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Seven New Jersey hospitals have closed in the last 18 months. The state also plans to trim $111 million in hospital funds from its 2009 budget.
Health care in New Jersey is reaching a crisis stage. According to the New Jersey Hospital Association, seven hospitals have closed during the past 18 months, and the state plans to trim $111 million in hospital funds for charity care from its 2009 budget. The closures and cuts could have dire consequences for New Jersey's 1.3 million uninsured residents, who make up a whopping 15 percent of the state's population. But experts are divided on how to fix the system. While many see some form of universal health care as the answer, others say New Jersey's hospital system was bloated and that the closings will make it more efficient, even if it means patients may have to travel farther to receive care.