The Latest: Oregon approves new taxes for Medicaid costs
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on an Oregon special election on whether to allow Medicaid taxes on hospitals and health insurers to stem health care costs since (all times local):
Oregon voters have approved taxes on hospitals, health insurers and managed care companies to address rising Medicaid costs.
The single-issue election Tuesday drew national attention because it gave voters -- and not lawmakers -- the final say on how to fund increasing health care costs.
The plan is a short-term fix for health care funding that will generate between $210 million and $320 million in revenue over two years.
Measure 101 creates a 0.7 percent tax on some hospitals and a 1.5 percent tax on the gross health insurance premiums and on managed care organizations.
Oregon aggressively expanded its Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Care Act. Now, just 5 percent of its population is uninsured.
Lawmakers must still come up with a long-term funding plan for the more than 350,000 people added to Medicaid and an overall increase in health care expenses.
Oregonians have until 8 p.m. to vote on whether the state will tax hospitals and health insurers to pay rising Medicaid costs.
Oregonians vote-by-mail state so most ballots have already been turned in.
Stragglers have until Tuesday evening to take ballots to designated drop boxes.
Oregon aggressively expanded its Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act but is now hampered by rising health care costs.
The tax would generate between $210 million and $320 million in revenue over the next two years.
Proponents say hundreds of thousands of low-income Oregonians could lose their health care if Measure 101 fails.
Opponents say the taxes are unfair because they exempt unions and large corporations.
If the measure fails, lawmakers must address health care funding in a legislative session that begins next month.