Monthly Archives: September 2007

Comprehensive National Health Plan, NOW!

The following is an executive summary of the US National Health
Insurance Act (HR676).

Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Bill
to be introduced by Cong. John Conyers, 108th Congress

Brief Summary of Legislation
The United States National Health Insurance Act (HR676)
establishes a new American national health insurance program by
creating a single payer health care system. The bill would
create a publicly financed, privately delivered health care
program that uses the already existing Medicare program by
expanding and improving it to all U.S. residents, and all
residents living in U.S. territories. The goal of the
legislation is to ensure that all Americans, guaranteed by law,
will have access to the highest quality and cost effective
health care services regardless of one’s employment, income, or
health care status.

With over 42 million uninsured Americans, and another 40 million
who are under insured, the time has come to change our
inefficient and costly fragmented health care system. The USNHI
program would reduce overall annual health care spending by over
$50 billion in the first year. In addition, because it
implements effective methods of cost-control, health spending is
contained over time, ensuring affordable health care to future

In its first year, single-payer will save over $150 billion on
paperwork and $50 billion by using rational bulk purchasing of
medications. These savings are more than enough to cover all the
uninsured, improve coverage for everyone else, including
medication coverage and long-term care.

Employers who currently provide coverage for their employees pay
an average of 8.5% of payroll towards health coverage, while
many employers can’t afford to provide coverage at all. Under
this Act, all employers will pay a modest 3.3% payroll tax per
employee, while eliminating their payments towards private
health plans. The average cost to an employer for an employee
earning $35,000 per year will be reduced to $1,155, less than
$100 per month.

95% of families will pay less for health care under national
health insurance than they do today. Seniors and younger people
will all have the comprehensive medication coverage they need.

Who is Eligible
Every person living in the United States and the U.S.
Territories would receive a United States National Health
Insurance Card and i.d number once they enroll at the
appropriate location. Social Security numbers may not be used
when assigning i.d cards. No co-pays or deductibles are
permissible under this act.

This program will cover all medically necessary services,
including primary care, inpatient care, outpatient care,
emergency care, prescription drugs, durable medical equipment,
long term care, mental health services, dentistry, eye care,
chiropractic, and substance abuse treatment. Patients have their
choice of physicians, providers, hospitals, clinics, and

Conversion to a Non-Profit Health Care System
Private health insurers shall be prohibited under this act from
selling coverage that duplicates the benefits of the USNHI
program. They shall not be prohibited from selling coverage for
any additional benefits not covered by this Act; examples
include cosmetic surgery, and other medically unnecessary

Cost Containment Provisions/ Reimbursement
The National USNHI program will annually set reimbursement rates
for physicians, health care providers, and negotiate
prescription drug prices. The national office will provide an
annual lump sum allotment to each existing Medicare region,
which will then administer the program. Payment to health care
providers include fee for service, and global budgets.

The conversion to a not-for- profit health care system will take
place over a 15 year period, through the sale of U.S. treasury
bonds; payment will not be made for loss of business profits,
but only for real estate, buildings, and equipment.

Funding & Administration
The United States Congress will establish annual funding outlays
for the USNHI Program through an annual entitlement. The USNHI
program will operate under the auspices of the Dept of Health &
Human Services, and be administered in the former Medicare
offices. All current expenditures for public health insurance
programs such as S-CHIP, Medicaid, and Medicare will be placed
into the USNHI program.

A National USNHI Advisory Board will be established, comprised
primarily of health care professionals and representatives of
health advocacy groups.

Proposed Funding For USNHI Program: $1.86 Trillion Per Year
A payroll tax on all employers of 3.3%. Maintain employee and
employer Medicare payroll tax of 1.45%. Implement a variety of
mechanisms so that low and middle income families pay a smaller
share of their incomes for health care than wealthiest 5% of
Americans; i.e, a health income tax on the wealthiest 5% of
Americans, a small tax on stock and bond transfers, and closing
corporate tax shelters. A repeal of the Bush tax cut of 2001.
For more details, see PNHP’s “Financing National Health

RN/BS/MS or PHd in Nursing/Health Sci?

Hi. I am enrolled for winter semester at
Napa community college for gen ed classes,
since I’m on the waiting list for their
2-year RN program. Now I’m thinking about
getting the gen ed requirements out of the
way here, and then transferring to get a BS
somewhere else. I’d like to ideally finish
up in another state, but I feel overwhelmed.
Where can I find a good listing of everything
that is available in an unbiased way? Also,
is there a way I can figure out which degree
I should shoot for?

Depends on what you want to do.

There is a home study course given by the New York Board of

I know a few nurses who took the course. They said it was
convenient but expensive and very, very, difficult. They
said they took their clinical exams at St. Mary’s Hospital
in L.A. area (I think that is where it is) and you only get
no chances cannot make one mistake. Can take the exam over
only once. Others have said the give the same clinical exam
in Arizona and it is a little easier to pass. At St. Mary’s
I’m told if you forget a simple little thing like checking a
wrist band … you’re out!. Don’t know how much of this is
true. Sounds like a good idea to get your gen ed classes
out of the way.

Depending on your age I would go for the R.N. first. Then
pick my specialty. Then go for an advanced degree in that

Your Community College should have the information you are
looking for in their Library.

I went straight for a BSN, and I would do it the same way all over again
if I had to. Check into the BSN program you want to get into and make
sure they accept all of the GUR’s you take at the community college. The
university I attended did not accept my microbiology credit from
community college and I had to take it over again (although the
community college micro course was more comprehensive than the
university course….go figure).

I have noticed that two year Community College programs are really three
years, and if you get your AA and RN first it’s not just another two
years for a bachelors, more like three. Depending on your circumstances,
if you have the time and money to invest in school, I’d recommend a BSN.
Good nursing education, good all around education.

How far you want to go for your degree really depends on what
you want, plus the time you can fit into your life for school.
You really need at least a BS these days – for more money and
opportunity. If you’re thinking more about a master’s, you
should consider becoming a nurse practitioner. With managed
health, there is a great need for NP’s. If you want to be in a
leadership position at a med research center/university, go for
the Phd, but that will mean less hands-on.
has pretty detailed links that might give you a better idea of
which schools offers which programs, which may also add fuel to
your decision-making.

You might try looking at SUNY Stonybrook School of Nursing. They had on-line
distance learning nursing programs. They are located in NY

For those interested in Stonybrook’s distance learning programs the following
information is directly out of their guidebook for the Health Sciences Center:

!. There is a baccalaureate program for registered nurses who wish to complete
a bachelor’s degree which is offered both on-site and distant learning.

2. A Master’s of Science degree is available through distance learning in the
folowing areas:

Child Health, Family, Midwifery, Neonatal, and Psychiatric/Mental Health.

They have a website available at: