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NJ lawmaker introduces bill to create state-run health plan

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora has introduced a bill to create astate-run health plan in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Public Option Health Care Act would requirethe commissioner of health to form a publicly funded health plan in consultationwith the commissioner of banking and insurance.

The bill does not seek to replace the existing healthinsurance structure but aims to provide an alternative that will compete withprivate insurers, Gusciora said. "The government has the benefit ofrepresenting a large population of people, and that gives them a lot of cloutin cost and reimbursement negotiations," he added.

Every state resident will be eligible to enroll in theprogram. Companies that provide Medicaid and Medicare coverage will be eligibleto participate in the program.