Info for Legislative
Constituent Contact Teams
New guidelines here. This document, dated Aug 21, 2019, replaces all earlier versions. It also contains links to the new Elway poll showing that 62% of Oregonians polled favor a new health tax to fund universal health care.
Steps to following a bill
Go to the Oregon State Legislature website: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/
1. On the main page, glide cursor over “Bills and Laws,” and click on the year of the “…Regular Session” you are interested in, e.g., “2017” or “2018”.
2. Click on “Senate Bills” or “House Bills” and choose from the range of bill numbers listed.
3. If you know the title or subject of the bill but not its number, type the subject, e.g. “coordinated care transparency” in any search window. This may give a summary article only but may provide the bill number and the session year so you can use steps 1 and 2.
4. If you want to follow this bill online, go to the bill’s page you found in step 2 above and click on a eSubscribe icon or link at the bottom or top of the page. “Citizen Engagement” tab should pop up and give you a link, e-Subscribe to Alerts. Click on that link and scroll to the bottom of the page to see where to enter your contact information. Also, as the measure moves or is revised, these movements/changes can be seen by perusing the tabs on the measure’s page: “Overview,” “Analysis,” and “Meeting Material/Exhibits.” (These will also be emailed through the e-subscription.”
5. You can click on the names of various committees and bills to add to your e-subscription. We recommend selecting Senate Health Care Committee, House Health Care Committee, Joint Committee on Ways and Means (which is where HB 2122 is headed after House Health Care Committee), then scroll down to select other bills like HB 2115, or any others to follow. Click “Submit.” Click “Finish.”
6. You can save the any page to your browser’s bookmarks..
7. To find out which legislators are on the committee you want to follow, go to the main olis oregon (https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/) page and click on Committees, e.g., “House Committee on Health Care” hyperlink. You can click to read each member’s biography and contact information to determine whom to approach in the committee.
Summary of the RAND study on health care financing in Oregon
--by Charlie Swanson, HCAO Legislative committee chair
The RAND study found that
“Should Oregon want to achieve universal coverage, Single Payer and Health Care Ingenuity Plan (HCIP) are the most promising options.”
Single Payer (SP) would cost roughly the same as the status quo, whereas HCIP would be significantly more expensive.
SP is the only option that significantly reduces financial barriers to care.
SP is the only option for which the % of household income going to health care decreases as income decreases - all of the other options are significantly regressive.
With SP, all income groups except those above 400% of poverty level would have lower health care costs than any other option.
RAND recommends that Oregon “seek legal counsel to determine whether an ERISA challenge is likely and to assess possible steps to minimize the possibility of a successful challenge.” ERISA is a federal law protecting employee retirement and health benefits which prohibits states from interfering with health care provided by self-insured employers or multi-employer multi-state plans. Such plans cover 25% of Oregon’s population.
RAND did not appropriately examine how SP reduces administrative costs, primarily because RAND completely ignored the effect of administrative simplicity in provider offices under SP.
RAND referenced appropriate studies finding SP would lead to average administrative savings of 11% of total health care costs, but then claimed Oregon administrative savings would be only 1.7% ($600 million annually).
11% savings in Oregon would be $4 billion annually, or $3.4 billion greater than what RAND reported.
RAND assumes provider reimbursement is 10% lower with SP than the status quo, which amounts to $3.1 billion.
The extra $3.4 billion in administrative savings is greater than the $3.1 billion decrease in reimbursement, leading to a likely increase in provider net compensation on average.
Billing and insurance related activities (BIR), a significant part of administrative activity in the U.S., consume substantially more time in provider offices in the U.S. than in countries with SP.
SP administrative simplicity would allow providers either to see more patients (and thus increase compensation), spend more time with patients (thus increasing the quality of care), or spend less time in the office (leading to less burnout). All of these factors would help mitigate the expected increase in congestion due to increased demand.
Some of RAND’s financial details seem questionable, so the study does not provide us with the sound quantitative data we need to design an appropriate tax structure to finance a single payer system in Oregon. RAND also did not respond to a request to explore the possibility of the state becoming a Medicare Advantage plan provider.
A work group formed by legislators following the 2017 session could address outstanding issues regarding how best to implement an affordable, publicly funded universal healthcare system in Oregon.
Health Care for All Oregon • http://hcao.org/
+1 503 206 6709 • 1443 SE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97233 • firstname.lastname@example.org