League Urges a Yes Vote on Measure 101

On the recommendation of the Action Committee, the LWVOR Board voted to support Ballot Measure 101. This position is supported by the LWVUS position, “Every U.S. resident should have access to affordable, quality health care, including birth control and the privacy to make reproductive choices.”Because BM 101 involves a law that was passed by the Legislature, this is a referendum. In order to keep the law in place, a “yes” vote is needed. The measure involves an assessment on hospitals, as well as an assessment on some health insurance policies.

A “yes” vote protects health care for one million Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan, and lowers the cost of health insurance by $300 per year on average for 210,000Oregonians buying coverage on the individual market. A “yes” vote ensures Oregon maintains federal matching dollars for health care, potentially protecting nearly $5 billion in federal funds for Oregonians’ care.

Measure 101 raises between $210 million and $320 million for health care from the Oregon health care industry by increasing an assessment on large hospitals and reinstating a type of assessment on health insurance companies that had expired. Specifically, the measure adds 0.7 percent to the existing 5.3 percent hospital assessment. The measure also establishes a 1.5 percent assessment on health insurers, managed care companies including coordinated care organizations, and the Public Employees Benefit Board. The previous health insurance company assessment, which helped pay for health care in Oregon, expired in2014.

Forty-nine states use the same types of assessments to fund health care. Provider assessments are a federally-approved way for states to pay for their share of Medicaid.1 Furthermore, the health care industry in Oregon generally supported this measure in the legislature because they would directly benefit from the increased federal dollars.

LWVOR encourages your “yes” vote and encourages you to volunteer with “Yes for Healthcare” to make sure that the measure passes.

1The information about the specifics of Ballot Measure 101 is supplied by the Oregon Center for Public Policy.