Chris Gray

Legislature Approves New License for Art Therapists

Marylhurst University has been offering academic programs in art therapy for 30 years, but without a license, anyone can claim to be an art therapist, even people with little to no hands-on training in the therapeutic practice.

After a lively debate, the Senate voted 23-7 on Monday to approve a bill that will license art therapists, which will sanction the integrity of art therapy and ward off unqualified practitioners from using the term.

Push for Stricter Statewide Regulation of Tobacco Retailers Appear to Falter

Advocates are trying to bring a tobacco license registration back to SB 235, after that provision was gutted earlier. They hope to institute new regulations aimed at reducing youth tobacco use, with fees to pay for the program.

The Oregon Nurses Association and the Coalition of Local Health Officials have reintroduced an amendment to Senate Bill 235 that would put in place a statewide tobacco license registration, while still allowing counties and cities free rein to impose additional fees and regulations on tobacco ven

Greenlick Loses CCO Transparency Battle, but Preserves Medicaid Protections

Pressure from coordinated care organizations forced Democrats to drop requirements that the opaque Medicaid insurance providers meet openly. But HB 2122 should still stop out-of-state corporations from taking over the state Medicaid system and siphoning healthcare dollars for the poor for Wall Street portfolios.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick’s attempt to protect and improve the community-based focus of the state Medicaid program has survived the House Rules Committee on a party-line 5-4 vote and will head to the House floor for a vote next week.

Moderate Republicans Vote to Buffer Insurance Market from Trumpcare Impact

Rep. Bill Kennemer won an amendment that will restrict the state government’s ability to set aside laws to salvage the insurance market from collapse, while his party’s leader, Rep. Mike McLane, attacked Patrick Allen, the director of the Department of Consumer & Business Services, accusing him of being a partisan tool.

Oregon House Republicans have split over legislation that empowers the state insurance commissioner to rescue the individual health insurance market from a Trumpcare-triggered collapse, while House Minority Leader Mike McLane angrily accused a leading state official of political partisanship for

Oregon Delegates Committee to Expand Pharmacy Services

HB 2397 will allow patients to avoid a trip to the doctor for a growing number of routine prescription medications and medical devices by allowing a committee to decide which products a pharmacist may appropriately prescribe. The state has previously authorized pharmacists to dispense medications such as birth control, but the Legislature needed to pass a statute.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill that will expand an executive committee to decide which drugs and medical devices pharmacists can prescribe and dispense without a doctor’s prescription.

Allen Wants Sweeping Powers to Rescue Insurance Market if AHCA Passes

Republicans on the Oregon House Rules Committee were skeptical of allowing state insurance regulators to ignore state law, but Regence BlueCross BlueShield and OSPIRG both support giving these emergency powers to avert the collapse of the insurance market.

The Department of Consumer & Business Services has asked for a bill that would give the state agency wide range to ignore state laws governing individual health insurance if President Trump signs a major repeal of Obamacare into law.

Greenlick Fights to Defend CCO Reforms in House Rules Committee

The House Health Chairman now hopes to pass a compromise arrangement brokered by House Speaker Tina Kotek that would allow the Oregon Health Authority to set the rules to protect the state’s Medicaid reserves from Wall Street poaching and make sure those tax dollars are spent on community health.

He may have left his fedora at home, but like Indiana Jones, Rep.

Oregon’s Walden Leads Republicans to Obamacare Repeal

Moderate Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader tells The Lund Report that the Senate may take a bipartisan approach to fixing the shortcomings with the Affordable Care Act and could ignore Walden’s draconian bill, which the Congressional Budget Office earlier estimated would kick 24 million Americans off their health insurance.

Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden joined with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Thursday to lead the U.S.

Senate Passes Bill to Push Insurers, PEBB and OEBB to Invest in Primary Care

But after lobbying by the coordinated care organizations, the Oregon Senate passed on an opportunity to tell CCOs to increase the money that they are spending on primary care, holding them to a standard that 11 of the 16 CCOs already meet.

The Senate approved a bill 29-0 that will push health insurers to make a greater investment in primary care, while holding public employee health plans and the coordinated care organizations to the same standard -- 12 percent of medical claims. The legislation now heads to the House.

As Suicide Problem Grows in Oregon, Legislators Debate Solutions

The Senate passed a bill giving law enforcement more tools when encountering suicidal people, while the House closed gaps for mental health patients discharged from emergency rooms. But a bill to assist gun shop owners was spiked.

The Oregon House and Senate passed complementary bills addressing suicide prevention on Wednesday, but a separate bill to provide gun shop owners with materials and training to prevent firearm deaths was spiked without a vote.

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