Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has said he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination for 2008, introduced legislation to create a national single-payer healthcare system. Under the proposal, all Americans would be eligible for a national health insurance card good for all healthcare services at any facility in the country. Families also would be able to choose any licensed doctor or hospital, and there would be no co-payments, premiums or deductibles, Kucinich said in a statement. The system would be funded by a variety of sources, including through Medicare and Medicaid, a modest payroll tax on employers to eliminate premiums, and additional taxes on the richest Americans, he said. Kucinich said his legislation has the backing of 100 members of Congress. The proposals offered by President Bush and in Massachusetts and California rely on private insurers and would continue to squander billions of dollars annually on private-insurance marketing, bill collectors and other bureaucratic activities, said Oliver Fein, director of Physicians for a National Health Program, which joined the California Nurses Association in endorsing the bill. Kucinich, who chairs a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he plans to hold hearings on this issue. -- by Jennifer Lubell
Kucinich introduces single-payer bill
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