Chris Gray

Oregon House Approves Buehler’s Bill Expanding Contraceptive Access

Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, championed a bill late in the 2015 session to allow women to get birth control directly from a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. HB 2527 expands the types of birth control available through this route to include self-administered injectable contraceptives.

The Oregon House passed a bill 48-4 on Thursday that expands the types of contraception that women may get directly from a pharmacist without a doctor’s prescription to include injectable contraceptives. It now heads to the Senate.

For-Profit CCOs Muscle Greenlick’s Reform Bill Away from House Floor

The legislation was sent back to the Rules Committee, making its future less certain. House Speaker Tina Kotek believes she has a workable compromise that will appease the Coalition for a Healthy Oregon while still demanding that CCOs open up their board meetings to the public.

A coalition of for-profit coordinated care organizations and physicians groups, led by lobbyist Paul Phillips of Pac/West Communications, is pitting its clout against Rep.

Oregon House Votes to Enact 10-Year Ban on Natural Gas Fracking

Only limited fracking has ever been conducted in Oregon, but Democrats argue that current regulations on potential hydraulic fracturing are insufficient, and could set up the state for problems experienced in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. Passing the Senate could be a challenge, however.

The Oregon House voted 32-26 on Tuesday to put a 10-year moratorium on fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, a risky style of natural gas extraction that has led to minor earthquakes and contaminated water in other states.

Senate Passes Bill Aimed at Expanding Rural Health Access through For-Profit Clinics

Rep. Mitch Greenlick quashed a very similar bill two years ago because it would have opened the door for non-physicians to run for-profit medical clinics, which he does not believe are as good for patients as nonprofit clinics.

The Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a measure designed to expand healthcare access in underserved rural areas, by loosening the standards for operating for-profit health clinics.

Single-Payer Activists Come to Salem, Tout Universal Care Study

Researchers from the Rand Corporation showcased the results of a $300,000 study Oregon funded two years ago. It examined different methods of improving the healthcare financing system in the state.

The state’s single-payer activists made their annual descent on Salem on Thursday, championing their perennial legislation to implement publicly financed, privately delivered healthcare -- this time accompanied by new research from the Rand Corporation, showing that the state could give everyone

Senate Environment Committee Guts Bill to Eliminate Old Diesel Engines

Pressure from industry groups left the Environment Committee with a bill that will do little more than hand out money from the Volkswagen settlement to replace old engines. Sen. Dembrow wanted a tougher bill that would require off-road equipment to register as cars and trucks do, and phase-out the use of outdated diesel engines that poison the air.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee managed to pass only a gutted version of a bill to take dirty diesel engines out of Oregon, but chief sponsor Sen.

Greenlick’s Bill to Reform CCOs, Mandate Public Meetings Moves out of Committee

The House Health Committee chairman has tried for four years to subject the state’s Medicaid-backed coordinated care organizations to public meetings law. HB 2122 will do that, as well as ensure reserves are spent on health-related expenses and investments, and will require any new CCOs to be non-profit.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, has shepherded out of his committee a bill designed to reform the state’s coordinated care organizations.

Nosse Prescription Drug Price-Setting Bill Survives Filing Deadline

A more thorough fiscal analysis of HB 2387 will be conducted in the Committee on Ways & Means. The amended version sets up an account for drug manufactures to issue rebates for excessively priced drugs, which will be used to repay health insurers.

A bill regulating the price of medications in Oregon passed out of the House Health Committee by its filing deadline Monday, ensuring that the groundbreaking legislation will live to see another day.

Oregon House Approves Account to Phase Out Dirty Wood Stoves

The account will open with no dollars attached -- awaiting passage of another bill with funding from the state or private sources.

The House passed a bill 54-4 on Wednesday, setting up a Residential Solid Fuel Heating Air Quality Improvement Fund, which will give grants to homeowners and others to help them switch away from dirty wood stoves to cleaner sources of heating.

Legislators Work to Pass Mental Healthcare Bill of Rights for Deaf Community

Deaf individuals and their supporters report a tremendous dearth of mental health services for people who use sign language, leaving this group of people exceedingly isolated. HB 3415 would task the Oregon Health Authority with coordinating services and making sure the state has enough mental health providers who can communicate with the deaf.

Imagine living every day surrounded by neighbors and family members who cannot understand your language. Then imagine being shut out of counseling or talk therapy because few behavioral health providers speak that language, either.


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