oregon legislature

Insurance Tax Cost Shift All But Certain

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New tax to expand coverage to children and low-income adults will have everyone paying higher premiums

July 15, 2009 -- Employers will definitely feel the pain of an insurance tax that will help raise more than $115 billion to cover 115,000 uninsured children and low-income adults in Oregon over the next four years.

Kaufmann to Lead New Healthy Kids Office

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Advocate who led drive to insure children will now lead $11 million budget to fulfill plan

July 8, 2009 -- Cathy Kaufmann, MSW, has been tapped to lead the new office of Healthy Kids at the Department of Human Services. As the policy and communications director for Children First for Oregon, she was a strong advocate of the healthcare expansion that will provide coverage to 80,000 children during the next two years.

Nurse Staffing Effort Dies Amid Union Squabble

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The fight for nurse-to-patient staffing ratios suffered another defeat at the Oregon legislature because two unions couldn't agree

July 1, 2009 -- For the second legislative session in a row, the state’s two largest nurses unions failed to see eye to eye on the need for specific nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in hospitals.

Drug Monitoring Program Passes Despite ACLU

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At the last minute, Oregon lawmakers passed a bill to track prescriptions of controlled substances over objections from the ACLU

July 1, 2009 -- People who doctor shop for painkillers such as Oxycodone could have a difficult time getting multiple prescriptions once state officials set up a drug monitoring database. With the death of pop star Michael Jackson, this issue has dominated the headlines.

Health Net Readies Premium Increase

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On the heels of legislation aimed at reducing costs, Health Net says new laws will increase premiums

June 22, 2009 -- Governor Ted Kulongoski has yet to sign into law a provider tax (House Bill 2116) that will allow another 80,000 children and 35,000 low-income adults to become insured. Nevertheless, Health Net of Oregon plans to charge higher rates to compensate for the 1 percent premium tax.

Legislature Takes Up Prescription Monitoring Program

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A bill to track prescriptions of controlled substances faces heated opposition from the ACLU as it has in past sessions

June 17, 2009 -- People addicted to pain medications know the ropes. They go from one doctor to the next and end up with multiple prescriptions for such painkillers as Oxycodone or Vicodon.

Psychologists Prescribing Rights Headed for Work Group

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A bill to give psychologists the right to prescribe prescription drugs requires a work group to iron out differences

June 17, 2009 --Psychologists took a step forward in their ability to prescribe drugs on Monday (June 15) when the House agreed to set up a work group to iron out differences with the psychiatric community (House Bill 2702).

Compromise Beer Tax Needs Support

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It’s reality time in Salem on a beer tax to fund addiction services, police

June 16, 2009 -- The legislature could this week take up an increase in the beer tax, as proposed in House Bill 2461. Emphasis on the word could. 

Counties Embark on Mental Health Pilot Project

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Two or three counties will experiment with integrating mental and physical health organizations

June 10, 2009 -- A shock wave hit the mental health community when lawmakers talked about changing the playing field. Since February 1, 1994, when the Oregon Health Plan rolled off the block, Oregon’s counties have sat at the control tower of mental health services.

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