OR voters overwhelmingly pass health care taxes

Cheryl Sanders
January 25, 2018

By Kentucky's own estimate, the new rules will lead to almost 100,000 fewer people being enrolled in Medicaid. He said the outcome was not unexpected because of the amount of money that was spent to support Measure 101 with advertising such as misleading television commercials.

Republican state Reps. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, and Cedric Hayden, R-Fall Creek, led the signature-gathering effort place the taxes up for vote through Oregon's referendum process, and hoped voters would repeal them with a no vote on Measure 101.

ME voters recently went to polls to approve the expansion of their Medicaid program, but experts said OR was the first state to take the issue of funding that expansion directly to voters.

In coming months, hospitals will work cooperatively with legislative leadership, the Governor and other stakeholders to craft additional sustainable funding solutions for the years to come to ensure the stability and health of the Oregon Health Plan.

"I voted now", said Leann Dunlap of Coos County. "Our goal was to educate voters. We are out there trying to make people understand there is a problem in our health care system".

Medicaid is a federal-state collaboration originally meant for poor families and severely disabled people.

Whitaker said that because Measure 101 boosts taxes on insurance companies and this increase, which can not exceed 1.5 percent, will be passed on to consumers, it essentially means that many will pay more in taxes.

For the first several years of the Medicaid expansion, the federal government covered most of the bill.

To raise that money, the Legislature voted last summer to increase the tax on hospitals, expand it to small and rural hospitals and tax some health insurance plans. A recent audit of the health authority showed the agency failed to detect improper payments and didn't act swiftly when trying to determine who is eligible for Medicaid.

Measure 101 was passing handily in early returns Tuesday night.

The ballot measure's passage keeps intact a $550 million revenue package passed by the Oregon Legislature a year ago to fund the Oregon Health Plan - the government-funded health insurance system for low-income residents - through mid-2019. This culture of incompetence can not be excused or forgotten in the wake of this ballot measure.

"Virginia Garcia was proud to be part of a strong coalition of 175 organizations representing hundreds and thousands of Oregonians united in the belief that everyone deserves health care", said Kasi Woidyla, spokeswoman for Virginia Garcia, on Tuesday.

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