Oregon’s Medicaid program expansion, Measure 101, passed in Oregon as voters overwhelmingly approved the tax deal during a special election.
What changes does Measure 101 approval bring?
Measure 101, which has passed with 61% against 39%, means that up to $320 million will be raised annually in taxes on health insurances institutes and hospitals in Oregon until 2029.
The tax deal’s success is a huge victory for Democrats who came up with the plan and won enough votes to pass it in the Legislature.
According to the measures, hospitals will pay 0.7%, while the health insurance companies will be obliged to pay taxes on the value of 1.5% on each policy. This will qualify Oregon for up to $1 billion in matching Medicaid funds that will be used for the state’s healthcare industry.
Besides, $31 million from the taxes paid by insurance institutes will be redirected to state’s reinsurance program.
Measure 101 had to overcome Republicans’ opposition
Rep. Julie Parrish and a small group of Republicans have opposed to such a measure saying that the taxes will fall on people like college students and teachers. However, Measure 101 was sustained by funds coming from labor unions and state’s healthcare industry. Supporters of the Measure 101 have spent more than $3 million on the campaign.
On the other hand, the Republicans group in opposition have only raised $100,000.
Eventually, Measure 101 hasn’t been affected by the opposition.
The approval of Measure 101 doesn’t solve all the Oregonians’ problems
The Affordable Care Act widened the eligibility criteria for patients who qualify for Medicaid. Therefore, more patients are eligible for health insurance which means that the costs with insurances increased. The question of how Oregon will be able to pay the additional healthcare costs still remains.
Oregon’s federal poverty line increased from 100% to 138%. Initially, the federal government paid in full the costs for additional Medicaid patients but now, the states have to pay more costs.