from January 2018, Issues
Happy New Year. I wish everyone a 2018 full of prosperity and happiness. As we ring in the new year Oregon’s political world begins with a bang.
Right out of the chute Oregonians will asked to decide the how best to fund Medicaid in a citizen-led ballot measure in a January special election. Just after Christmas you received an Oregon Voters Pamphlet and then right after New Years your ballot will arrive in the mail. All this effort is for a single issue that you, the voters of Oregon, get to determine. The question at hand in Measure 101 isn’t whether we fund Medicaid. Measure 101 is about how we fund Medicaid — whether we should create a new tax on some people’s health insurance policies to pay for Medicaid.
Note the word “some”. Only some people are subject to this new tax. Those people include Oregonians who pay full price for their own health insurance, including those who just bought healthcare for 2018 at Healthcare.gov; nearly 12,000 college students who buy their own health insurance as a requirement of attending an Oregon university; small employers (under 50 employees) which include businesses and non-profits; and our Oregon public school districts. Voting YES on Measure 101 will also lock into statute a provision that insurance companies are allowed to pass these taxes along to ratepayers, effectively creating a new sales tax on health insurance. Local hospitals will be hit with a .7% tax on their net revenues which will translate into higher healthcare costs for patient hospital visits.