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A Healthier Oregon Oregonian voters elect to pass new healthcare measure to change Oregon’s health trajectory for the future
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BY ANNIE CHRISTMAN out & about editor After much anticipation, Oregonians have passed Measure 101 with a 61.69 percent vote. Measure 101 is an important piece of legislation to the future of healthcare for Oregon citizens, specifically for those 1 in 4 that rely on Medicaid. According to Yes for Healthcare, a “Yes,” on Measure 101 have three major impacts. First, it will help ensure that every child in Oregon has access to healthcare. Second healthcare for working families, seniors, and peoples with disabilities will be protected. And third, it will stabilize healthcare costs and insurance premiums for Oregonians who purchase their own insurance. But just how will the measure do this? Measure 101 plans to impose a fee on hospitals, CCOs, and insurance companies operating in the state meant to ensure that healthcare resources can be available to all in the state. Since the federal government matches the funds raised in the state or Oregon, this would the provisions of Measure 101 would be doubly effective in ensuring we reach the aforementioned goals.
“MEASURE 101 PLANS TO IMPOSE A FEE ON HOSPITALS, CCOS, AND INSURANCE COMPANIES OPERATING IN THE STATE MEANT TO ENSURE THAT HEALTHCARE RESOURCES CAN BE AVAILABLE TO ALL IN THE STATE.”
Of course, many voters did express concerns that this was all too good to be true, however under
Measure 101, we can expect a net benefit for all healthcare consumers, as it would cap premiums from being raised more than 1.5%. It also hopes to provide people with lower cost preventative car, which would decrease emergency room visits which are often far more costly, but the common outcome for those who cannot afford preventative care. Funding reaped by Measure 101 would also be allocated towards a State Reinsurance Program, which would protect consumers from shouldering costs posed by people with serious health conditions and costs. Such a program is projected to lower premiums for self-bought insurance by as much as 6 percent, or about $300/year. While it is still too early after it’s passing to evaluate the Measure’s performance, many believe that it is still better than the alternative. Had it not passed, state funding for healthcare would have been cut by $210-$320 million, resulting in an additional potential loss of $5 million in federal funding. That is 400,000 children, seniors, and disabled citizens whose coverage would have been at risk. While the Measure doesn’t seem directly associated with education, much support was sent the Measure’s way from people of that sector, including the Oregon Education Association, Oregon School Board Association, American Federation of Teachers, Oregon School-Based Alliance, Oregon School Employees Association, Oregon School-Based ALliance, and the Oregon School Employees Association. Their logic is simple: when kids are healthy, they are more likely to be in the classroom.
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The Bruin MARCH 21, 2018 mhsbruin.com 5
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