Oregon House Passes Preemptive Health Reform Bills

The Oregon House of Representatives passed two health reform bills that a leading Democratic lawmakers says will help Oregon "fit into whatever happens on the national scale," the Portland Oregonian reports. One bill would tax insurers and hospitals more than $300 million over two years to provide coverage to an additional 115,000 Oregonians. These funds would "leverage nearly $1 billion in federal Medicaid matching money." The second measure would create an Oregon Health Authority to replace an existing Department of Human Services, but with a broader mandate to track health care claims data and harness consolidated purchasing power to "pressure insurers and hospitals to use evidence based care." State officials say the measure "would create an estimated 3,600 high-paying jobs in hospitals, medical clinics and other areas" (Graves, 6/8).

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