Referendum addresses low-income health care

Clerk notes dates for Jan. 23 election

A special election will be held throughout Oregon on Jan. 23 — and Kim Kean, chief deputy director of Hood River County Elections, wants to get the word out now, especially to those who will need absentee ballots sent to them so they have time to make the request.

Measure 101 “approves temporary assessments to fund health care for low-income individuals and families, and to stabilize health insurance premiums,” according to the referendum text. It also will provide “temporary assessments on insurance companies, some hospitals, and other providers of insurance or health care coverage. Insurers may not increase rates on health insurance premiums by more than 1.5 percent as a result of these assessments.”

In Hood River County, out of country and military ballots will be mailed Dec. 8; out of state ballots will be mailed Dec. 26. The last day to register to vote is Jan. 2, and ballots will be mailed Jan. 3. Election day is Jan. 23.

Absentee ballot request forms are available at the Hood River County office or online at sos.oregon.gov/voting/Pages/myvote.aspx.

Measure 101 asks voters to approve or reject temporary assessments created as part of House Bill 2391, enacted by the 2017 Oregon Legislature to address certain heath care funding issues, according to the ballot measure statement. The House bill provided funding to pay costs for providing health care to low-income adults, children, families and individuals with disabilities, to stabilize premiums charged by insurance companies, and provided the funding through 1.5 percent assessments on premiums and premium equivalents.

A yes vote will approve temporary assessments on insurance companies, some hospitals, the Public Employee’s Benefit Board, and managed care organizations to provide funding for health care for low-income individuals and families, and individuals with disabilities, as well as stabilizing premiums charged by insurance companies for health insurance — insurance companies will not be able to increase rates on health insurance premiums by more than 1.5 percent as a result of the assessments.

A no vote will reject temporary assessments and either rejects for delays temporary assessments of some hospitals.

Assessments currently budgeted to fund health care for low-income individuals and families, and individuals with disabilities, and for stabilizing the costs of insurance premiums would be underfunded.



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