In January, Oregon voters overwhelmingly supported temporary funding to maintain Oregon Health Plan coverage for low-income Oregonians. But a permanent funding plan is still needed to protect health care coverage for more than one in four Oregonians.
For more than a decade, the Oregon Business Plan goal has been to make sure at least 95% of Oregonians have health insurance. Thanks to the expansion of Oregon Health Plan eligibility in 2013 to cover more low-income Oregonians, we have nearly reached that goal. Maintaining Oregon’s high rate of coverage is essential for both the health of Oregonians – and Oregon’s economy.
About $230 million in temporary taxes approved by voters will expire next year and – if none of the state’s General Fund growth is directed to the Oregon Health Plan – the shortfall in funding in the next state budget will be $830 million.
Oregon Health Plan funding is a significant driver of the state’s fiscal crisis that lawmakers must address in 2019 – along with the PERS pension debt draining budgets for schools, public safety and other basic services. Using one-off, temporary taxes is a band-aid, not a solution. Oregon Health Plan funding must be addressed in the context of the state’s long-term fiscal health.
We want your help to ensure legislators in Salem identify sustainable funding for the Oregon Health Plan – and stop the PERS pension from taking ever more money from other important priorities.
Join Brighter Oregon and invite friends and family to join in making our voices heard in Salem.