Senate Bill 1542

Private Homecare Agencies Worry About Competition from State

Some businesses that offer in-home care services have grave concerns about their ability to compete with the state’s home care workers, which nearly derailed SB 1542. But the leader of the Oregon Health Care Association believes that the state won’t be able to compete with his agencies’ cheaper, more comprehensive services.

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.

Republicans Stage Fight Over Expanded Home Care Commission

After a personal appeal from Sen. Bates to Sen Winters, SB 1542 skirted through the Senate Wednesday, giving senior citizens a public option to meet their long-term care needs. If the House agrees, the Home Care Commission would expand beyond its Medicaid clientele to serve people paying for in-home caregivers with their own money.

Editor's Note: Deschutes County has several private home care agencies. An earlier version of this article mistakenly said there were no home care agencies in part of Sen. Tim Knopp's district, but his district is entirely in Deschutes County. We regret the error.

Dembrow Wants to Stop Employers from Cutting Hours Due to Obamacare

Senate Bill 1543 died in committee, but it would have prevented employers from reducing employee hours below 30 to avoid giving them health coverage, as required by the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, a bill expanding Oregon’s successful Home Care Commission from Medicaid to the general population and the bill requiring disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products passed the Senate Health Committee.

Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, pushed a bill that would fix a serious negative and unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act -- large corporations scaling back employee hours to avoid providing them with health insurance.

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