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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
1/26/2009--Introduced. United States National Health Care Act or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act - Establishes the United States National Health Care (USNHC) Program to provide all individuals residing in the United States and U.S. territories with free health care that includes all medically necessary care, such as primary care and prevention, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services, and vision care.
Prohibits an institution from participating unless it is a public or nonprofit institution. Allows nonprofit health maintenance organizations (HMOs) that deliver care in their own facilities to participate. Gives patients the freedom to choose from participating physicians and institutions. Prohibits a private health insurer from selling health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this Act. Allows such insurers to sell benefits that are not medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgery benefits. Sets forth methods to pay institutional providers of care and health professionals for services. Prohibits financial incentives between HMOs and physicians based on utilization. Establishes the USNHC Trust Fund to finance the Program with amounts deposited: (1) from existing sources of government revenues for health care; (2) by increasing personal income taxes on the top 5% income earners; (3) by instituting a progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income; and (4) by instituting a small tax on stock and bond transactions. Transfers and appropriates to carry out this Act amounts that would have been appropriated for federal public health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Requires the USNHC Program to give first priority in retraining and job placement and USNHC employment transition benefits to individuals whose jobs are eliminated due to reduced administration. Requires creation of a confidential electronic patient record system. Establishes a National Board of Universal Quality and Access to provide advice on quality, access, and affordability. Provides for: (1) the eventual integration of the Indian Health Service into the Program; and (2) evaluation of the continued independence of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health programs.