N.J. lawmaker proposing single-payer health care sustem

New Jersey Assemblyman Bernie Sanders is proposing a single-payer health care system. (AP file photo)

New Jersey Assemblyman Bernie Sanders is proposing a single-payer health care system. (AP file photo)

A New Jersey lawmaker wants the state to operate a health insurance system that would compete with private plans.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora said Monday he will introduce legislation to establish a single-payer system he believes would ensure all residents have access to health care. State government would negotiate costs with doctors and hospitals and foot the bill for patient care.

“We now go through insurance companies, but people complain that health care costs still increase and that there’s no real competition,” said Gusciora, D-Mercer. “It would be the ultimate Medicare expansion but more universally. There’s not age restriction.”

Gusciora said his plan would let patients decide which doctors and hospitals they use without network restrictions. Costs could be lower, he said,  because the government has the clout to negotiate better prices.

“People have been talking, from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders, that insurance should be more affordable and there should be more universal access to health care in the United States,” he said. “And I think people will start to think whether this is the way to go.”

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