Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15) announced on Monday that he plans to introduce legislation to establish a single-payer healthcare system in New Jersey.
“For decades, we’ve treated healthcare as a privilege, and not a right,” said Gusciora in a statement. “We’re the only industrialized nation that lets its citizens face financial ruin if they get sick. The fact of the matter is healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. If we introduce a single-payer system, we ensure that everyone will have access to healthcare.”
While President Barack Obama introduced the Affordable Care Act in an effort to easily connecting citizens with insurers, Gusciora’s plan would take Obamacare even further. According to the assemblyman’s release, the single-payer healthcare plan Gusciora’s legislation would be permissible under the Obamacare regulations that say states can design and manage healthcare exchanges.
According to his statement on the plan, Gusciora “drew inspiration for his plan from U.S. Bernie Sanders’ proposed federal single-payer system.” The main goal of the initiative is to change how healthcare is paid for. Patients would be able to pick which doctors and providers they visit while the government would negotiate costs similarly to how Medicare and Medicaid currently operate.
“I think that social equality and justice are on the minds of Americans now more than ever before. I think the time is right to make some big changes that’ll take us big steps in the right direction,” Gusciora said. “Americans pay more for health care than any other industrialized nation, and our financing system is unique. It’s pretty obvious that’s where the problem lies. When we pass single-payer care, we can demonstrate to the nation that there is a way to provide patient autonomy, quality care, insure all your citizens, and keep costs reasonable.”