1971 Public Hearings on National Health Insurance

1971 Hearings on National Health Insurance


Photo: Senator Russell Long (center, D-LA), Chairing the Senate Finance Committee

Following the 1970 election, Democrats retained control of both the House and the Senate, increasing their majority in the House, while Richard Nixon was re-elected president. National health reform was a priority issue at the outset of the 92nd Congress in 1971: Senator Ted Kennedy introduced the Health Security Act (S. 3), a national single-payer bill, on the first day of Congress, while Senator Jacob Javits introduced a competing single-payer bill: the National Health Insurance and Health Improvements Act (S. 836). Half a dozen other national health reform efforts were proposed, and a number of Congressional Committees held public hearings in 1971.

In April 1971, the Senate Committee on Finance held public hearings on “National Health Insurance.” These followed the nationally prominent hearings on the “Health Care Crisis in America” held by the Senate Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Senator Kennedy, which hosted 23 days of testimony in locations across the country. The House Ways and Means Committee also held extensive public hearings on “National Health Insurance Proposals” in October and November 1971.

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1971 Committee on Finance Hearings on “National Health Insurance”

Report by Committee on Finance staff, titled “National Health Insurance: Brief Outline of Pending Bills,” with summaries of S. 3, S. 836, and six other bills (published April 26, 1971):

Public Hearings hosted on S. 3, S. 836 and six other national health reform bills by the Committee on Finance (April 26, 27 and 28, 1971):