Chris Gray

Sen. Kruse Quits the Senate in Sexual Harassment Scandal

Finally bowing to months of public pressure, the longtime health policy leader resigned his state Senate seat, effective March 15, after four female lawmakers, along with female lobbyists and staff members, accused him of unwanted touching.

Roseburg’s Republican Sen. Jeff Kruse is out.

Nurses Association Supports Drive to Amend Constitution

Red-shirted citizen activists of Health Care for All Oregon packed the hearing room in a special evening meeting of the House Health Committee to lend support to Rep. Mitch Greenlick’s ballot push to declare healthcare a fundamental right for Oregonians.

As she testified Wednesday night, Carolanne Fry said it should’ve been her mother’s 53rd birthday. Instead, it was the third anniversary of her funeral, her life cut short of cancer, a condition she only learned of a few months before her death.

Consumers Unlikely to Notice Federal Insurance Tax Relief

The repeal of the individual mandate is expected to sabotage the market and cause rates to climb higher than any reduction from the repeal of the health insurance provider fee for 2019.

The deal to reopen the federal government last week included a suspension of a national health insurance premium tax, but the quashing of the individual mandate in the Republicans’ massive tax cut last month will likely jack up 2019 premiums by a higher percentage than what consumers will save fr

Kaiser Faces Pressure from State after Public Employee Health Plan Deemed Inefficient

Despite some success in keeping costs down since 2012, the state’s public employee plans are not significantly outperforming nationwide figures, and its legacy Providence plan, which has not adopted coordinated care reforms, was the most efficient plan in eight of Oregon’s 20 largest counties.

Kaiser Permanente should be prepared for increased scrutiny of its premiums and health spending priorities for public employees after a report Tuesday that showed it was easily the least efficient of the health insurers that contract with the Public Employees Benefit Board.

Health Leaders Say Time is Up for FamilyCare After Years Long Feud

In an interview with The Lund Report, Rep. Mitch Greenlick and House Speaker Tina Kotek said they tried to work with the state’s second-largest Medicaid provider as it struggled to live within its rates, but the CCO would not reform. Heatherington, defiant to the end, cried “bull----.”

The state’s Democratic leaders are disappointed at the collapse of FamilyCare, but in a lengthy interview, they told The Lund Report that it is now time to move forward by closing down the Portland Medicaid health plan at the end of January and transferring its members to other coordinated care o

Oregon Sets New Obamacare Record, Despite Shorter Enrollment Period

People whose health insurance plan stopped being offered last week will have until March 1 to pick a new one. These are health plans that were sold in 2017 but not 2018.

Oregon exceeded expectations in its open enrollment period for 2018 individual health plans sold on healthcare.gov -- cresting above 156,000 plans, a slight increase over a year ago and higher than all previous years since Obamacare took effect in 2014.

Oregon ABLE Program Enrolls More than 1,000 People with Disabilities

Modeled on the popular 529 college savings accounts, the program allows people with disabilities and their families to save money and receive a debit card without losing their benefits.

The Oregon ABLE savings program for people with disabilities opened accounts for more than 1,000 people, who collectively saved $3.4 million, taking advantage of changes to federal rules that allow people to save without losing their benefits.

Greenlick Wants Oregon to Step into Void on Healthcare Improvement

With the federal government in retreat, a new task force of insurers, healthcare providers and single-payer activists will debate ways Oregon can take the lead toward universal healthcare and a more equitable system of providing quality care to all Oregonians, regardless of income or employment status.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, has launched a universal healthcare taskforce, dedicated to the goal of incremental improvement of the healthcare system to make it fairer and more cost-effective.

PEBB Shows Slight Surplus for 2017, Keeping Costs Below Inflation Cap

Actuaries reported a $5.2 million surplus in the Oregon public employees self-insured health plan for 2017, as it stayed below budget and under the 3.4 percent inflation cap imposed by the Legislature.

The Public Employees Benefit Board is on track to come in below its inflation target for 2017, allowing it to add a small $5.2 million surplus to its reserve.

Oregon Borrows from Medicaid as Congress Fiddles on Children’s Health

Rep. Greg Walden said Tuesday that he will insist that CHIP funding is attached to the continuing resolution that will keep the entire government opened after Dec. 22.

Oregon has found a way to borrow $35 million from its Medicaid program to cover 120,000 children and 1,700 pregnant immigrant women who are covered through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, allowing them to maintain coverage through April despite the ongoing failure of Congress to reauthor

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