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“We wanted to do something different after seeing that health insurance companies were having trouble,” said Sen. Margarita Nolasco, the bill’s co-author. “The doctors were complaining, the hospitals were complaining, the laboratories were complaining.”

The Senate has approved the bill, which is now being debated by the House of Representatives.

Nolasco said eliminating the role of health insurance companies might be the solution.

“They are a business, and that is legitimate,” she said. “But it cannot be done at the cost of people’s health.”

Fortuno, however, told reporters late Wednesday that he did not support the bill. He said the U.S. government, which provides 30 percent of the program’s budget, would not allow such a change.