A group of four Democrats and one Republican discussed their policy ideas in Portland on Wednesday, but aside from a few modest proposals for the upcoming February session, goals from single-payer to improved consumer product safety and better Medicaid regulations may wait until 2017 and beyond.
A new law that will expand the state home care Medicaid registry onto the open market has some private agencies who offer this kind of care worried that the state is butting in on their business.
Other observers maintain that the public option will have little or no effect on their ability to provide quality care to seniors.
The Senate voted Tuesday to make it easier for small businesses to provide self-insured health coverage for their employees, eliminating a barrier that kept those employers from buying stop-loss coverage.
Sen. Alan Bates has pushed a bill that will help eliminate unnecessary trips to the drug store by allowing pharmacists to develop prescription drug plans with patients when chronic medications are refilled on the same date each month. The coordination of drug refills should save money and lives by making it easier for patients to adhere to their medication regimens.
Portland clinic chain ZoomCare pushed a bill with the Telehealth Alliance of Oregon to require private insurance companies to pay for Skype diagnoses, but the hospital association succeeded in delaying the bill for another session. If the law were enacted, its members could end up with fewer emergency room visits, and a significant loss of revenue.
Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, released a bill Tuesday that could allow parents who qualify for Cover Oregon subsidies to take their kids out of the Oregon Health Plan and instead buy subsidized insurance on the exchange for them.
Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, has proposed a bill that would mandate that dentists test the cleanliness of their equipment weekly, but forgive dentists who have been disciplined and fined by the board for overlooking a rule ordered by the Board of Dentistry.