HB 2010 Taxes Healthcare Providers, Increases Patient Costs

VOTE: NO – Governor Brown Signed

Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/HB2010
This bill increases and expands taxes on insurance providers, including a provision to rope in large companies that hadn’t been paying; and extends Oregon Reinsurance Program by extending taxes on hospitals, which can be reimbursed via federal Medicaid dollars.

Personal Choice and Responsibility
Every tax is eventually paid in premium increases. This is the ground work for universal healthcare.

Fiscal Responsibility
Secures $379 million toward filling the Medicaid funding gap. Increases assessment to insurers, managed care organizations, and PEBB to 2% through 2026. Excludes assessment from the 3.4 percent annual increase allotted per-member expenditures for health services. Extends taxes on hospitals to 2026. (Part 2 is in HB 2270 – $2-per-pack hike on cigarette taxes projected to bring in $350 million.)

Limited Government
Contains two pieces of Governor’s proposal — extended taxes on hospitals and an expanded tax on health insurers. Amended to temporarily increase net reimbursement guaranteed to Oregon Health and Science University for costs of services paid for with Medicaid funds.

Free Markets
Will be unfair to small businesses by requiring new tax on employers whose workers are on the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s version of Medicaid. For larger employers subject to the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act, this bill taxes the premiums that they are required to pay. For smaller employers that still choose to offer health care benefits on a voluntary basis, this bill drives up the cost of that coverage, potentially forcing more small employers to drop their group plans and enter into the individual market, leaving fewer group plan policyholders to fund the premium tax.

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