Single Payer Legislation
The legislation may be accessed here.
“It is unconscionable that in this day and age, families must go without health insurance coverage because of its cost,” said Wisniewski. “The current system prioritizes dollars over lives. Health care is a fundamental human right. We must find a way to eliminate the profit motive from our health care decisions and provide services to everyone regardless of their income.”
The exorbitant costs of providing health insurance is one of the most pressing and challenging issues facing the nation today. It is time for New Jersey to step up and create a single payer health care system that provides services for all residents.
The Healthy New Jersey Act will cover primary care and prevention both for inpatient and outpatient services, including emergency services, acute care, long-term care, prescription drugs, mental health services, all women’s health care services, mental health services and substance abuse treatment. A single-payer state system will eliminate the profit motives driving higher premium costs and will be a much cheaper alternative to the exorbitant rates we pay now.
The rising cost of healthcare has become an anchor on our economy. New York is moving towards a single payer system and will have a competitive advantage over New Jersey. We need to adopt a single payer health care system or risk a flight to New York by the state’s best minds who want to build and grow businesses that are not encumbered by health care costs.
Despite the success of the Affordable Care Act, working families are slipping through the cracks and remaining uninsured. The recently passed Trump Care is an abomination that will throw millions of people off the insurance rolls and only make the situation worse.
Said Wisniewski, “This legislation will cover more people, drive down costs and provide a competitive advantage over other states. The costs of insurance are becoming unsustainable and we must do something significant to fix the system. Trump Care is not the way forward. The only way to truly solve the problem of providing affordable health care is creating a single payer system.”
This legislation is a starter draft designed to elicit comments and start the legislative process. Legislators, health care advocates and other stakeholders will need to weigh in on the bill to make it stronger and more effective.
The bill will be introduced during the next legislative session.
Highlights of the Healthy New Jersey Act include:
- Creates single-payer health care system in NJ for all residents
- Every resident is eligible
- No members will pay deductibles, copayments or coinsurance
- Covers all medically necessary care as determined by health care provider
- Requires care coordination for members
- Creates a nine member governing board in, but not of, the Department of Health, and a public advisory board to advise Commissioner of Health
- Funding – Legislature will create the basic structure of revenue plan
- Revenue will come from 2 premiums:
- Graduated “payroll premium” on all payroll & self-employed income
- Self-employed people pay a full premium
- Graduated “non-payroll premium” on taxable income not subject to payroll premium (interest, dividends, capital gains)
- The board shall apply for federal payments/waivers from Medicare, matched public health programs, Affordable Care Act, Social Security
- State monies from Medicare
- Money is deposited into “Healthy New Jersey Trust Fund”
- Program must engage in good faith negotiations in relation to rates of payment and payment methodologies
- Prohibits health insurance carriers from offering health benefits or covering any services offered under the plan
- Authorizes health care providers to negotiate rates of services and payments
Office of Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski