affordable care act

Senate to Vote to Dissolve Cover Oregon as Early as Next Week

State plans to continue use of the federal website, but other functions will still be housed in the Department of Consumer & Business Services. The drafters of Senate Bill 1 have proposed language to make it clear that despite closing the independent agency, Oregon still maintains enough control over its insurance exchange to withstand a potentially fatal blow from the Supreme Court to Obamacare in most of the country.

A bill to close down Cover Oregon and roll the remaining responsibilities for the state health insurance exchange into the Department of Consumer & Business Services should head to the Senate floor as early as next week.

Greenlick Wants Free Comprehensive Colon Screenings; Insurers Want Delay

A relatively new colon cancer screening is cheap, effective and can be done at home, but sometimes insurance companies charge consumers for a follow-up colonoscopy if they’ve already paid for a fecal immunochemical test. HB 2560 would give consumers the guarantee that both tests would be free and encourage them to get tested.

An easy, relatively new test has the potential to greatly increase the number of people who receive screenings for colon cancer, thereby catching the presence of the disease early, when it still stands a high chance of eradication.

Smith Warner Promotes Public Funding for Healthcare Study

A private study of the best way to provide universal healthcare in Oregon has foundered for lack of funds. The study was sanctioned in 2013 to rely on private funding; with little materializing, legislators such as Sen. Michael Dembrow and Rep. Barbara Smith Warner are asking for an extended deadline and public funding.

Two years ago, the Legislature authorized an examination of universal healthcare, but asked the private sector to pick up the tab. That effort foundered when donors -- and dollars -- failed to materialize.

CCO’s keep up their balancing act

Latest OHA report on key performance metrics says that growth in spending remains in check as Medicaid rolls climb to nearly 1 million across Oregon. Toughest problems still hard to change.

Oregon’s coordinated care organizations continue to manage a delicate balance: keeping costs down at the same time they are providing coverage to more and more Medicaid patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Oregon Hospitals Outperform in Second Quarter

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With their finances looking stronger than ever, the hospitals may realize they need to boost their image, so their trade association has launched a public relations push that’s airing on OPB.

Oregon’s hospitals are healthier than ever – with much higher profit margins, and witnessed a stupendous drop in charity care while their net patient revenue soared, regardless of whether they actually billed for services or received capitated payments.

Why Vermont Failed to Enact Single Payer?

Its collapse was a legislative failure, according to this author, which Oregon legislators deserve support so the same problem doesn't befall us.

OPINION -- Drawing unwanted national attention to his tiny state, Governor Peter Shumlin pronounced Vermont’s quest for universal health care Dead On Arrival.

Heavy Excise Tax Looms for OEBB and School Districts Without Changes

If school districts and OEBB keep the status quo, the Affordable Care Act will hit them with taxes of $11 million in 2018 and nearly $16 million in 2020. But if districts restructure the premiums paid by individuals and families, and if OEBB sees savings from a coordinated care approach in its new contract, that tax could be limited to $600,000 to $700,000 a year.

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board could be forced to pay some steep excise taxes to the federal government by the end of the decade, and while there are steps that could be done both at the state level and by individual school districts to decrease the tax owed, the health plan likely cannot avo


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