Measure 101: I attended the Albany forum on Jan 4, which was streamed live on Facebook (Perkins4Oregon). The state legislature claims a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, ignoring increased taxes collected from economic growth. The state legislature considered ending the Oregon Medicaid expansion at a two-year “savings” of $256 million.
Two views — Yes: Supporters want some health insurance policies and hospitals taxed (aka assessment). Taxes are good. No: The Oregon Health Authority budget has been mismanaged. Not all insurance/businesses are taxed. Tax all or none.
Position defenses — Yes: The tax is temporary, will reduce the cost of private insurance. No: 2017 OHA audit — Over 80,000 Medicaid recipients are ineligible. Removing 50,000 saves $258 million a year, two years $516 million. The shortfall for two years is $256 million. Sources: http://sos.oregon.gov/audits/Documents/medicaid-auditor-alert.pdf http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170419/NEWS/170419847
Why should you care — Yes vote: Costs for health insurance premiums will increase (most likely already have). Cost to Hospitals will increase and passed onto patients by .7 percent. No vote: Tax all, not some. Tax passed on to consumers.
Supporters — Yes: Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) support Measure 101. No: 90,000 Oregonians who signed the petition to stop additional taxation.
Chief petitioners: Tax all or none — be fair. CCOs have a vested interest as they receive most of their income from the Oregon Medicaid expansion program. Source: http://careoregon.org/LearningAndInnovation/CCO.aspx
Summary: Yes: We don’t want people uninsured. New taxes are good, cover shortfall. No: The shortfall has already been eliminated by removing ineligible participants and cutting waste. Job growth means less people will need the program.
Please vote no.
Jo Rae Perkins
Albany (Jan. 5)
(Jo Rae Perkins is a 2018 candidate for Oregon's U.S. House District 4)