people a reasonable salary, but stop the gouging of the public. The doctors, hospitals and insurance companies have shown themselves to be as greedy, deceitful and unconscionable as the scummiest hedge fund criminal on Wall Street, and the only way to stop them is to create a national healthcare program. Then the doctors and hospitals can either work for the amount allotted or go do something else -- maybe work on wall street.


United States National Health Insurance Act (or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act) (Introduced in House)


(a) In General- All individuals residing in the United States (including any territory of the United States) are covered under the USNHI Program entitling them to a universal, best quality standard of care. Each such individual shall receive a card with a unique number in the mail. An individual's social security number shall not be used for purposes of registration under this section. NOTE: IN MY OPINION, THIS SHOULD BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE COVERAGE ONLY FOR INDIVIDUALS "LAWFULLY" RESIDING IN THE U.S. OTHERWISE SOMEBODY COULD GET A PLANE TICKET OVER FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, "RESIDE" HERE FOR A FEW WEEKS, THEN GET FREE HEALTHCARE SUCH AS MAJOR HEART SURGERY. THE CITIZENS OF THE U.S. AND LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS SHOULD BE COVERED. FOR NON-CITIZENS, OR PEOPLE NOT LAWFULLY IN THE COUNTRY, MEDICAL SHOULD BE AVAILABLE ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS BUT NOT OTHERWISE.

(b) Registration- Individuals and families shall receive a United States National Health Insurance Card in the mail, after filling out a United States National Health Insurance application form at a health care provider. Such application form shall be no more than 2 pages long.

(c) Presumption- Individuals who present themselves for covered services from a participating provider shall be presumed to be eligible for benefits under this Act, but shall complete an application for benefits in order to receive a United States National Health Insurance Card and have payment made for such benefits.


(a) In General- The health insurance benefits under this Act cover all medically necessary services, including at least the following:

(1) Primary care and prevention.
(2) Inpatient care.
(3) Outpatient care.
(4) Emergency care.
(5) Prescription drugs.
(6) Durable medical equipment.
(7) Long term care.
(8) Mental health services.
(9) The full scope of dental services (other than cosmetic dentistry).
(10) Substance abuse treatment services.
(11) Chiropractic services.
(12) Basic vision care and vision correction (other than laser vision correction for cosmetic purposes).
(13) Hearing services, including coverage of hearing aids.

(b) Portability- Such benefits are available through any licensed health care clinician anywhere in the United States that is legally qualified to provide the benefits.

(c) No Cost-Sharing- No deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing shall be imposed with respect to covered benefits.


(a) Requirement To Be Public or Non-Profit-

(1) IN GENERAL- No institution may be a participating provider unless it is a public or not-for-profit institution.

(2) CONVERSION OF INVESTOR-OWNED PROVIDERS- Investor-owned providers of care opting to participate shall be required to convert to not-for-profit status.

(3) COMPENSATION FOR CONVERSION- The owners of such investor-owned providers shall be compensated for the actual appraised value of converted facilities used in the delivery of care.

(4) FUNDING- There are authorized to be appropriated from the Treasury such sums as are necessary to compensate investor-owned providers as provided for under paragraph (3).

(5) REQUIREMENTS- The conversion to a not-for-profit health care system shall take place over a 15-year period, through the sale of U.S. Treasury Bonds. Payment for conversions under paragraph (3) shall not be made for loss of business profits, but may be made only for costs associated with the conversion of real property and equipment.

(b) Quality Standards-

(1) IN GENERAL- Health care delivery facilities must meet regional and State quality and licensing guidelines as a condition of participation under such program, including guidelines regarding safe staffing and quality of care.

(2) LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS- Participating clinicians must be licensed in their State of practice and meet the quality standards for their area of care. No clinician whose license is under suspension or who is under disciplinary action in any State may be a participating provider.

(c) Participation of Health Maintenance Organizations-

(1) IN GENERAL- Non-profit health maintenance organizations that actually deliver care in their own facilities and employ clinicians on a salaried basis may participate in the program and receive global budgets or capitation payments as specified in section 202.

(2) EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS- Other health maintenance organizations, including those which principally contract to pay for services delivered by non-employees, shall be classified as insurance plans. Such organizations shall not be participating providers, and are subject to the regulations promulgated by reason of section 104(a) (relating to prohibition against duplicating coverage).

(d) Freedom of Choice- Patients shall have free choice of participating physicians and other clinicians, hospitals, and inpatient care facilities.

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