This is how the new Kennedy labor national health plan would work.

Almost everyone would buy a private health insurance plan at a controlled rate geared to wages, with lesser rates for the self-employed and some others.

Empployers would pay at least a minimum percentage of employe premiums. A large, affluent employer would pay more to subsidize firms and persons less able to pay. But no employer would have to pay more than 3 percent extra if earnings would drop.

The federal and state governments would continue to cover the aged and disabled and some welfare patients.

The nation's health insures would form four consortiums-for commercial firms, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, nonprofit prepaid plans and doctor's prepaid plans.

Insurances and plans still could compete for business by offering more benefits or cash rebates through lower costs of care or better administration.

Insurance and representatives of the employer-employe groups and the public would negotiate prices with representatives of hospitals and doctors in each state or area. The federal government would hav to approve each area's total spending to keep it within a national limit geared to a percentage of the increase each year in the gross national product.