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National Health Insurance Act

Introduced by Rep. John Dingell to the 85th-111th Congresses (1957-2010), under many bill numbers. No companion legislation is filed in the Senate.


Photo: Rep. John Dingell Chairing the Energy and Commerce Committee

Index of Information on the National Health Insurance Act


Details of the National Health Insurance Act

The National Health Insurance Act would provide publicly financed healthcare for all workers, social security beneficiaries, and their dependents. The remaining uninsured could be covered by states if they fund it. Medicare would be preserved, but additional benefits provided by the program would wrap around Medicare’s benefits.

The plan would cover fairly comprehensive benefits including dental, vision, and home-nursing care.

States could choose to administer the program by submitting an implementation plan that requires national approval – states without an approved plan would have their benefits administered by the federal government.

Physicians could be paid on a fee-for-service, per capita, or salaried basis. Hospitals and institutions would be paid on a “reasonable cost” basis similar to Medicare (but not under global budgets).

The program would be financed through a national Value Added Tax of 5%, with select services and goods being exempt from the tax, and credits for low-income people. A national budget would then allocate funds to each state on an equitable basis.


Public Hearings on the National Health Insurance Act

In 1971 prominent public hearings were held by several Congressional committees on national health reform. The primary legislative vehicle for these hearings was the Health Security Act, sponsored by Senator Kennedy in the Senate and Reps. Griffiths and Corman in the House. However, Rep. Dingell’s National Health Insurance Act, which was based on the state-administered model of the old National Health Act filed by his father, was also discussed. These hearings were held by the Senate’s Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, which was chaired by Senator Kennedy, on the “Health Care Crisis in America” – the hearings were held over 23 days at locations across the country. Extensive hearings were also held by the House Committee on Ways and Means on “National Health Insurance Proposals” in October and November, and by the Senate Committee on Finance on “National Health Insurance” in April 1971.


Contemporary Analyses of the National Health Insurance Act

On September 25, 1970, staff of the House Committee on Ways and Means published a “Brief Comparison of Major Health Care Financing Bills Introduced in the 91st Congress,” which compares the National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 24) with three other healthcare reform proposals:


In August 1971, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare published an economic analysis of thirteen different healthcare reform proposals introduced to the 92nd Congress, including the National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 48). The HEW estimated that H.R. 48 would increase total healthcare spending in 1974 from $105.4 billion to $116.8 billion, although the estimate appears not to include any projected savings from the legislation:


Information on the National Health Insurance Act

Read the full bill from the 111th Congress (2009-2010).
Read the summary of H.R. 15 from the 111th Congress (2009-2010).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 111th Congress (2009-2010).


Read the full bill from the 110th Congress (2007-2008).
Read the summary of H.R. 15 from the 110th Congress (2007-2008).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 110th Congress (2007-2008).


Read the full bill from the 109th Congress (2005-2006).
Read the summary of H.R. 15 from the 109th Congress (2005-2006).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 109th Congress (2005-2006).


Read the full bill from the 108th Congress (2003-2004).
Read the summary of H.R. 15 from the 108th Congress (2003-2004).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 108th Congress (2003-2004).


Read the full bill from the 107th Congress (2001-2002).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 107th Congress (2001-2002).
See the list of 1 Congressional cosponsor for the 107th Congress (2001-2002).


Read the full bill from the 106th Congress (1999-2000).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 106th Congress (1999-2000).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 106th Congress (1999-2000).


Read the full bill from the 105th Congress (1997-1998).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 105th Congress (1997-1998).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 105th Congress (1997-1998).


Read the full bill from the 104th Congress (1995-1996).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 104th Congress (1995-1996).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 104th Congress (1995-1996).


Read the full bill from the 103rd Congress (1993-1994).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 103rd Congress (1993-1994).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 103rd Congress (1993-1994).


Read the full bill from the 102nd Congress (1991-1992).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 102nd Congress (1991-1992).
See the list of 5 Congressional cosponsors for the 102nd Congress (1991-1992).


Read the full bill from the 101st Congress (1989-1990).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 101st Congress (1989-1990).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 101st Congress (1989-1990).


Read the full bill from the 100th Congress (1987-1988).
Read the summary of H.R. 1791 from the 100th Congress (1987-1988).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 100th Congress (1987-1988).


Read the full bill from the 99th Congress (1985-1986).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 99th Congress (1985-1986).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 99th Congress (1985-1986).


Read the full bill from the 98th Congress (1983-1984).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 98th Congress (1983-1984).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 98th Congress (1983-1984).


Read the full bill from the 97th Congress (1981-1982).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 97th Congress (1981-1982).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 97th Congress (1981-1982).


Read the full bill from the 96th Congress (1979-1980).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 96th Congress (1979-1980).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 96th Congress (1979-1980).


Read the full bill from the 95th Congress (1977-1978).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 95th Congress (1977-1978).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 95th Congress (1977-1978).


Read the full bill from the 94th Congress (1975-1976).
Read the summary of H.R. 94 from the 94th Congress (1975-1976).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 94th Congress (1975-1976).


Read the full bill from the 93rd Congress (1973-1974).
Read the summary of H.R. 16 from the 93rd Congress (1973-1974).
See the list of 0 Congressional cosponsors for the 93rd Congress (1973-1974).


Prior to 1973, the National Health Insurance Act was submitted under the following bill numbers:

  • 1971 (92nd Congress): H.R. 48
  • 1969 (91st Congress): H.R. 24
  • 1967 (90th Congress): H.R. 12741
  • 1965 (89th Congress): H.R. 5438
  • 1963 (88th Congress): H.R. 7829
  • 1961 (87th Congress): H.R. 4413
  • 1959 (86th Congress): H.R. 4498
  • 1957 (85th Congress): H.R. 3764


This page created by the Healthcare-NOW Education Fund.