Posts Tagged ‘HB 2009’
HB 2009 from 2009 session lays groundwork for expanding access, lowing costs
SALEM – Lawmakers heard testimony Monday morning regarding Oregon’s position to take advantage of the sweeping health care overhaul signed into law by President Obama in March. Reforms passed by the Oregon Legislature in the 2009 session put Oregon ahead of the curve on expanding coverage, lowing costs, and improving the quality of health care in the state.
“Oregon is a national leader for re-thinking how we provide access to quality, affordable health care,” said Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham), chair of the Interim Senate Committee on Health Care. “We’re remarkably well-positioned to implement reforms and help more Oregonians because of the groundwork laid last session to improve health care in Oregon.”
House Bill 2009 from the 2009 session created a coordinated, streamlined approach to health care reform by establishing the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Health Policy Board. The Authority and Board oversee all health care functions, including the implementation of expanded coverage and reforms to contain skyrocketing costs.
“Oregon is a model to other states on how to structure reform and cover more people in need,” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Ashland), a physician and co-author of the Healthy Oregon Act of 2007 and HB 2009. “While the journey toward universal coverage and lowering costs for everyone will take time, we’re leaps and bounds ahead of most of the nation.”
Affordable and accessible health care for all Oregonians has been a long-standing priority for the Oregon Senate Democrats. Giving uninsured Oregonians access to health care coverage is estimated to lower the burden of costs for all Oregonians over time, for those with and without health insurance. At the same time, this expansion of health care services will create thousands of family-wage jobs for Oregonians.
From The Oregonian:
Oregon this year embarked on the largest expansion of health insurance for children of any state in the nation, a group that advocates for children reported today.
The 2009 Legislature passed a law that taxes health insurers 1 percent of their premium revenue to provide health care coverage for 80,000 uninsured children.
That’s the largest number of new kids eligible for health care in the country
Read the entire story here.
Published September 29, 2009 by The Oregonian Editorial Board:
All across the country this year, recession-wracked states have tossed millions of low-income families off public health care programs…
Fortunately, Oregon has taken a far better path on both subjects. The payoff will begin Thursday when new laws take effect, providing a huge boost to health care and transportation in the state.
The health care package was the signature achievement of the 2009 Legislature. One of the bills that kicks in Thursday will extend medical coverage to an additional 80,000 uninsured children, putting Oregon among only 12 states with universal coverage for kids.
Many lower-income adults will benefit, too. Altogether, the legislation will add about 115,000 people to the Oregon Health Plan.
Accomplishing this, at a time when states like California are dumping the working poor from health care, took amazing political courage in the Capitol and refreshing enlightenment in the medical community. Hospitals, insurers and physicians stood together behind the legislation, which leverages more than $1 billion in federal matching money by expanding the state’s medical provider tax and replacing a managed care tax with a revenue tax on most insurers.
A companion bill, also taking effect Thursday, is the true reform mechanism. It creates an Oregon Health Authority that will be charged with streamlining state health services and carrying out a variety of initiatives to contain costs and improve quality in the state’s health care system.
Thursday will also be a major milestone for Oregon’s transportation system. After years of political gridlock in Salem, legislators this year achieved an enormous breakthrough in crafting a bipartisan transportation package that will raise hundreds of millions of dollars for much-needed road and bridge projects, creating jobs and stirring the moribund economy.
Read the original article here.
Coverage today of the Legislature’s historic achievement in providing access to virtually all Oregon children in today’s Oregonian:
Oregon children no longer will be denied health coverage because their parents can’t afford it or don’t qualify for the Oregon Health Plan. Oregon joins 11 states committed to providing universal health care for their children, a goal Kulongoski has pushed for since he was elected in 2002.
Read the rest of the story about health care expansion for children and low-income Oregonians during the 2009 session here.
Senate votes to dramatically expand health care coverage for Oregonian’s children and most vulnerable
House Bill 2009 and House Bill 2116 will reform health care delivery and fund coverage for more Oregonians using $2 billion in Federal matching dollars
SALEM – Following through on a commitment to dramatically increase access to health care for children and the most vulnerable in Oregon while controlling costs for all, the Senate Democrats passed both HB 2116 and HB 2009 this afternoon. Together, the two bills will cover 95% of Oregon’s uninsured children and extend coverage to an additional 35,000 low-income adults while instituting a reformed model of health care delivery for Oregonians.
“This may be the most important piece of legislation that we pass out of this building this session. This is a good deal for Oregon, especially Oregon’s uninsured children – the vast majority of whom will now be able to visit a doctor and get the services they need,” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Ashland), who co-carried both bills on the floor. “The prohibitive costs of health care are a major burden for many parents, some of whom are only one hospital visit away from bankruptcy.”
HB 2009 replaces the current fragmented health care delivery system with a coordinated, streamlined approach, the Oregon Health Policy Board. This Board will oversee all health care functions, the implementation of expanded coverage, and institute reforms to contain skyrocketing costs. Reform measures include facilitating the adoption of electronic health records that will position that state to compete for millions of dollars Federal stimulus funding.
“Cost containment is a crucial piece of this package. Inefficiencies create high costs that affect everyone, from the business owner who wants to provide health insurance to the person who avoids preventative care because of the prohibitive costs of visiting a doctor,” said Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham), chair of the Senate Committee on Health Care.
The funding for expanding coverage for kids and low-income Oregonians will come from HB 2116. The funding plan has two components: an increased hospital tax and a 1 percent tax on the commercial insurance premiums collected by health plans and insurers. The hospital tax will fund the addition of approximately 35,000 adults to the Oregon Health Plan in the 2009-2011 biennium. In the 2011-2013 biennium that number will grow to 60,000. The insurers’ tax will fund medical coverage for 80,000 additional children by the end of the 2009-2011 biennium. The new state funds will allow Oregon to draw down nearly $2 billion in federal funds for reimbursements to Medicaid providers, which will also increase under the funding plan.
“This legislation is proof of what we can accomplish by working collaboratively with our partners inside and outside the building,” said Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who participated in the work group that negotiated the arrangement with hospitals and insurers. “With this bill we will be doing something that will fundamentally improve the quality of life for thousands of Oregon’s children and most vulnerable while simultaneously lowering costs for everyone.” Continue reading “Senate votes to dramatically expand health care coverage for Oregonian’s children and most vulnerable” »