Legislative Updates

As one senator’s health care emergency upended what was supposed to be an action-packed week for the Senate health care bill, Capitol Hill’s denizens began rebooking Monday.

Jul 18 2017
Even as Democratic lawmakers celebrate new laws providing healthcare to immigrant kids and raising the age of purchasing tobacco, a continued fight over the provider tax dampens enthusiasm over the 2017 session.

The Oregon Legislature passed sweeping legislation around reproductive health, tobacco prevention and drug sentencing reform, but other priorities, such as protecting the state’s investment in Medicaid, protecting the environment and ensuring that hospitals deserve their tax-exempt status sputter

Jul 12 2017
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Last-minute funding will provide for emergency housing assistance, Hepatitis C treatment and a short list of earmarks for clinic and hospital projects, including assistance for Cascade Aids Project’s new clinic.

The Legislature swept through a flurry of bills in the closing days of the session as the lawmakers approached their recess on Friday. Many of these came with little debate, but could still have profound effect on the health and well-being of Oregonians.

Jul 12 2017
Two consumer protection laws are designed to ensure quality and integrity among healthcare providers and agencies assisting Oregon seniors.

Strong bipartisan majorities have passed two bills to protect seniors, putting new quality controls into long-term care facilities and requiring referral agencies to register and act in their client’s interest.

Jul 7 2017
The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems successfully lobbied to kill a measure to pay property taxes on clinics, a bill expanding hours at ambulatory surgery centers and a measure to make nonprofit hospitals to pay more on charity care -- but intense lobbying failed to block an end to price-gouging at OEBB and PEBB.

Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, overcame fierce lobbying from the hospital industry to shepherd a cost-containment bill through the Senate, saving the state $1 billion over the next decade, in part by eliminating hospital price-gouging of the health plans of state workers and teachers.

Jul 7 2017

In 2012, Parkview Healthcare Center’s history of safety violations led California regulators to issue an ultimatum reserved for the most dangerous nursing homes.

Jul 7 2017
Sen. Jackie Winters silenced her colleagues with a speech saying that the War on Drugs amounts to institutional racism.

The Oregon House of Representatives approved two bills on Tuesday that mark a dramatic shift in the government’s attitudes toward drugs and addictions, decriminalizing possession of small amounts of six hard drugs and lowering the penalty in some cases from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Jul 6 2017
Rep. Julie Parrish is threatening to derail the provider tax, which was negotiated behind closed doors with the healthcare industry, requiring it to come up with most of the state’s matching funds to draw down federal money to support the Oregon Health Plan -- and continue a critical flow of money to hospitals.

Rep. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, is threatening a ballot referendum to overturn the new funding mechanism for the Oregon Health Plan, saying she doesn’t support taxes on health insurance, although she did support an insurance tax just four years ago.

Jul 4 2017
An eight-year battle by the Oregon Latino Health Coalition is nearing an end, as the state plans to spend $36 million covering the last 17,600 uninsured children in the state, undocumented immigrants.

The Senate passed the Cover All Kids Act on a 21-8 vote Monday, with four Republicans joining all the Democrats to ensure that all children living in Oregon will have access to health insurance, regardless of where they were born.

Jul 3 2017
Oregon Capitol Building
With a 33-23 vote, Oregon is leading the way in the opposite direction of most of America, as the state’s Democrats try to make it as easy as possible for women to make their own choices about reproductive healthcare.

The Oregon House passed the reproductive health bill, 33-23, sending to the Senate a controversial but hard-fought bill for women’s healthcare access that would close gaps in coverage to contraceptives and abortion

Jul 3 2017

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