Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CONYERS Reintroduces Single Payer Health Care Bill

Washington, DC - Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) reintroduced H.R. 676, “The Expanded And Improved Medicare For All Act.” This bill would establish a privately-delivered, publicly-financed universal health care system, where patients, their physicians, and non-profit health care providers would be in charge of medical decisions -- not insurance companies. H.R. 676 would expand and improve the highly popular Medicare program and provide universal access to care to all Americans. The program would be primarily funded by a modest payroll tax on employers and employees, a financial transaction tax, and higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Congressman Conyers issued the following statement on the reintroduction of the bill:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“It’s my pleasure to once again reintroduce H.R. 676, ‘The Expanded And Improved Medicare For All Act,’ in the 115th Congress. I have introduced the bill in each Congress since 2003 and I will continue to do so until the bill is passed.

“Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction. It has provided health insurance to millions of our nation’s uninsured and eliminated many of the worst practices of the private health insurance industry. Rather than repealing it and taking a step back, we should build on that progress by expanding Medicare to All.

“The data is clear that simply expanding Medicare to all Americans to create a single-payer system would be far more efficient. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. spends more than 17% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare, while countries with single-payer systems like France, Germany, Canada, the UK, and Australia spend 9-11% of GDP. In addition to paying a fraction of what we do for healthcare, those countries enjoy better outcomes and higher satisfaction than in the United States.

“Single-payer isn’t just the moral thing to do or a good government issue, it’s what Americans want. Many leading health care practitioners and experts share my belief and that of most Americans that establishing a non-profit universal health care system would be the best way to effectively contain health care costs and provide quality care for all Americans. I look forward to my colleagues joining me in supporting a universal, single-payer health care system.”

H.R.676 has been introduced in Congress since 2003, and has a broad base of support among universal health care activists, organized labor, physicians, nurses, and social justice organizations across the nation. The bill has been endorsed by 20 international unions, Physicians For A National Health Program, two former editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, National Nurses United, the American Medical Students Association, Progressive Democrats of America, Public Citizen, and the NAACP. Last year, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found 67 percent of Americans support “Medicare for All.”

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