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In Face of TrumpCare 'Abomination,' New Jersey Latest State to Join Single Payer Push

'TrumpCare is not the way forward.'—New Jersey State Assemblyman John Wisniewski

The same week California advanced its single-payer bill, a New Jersey assemblyman unveiled draft legislation to make healthcare "a fundamental human right." (Photo: Michael Fleshman/flickr/cc)

The same week California advanced its single-payer bill, a New Jersey assemblyman unveiled draft legislation to make healthcare "a fundamental human right." (Photo: Michael Fleshman/flickr/cc)

If the building momentum for a single-payer or Medicare-for-All healthcare system wasn't already clear, developments this week should more than make up for that.

Declaring that "healthcare is a fundamental human right" and TrumpCare is "an abomination," Democratic New Jersey State Assemblyman John Wisniewski on Thursday announced draft legislation to provide universal coverage for the state's residents.

"It is unconscionable that in this day and age, families must go without health insurance coverage because of its cost," Wisniewski, a gubernatorial candidate, said in a statement announcing the Healthy New Jersey Act. "We must find a way to eliminate the profit motive from our healthcare decisions and provide services to everyone regardless of their income."

"TrumpCare is not the way forward," he stated, adding: "The current system prioritizes dollars over lives."

"The only way to truly solve the problem of providing affordable healthcare is creating a single-payer system," Wisniewski said.

The draft legislation was unveiled to get comments from experts and stakeholders and will be introduced in the next legislative session, the statement explains.

The New Jersey chapter of Our Revolution, which endorsed Wisniewski's gubernatorial bid this week, said on Twitter that it applauded the legislation, as "It's long past time we have Single Payer!"

The same day as Wisniewski unveiled his legislation, a single-payer healthcare bill in California, which supporters hope can "send a message" and "be a catalyst for the nation," advanced.

The state Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to advance it to a vote in the full Senate by the end of next week.

The California Nurses Association praised the development, writing on its Facebook page: "Great news —> the healthcare revolution continues!"

Looking at the news from California as well as the New York's State Assembly's passage this month of a single-payer healthcare bill, one observer described them as "victories [that] constitute a positive sign that state-based campaigns for universal healthcare ramping up across the country."

There are positive signs at the national level as well.

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.). declared Wednesday: "I've never seen more energy behind this issue of Medicare for All."

The Michigan Democrat reintroduced in January the Improved Medicare for All Act, HR 676, and as of Tuesday, it reached 111 co-sponsors—the most ever—including the chairman of the House Democratic caucus, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.).

"As a Democrat I believe that healthcare of course is a right, not a privilege. I believe [in] universal healthcare, for every American—not just a plan or a contract, but the ability to see a doctor and get treatment whenever they need it. We will never get universal care building on a foundation of private, for-profit insurance," Conyers said.

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