Legislative Updates

A trio of billionaires are behind the campaign to add Oregon’s largest county to a list of communities from Seattle to Philadelphia to Chicago that have added steep taxes on soda pop and sugary drinks designed to reduce the consumption of these beverages, which are leading drivers of diabetes and obesity.

A coalition of public health officials and liberal Portland politicians will kick off a push for a 1.5-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages with a rally on Saturday, marking the start of a petition drive to ask Multnomah County voters to raise the tax on the May 2018 ballot.

Sep 15 2017
Premium content

Hospital and health systems face big penalties if they do not comply with the privacy and security standards of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). So it may be astonishing to learn that the federal Privacy Rule does not apply to public records requests to Oregon public healthcare institutions, at least for now.

Sep 6 2017

With insurance premiums rising and national efforts at health reform in turmoil, a group of 50 state bureaucrats whom many voters probably can’t name have considerable power over consumers’ health plans: state insurance commissioners.

Sep 6 2017

With Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act stalled, tentative bipartisan initiatives are in the works to shore up the fragile individual insurance market that serves roughly 17 million Americans.

Aug 30 2017
As the state government implements HB 2391 and designs programs to stabilize health insurance rates, the Republican firebrand from the south Portland suburbs is hoping to get 59,000 signatures to allow voters a chance to sign off on the funding package for Medicaid and market stabilization.

Some legislators might be taking an extended holiday this summer after finishing work in the 2017 marathon session on July 7, but not Republican Rep. Julie Parrish of West Linn and Tualatin.

Aug 30 2017

SACRAMENTO — After the swift rise and sudden crash of California’s ambitious single-payer legislation, complete with melodramatic fallout, universal health care is back — not on the floor, but on the table.

Aug 25 2017
A pilot project will help nine schools apply for federal funding to cover the healthcare costs of children in special education. Other states have used this funding stream to put a nurse in every school, and even small states like Montana bring in many times more money than Oregon.

A bill passed at the end of the legislative session last month could help the Oregon Department of Education show the way to getting more nurses placed in schools by providing a funding stream to offset the cost of providing care for special-needs children.

Aug 23 2017

Medicare launched a website aimed at helping families choose a hospice — but experts say it doesn’t help very much.

Aug 18 2017
Proponents of HB 3355, including Providence Health & Services, failed to persuade the governor that the bill had adequate patient safeguards if psychologists were allowed to expand their scope of practice to prescribe medications to their clients.

Governor Kate Brown carried out her veto threat of House Bill 3355 on Tuesday, quashing a collaborative, time-consuming effort to find a narrow means of expanding the shortage of skilled psychiatric prescribers by enlisting specially trained psychologists to prescribe medications in a clinical se

Aug 16 2017
Gov. Kate Brown recently ordered the Public Employees Benefit Board to hire a wellness manager. At the insistence of Sen. Betsy Johnson, the board opted to delay the expansion of one wellness program until the new hire has a chance to comprehensively determine which programs best improve health.

Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, spurred the Public Employees Benefit Board to think more seriously about cost containment at a meeting Tuesday, and the board agreed to slow down the approval of wellness programs until new staff could take a more comprehensive look.

Aug 16 2017