N.J. senator readies universal health plan

March 14, 2008 2:30:32 PM PDT
Health insurance may be made accessible to all New Jerseyans under a plan to be unveiled Monday by a state lawmaker. Senator Joseph Vitale's proposal would require all New Jerseyans to have health insurance within three years.

About 1.4 million Garden State residents currently lack health coverage.

Vitale's plan involves state-administered health coverage for the uninsured and reforms to cut the cost of private insurance for small businesses and individuals.

The Middlesex County lawmaker says the state needs better ways to fund health care amid ongoing budget woes and soaring health care costs.

His plan would be implemented in stages, with the first targeting children, low-income working parents and insurance reforms.