Reps. Conyers, McDermott Introduce Bill To Create National Single-Payer Health System
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), a member of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, have introduced a bill that would create a national single-payer health system, CongressDaily reports. According to McDermott, the bill would have the federal government finance but not administer the system and would keep the current system of private physicians and hospitals. McDermott said it is "nonsense to suggest the nation cannot afford such a system," noting that the federal government "already spends $2,600 per person" on health care through Medicare, Medicaid, other public health plans and tax exclusions for employers who provide workers' coverage. Conyers said, "Even the people who don't like [a single-payer system] are moving to it. There's nothing else left" (Rovner, CongressDaily, 2/4). According to a bill summary, the system would expand the current Medicare system to all U.S. residents. The system would be funded through the existing Medicare payroll tax and a new payroll tax and would provide coverage for a variety of services, including primary care, prescription drugs and dental and vision services (Bill summary).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.