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American Health Security Act (H.R. 1200, S. 491, S. 915, S. 1782)

Introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott as H.R. 1200 to the 103rd-114th Congresses (1993-2016). A companion bill was introduced by Sen. Paul Wellstone as S. 491 to the 103rd Congress (1993-1994), and by Sen. Bernie Sanders as S. 915 to the 112th Congress (2011-2012) and as S. 1782 to the 113th Congress (2013-2014).


Photo: From left to right, Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA), Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Index of Information on the American Health Security Act


Details of the American Health Security Act

The American Health Security Act would cover all U.S. citizens with comprehensive healthcare benefits with no cost sharing, under state-administered plans. The bill establishes standards for state health plans, and allows the federal government to place plans under receivership in states not fully implementing the universal healthcare program. The bill also requires portability of benefits across states.

States would reimburse hospitals and other institutions via prospective global budgets. Participating physicians are entitled to receive payments on the basis of fee-for-service, but states can provide alternative payment methodologies as options as well.

The program is nationally financed, and a federal budget is established that allocates funds to states based on costs and medical need. Like the Universal Health Care Act of 1991, the federal budget each year would be capped at the rate of general inflation.

The program is financed through more than 20 tax provisions, including closing a number of tax loopholes, a surtax on individual incomes over $1 million, and a new monthly premium for long-term care.


Contemporary Summaries & Analysis of the American Health Security Act

In July of 1993 the Congressional Budget Office released a “Preliminary Estimate of the Effects of S. 491, American Health Security Act of 1993,” the Senate version of the bill introduced by Paul Wellstone.

The CBO estimate – almost identical to its analysis of the Universal Health Care Act the previous session – found that enactment of S. 491 would raise national health expenditures at first but would reduce spending about 5 percent by 2003. The administrative savings from switching to a single-payer system would offset some of the cost of the additional services demanded by consumers. Over the longer run, the cap on the growth of the national health budget – assumed to be 75 percent effective – would hold the rate of growth of spending on covered services below the baseline.


In January of 1994, the Congressional Research Service released a “Summary Comparison of Major Health Care Reform Bills,” which offered a side-by-side comparison of the American Health Security Act with five other health reform bills, including President Clinton’s Health Security Act, H.R. 3600/S. 1757:


Information on the House Bill, H.R. 1200

American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 114th Congress (2015-2016)
Read the full House bill from 114th Congress (2015-2016).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 114th Congress (2015-2016).
See the list of 1 Congressional cosponsor for the 114th Congress (2015-2016).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Read the full bill from 113th Congress (2013-2014).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 113th Congress (2013-2014).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 113th Congress (2013-2014).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 112th Congress (2011-2012)
Read the full House bill from 112th Congress (2011-2012).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 112th Congress (2011-2012).
See the list of 11 Congressional cosponsors for the 112th Congress (2011-2012).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Read the full bill from 111th Congress (2009-2010).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 111th Congress (2009-2010).
See the list of 8 Congressional cosponsors for the 111th Congress (2009-2010).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 110th Congress (2007-2008)
Read the full bill from 110th Congress (2007-2008).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 110th Congress (2007-2008).
See the list of 17 Congressional cosponsors for the 110th Congress (2007-2008).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 109th Congress (2005-2006)
Read the full bill from 109th Congress (2005-2006).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 109th Congress (2005-2006).
See the list of 62 Congressional cosponsors for the 109th Congress (2005-2006).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 108th Congress (2003-2004)
Read the full bill from 108th Congress (2003-2004).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 108th Congress (2003-2004).
See the list of 44 Congressional cosponsors for the 108th Congress (2003-2004).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 107th Congress (2001-2002)
Read the full bill from 107th Congress (2001-2002).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 107th Congress (2001-2002).
See the list of 28 Congressional cosponsors for the 107th Congress (2001-2002).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 106th Congress (1999-2000)
Read the full bill from 106th Congress (1999-2000).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 106th Congress (1999-2000).
See the list of 21 Congressional cosponsors for the 106th Congress (1999-2000).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Read the full bill from 105th Congress (1997-1998).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 105th Congress (1997-1998).
See the list of 27 Congressional cosponsors for the 105th Congress (1997-1998).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 104th Congress (1995-1996)
Read the full bill from 104th Congress (1995-1996).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 104th Congress (1995-1996).
See the list of 58 Congressional cosponsors for the 104th Congress (1995-1996).


American Health Security Act, H.R. 1200 – 103rd Congress (1993-1994)
Read the full bill from 103rd Congress (1993-1994).
Read the summary of H.R. 1200 from the 103rd Congress (1993-1994).
See the list of 90 Congressional cosponsors for the 103rd Congress (1993-1994).


Information on the Senate Bills, S. 491, S. 915, and S. 1782

American Health Security Act, S.1782 – 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Read the full Senate bill from 113th Congress (2013-2014).
Read the summary of S. 1782 from the 113th Congress (2013-2014).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 113th Congress (2013-2014).


American Health Security Act, S.915 – 112th Congress (2011-2012)
Read the full Senate bill from 112th Congress (2011-2012).
Read the summary of S. 915 from the 112th Congress (2011-2012).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 112th Congress (2011-2012).


American Health Security Act, S. 491 – 103rd Congress (1993-1994)
Read the full Senate bill from 103rd Congress (1993-1994).
Read the summary of S. 491 from the 103rd Congress (1993-1994).
See the list of 4 Congressional cosponsors for the 103rd Congress (1993-1994).


Bibliography of Historical Writings on the American Health Security Act