Legislators Close to Deal on Provider Tax
April 30, 2009 -- Sen. Alan Bates (D-Ashland) expects to announce a deal next week that will settle months of debate on taxing hospitals and health insurers to expand the Oregon Health Plan.
Bates, who is among four lawmakers privy to the negotiations, would not disclose details but said the deal is very close. He’s been meeting behind closed doors with Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), Reps. Mary Nolan (D-Portland) and Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) to wrap up the negotiations.
Hospitals and health insurers won’t try to game the system for more money, he added. “Everyone’s on the same page saying this thing has got to be brought under control. A growing number of people are becoming uninsured. Our economy is collapsing. We’ve got to get together and drive this in the right direction, which has made it possible to have a reasonable discussion about provider taxes both with commercial insurers and the hospitals. We don’t want to hurt anybody. We won’t bring a plan out that everyone doesn’t support inside and outside the building.”
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