Lacking a health insurance marketplace, the U.S. Virgin Islands is considering a legislative proposal to create a single-payer health care system.

Nearly 30 percent of Virgin Islanders are uninsured, putting local hospitals under financial strain and leading many individuals to forgo preventive care.

The proposal calls for creating a $400 million VI HealthCare program to cover all residents. Proponents say it could be financed with a 5 percent retail sales tax, a 5 percent employee income tax and a 10 percent business payroll tax, combined with increased federal Medicaid funds under the Affordable Care Act.

To read the proposal, go to vihealthcare.org. For updates, go to aarp.org/vi.

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