Oregon legislature 2013

Gelser Forges Path Forward for Free Prenatal Care for Diabetic Women

The Lund Report
The House Health Committee unanimously approved HB 2432, requiring insurers to cover the costs that diabetic women accrue when pregnant without deductibles and copays, despite opposition by Regence BlueCross BlueShield. Rep. Sara Gelser was able to lower the fiscal impact to the Oregon Educators Benefit Board after talks with ODS

April 9, 2013 — Oregon women who get pregnant and struggle with low blood sugar may no longer struggle to seek extra prenatal care relating to diabetes after the House Health Committee voted 8-0 on Monday to require insures to cover diabetic prenatal care at no extra cost.

Bill Would Ban Pop and Junk Food in Public Vending Machines

The Lund Report
House Bill 3403 is opposed by a group of blind vendors who testified that their businesses would suffer a 50 percent cut in sales if they’re only allowed to offer healthy food products they frequently throw away after nobody buys them

April 9, 2013 — If you want to buy a Coke or a Snickers bar from a state Capitol vending machine, you’d better get yours while you can.

House Passes Bill Allowing County Cigarette Taxes

The Lund Report
Rep. Mitch Greenlick tells The Lund Report he would like the threat of county-by-county taxes to be used as leverage for a statewide cigarette tax increase, which would still assist county health departments.


April 5, 2013 — Oregon counties are one step closer to adopting their own cigarette taxes, after the House voted 31-29 to remove a statute from state law that precludes any entity but the state from taxing tobacco.

Cultural Competency Training Compromise Likely to Become Law

The Lund Report
Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer forged a bill to allow cultural competency as part of education requirements of the state medical boards, earning the support of both the Urban League and Republicans.


April 5, 2013 — Oregon took a step toward acknowledging its increasing racial diversity when the House Health Committee passed a cultural competency bill for medical professionals that heads to the House floor next week.

Tanning Lobby Wins Concessions on Teen Tan Ban

The Lund Report
Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, favors limiting the ban to 17, over the objections of the Knight Cancer Institute that 17-year-olds are most at-risk of developing melanoma from tanning beds

April 5, 2013 -- The tanning lobby won a major concession today in the Senate Health Committee, which voted to scale back a ban on carcinogenic tanning beds for minors.

Health Committee Approves Bill to Offset 2014 Premium Hikes

The Lund Report
A closed-door task force crafted HB 3458, the Oregon Reinsurance Program, after a consultant reported insurance premiums on the individual market would climb 38% next year. The program assesses insurers $4 per policy per month, a decline from current state assessments.


April 4, 2013 — The House Health Committee has unanimously passed major reinsurance legislation, designed to offset the spike in premium rates next year when insurers are required to accept thousands of sick people who had previously been denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

Courtney Wants $4.9 Million for Scholars for a Healthy Oregon

The Lund Report
Senate Bill 2 would give scholarships to 40 aspiring providers and has strong bipartisan support, but funding the program remains a question


March 28, 2013 — The Oregon Legislature is considering yet another measure to make the price of medical school more affordable, this one with the backing of Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem.

Small Pharmacies Getting Squeeze from Goliath PBMs

The Lund Report
A bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Jules Bailey and Rep. Greg Smith would regulate pharmacy benefit managers, which local pharmacists say are driving them out of business


March 27, 2013 — Central Drugs Pharmacy has been open for 110 years in downtown Portland, and it specializes in dispensing drugs for those who suffer from HIV.

Senate Gives OK to Keep Bedbug Data Secret

The Lund Report
Multnomah County asked for the exception to public records law to allow for the voluntary reporting of bedbug infestations, but Sen. Alan Bates argued landlords should be held to same standard as filthy restaurants


March 26, 2013 — A bill allowing the Multnomah County Health Department to gather data about bedbug infestations from bug exterminators, and then withhold the details of that information from the public passed the Senate on Monday, over the objections of Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford that the public has a right to know.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield Defeats Efforts to Notify Consumers about Rate Hikes

The Lund Report
Senate Bill 413 would have required insurers to inform customers of rate hikes above 7 percent, but Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson pushed for an amendment written by Regence that only requires them to let policyholders know at sign-up that such information is available on a government website


March 22, 2013 — Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, helped Regence BlueCross BlueShield and other insurers defeat a requirement that they notify consumers of pending rate hikes above 7 percent — a measure pushed by Sen. Chip Shields, D-Portland, which easily passed the Senate in the 2011 session.


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