Oregon’s New Health Care Taxes Are Unjustifiable


Soon after the Oregon Legislature passed a bill expected to generate $550 million of tax revenue to help pay for Medicaid, the state found nearly 45% of all Medicaid recipients are currently ineligible to receive health care benefits.

The bill imposes a sales tax on health insurance premiums and hospital revenue that will be borne by Oregonians. For example, 217,000 people in the individual market and over 11,000 college students who buy their own health insurance are among the hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who will pay. Local Oregon school districts will pay some $25 million and community colleges will likely be forced to raise tuition costs, all because of these new taxes.

If the state hadn’t awarded Medicaid benefits to over 37,000 unqualified people, costing $191,000,000, wasted over $300,000,000 on the failed Cover Oregon insurance exchange website, or spent an additional $166,700,000 on another failed IT system, even proponents of these new sales taxes would have had a hard time justifying them.

Fortunately, Rep. Julie Parrish (R) and two other state legislators are gathering signatures to refer these taxes to the ballot at what might be a January special election. They need almost 59,000 voter signatures by October 5th to qualify for the ballot.

To help hold Oregon’s political leaders and health care bureaucracies responsible, download and sign a petition at StopHealthCareTaxes.com.

Lydia White is a Research Associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.
Founded in 1991, Cascade Policy Institute is Oregon’s premier policy research center. Cascade’s mission is to explore and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity.

www.cascadepolicy.org info@cascadepolicy.org


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1 Comment

  1. Misha Williams on

    So typical of the Tax and Spend liberal politicians…They find it much easier to pass a bill imposing more taxes instead of combating waste, fraud and abuse in the system.

    Our state would have plenty of money if we were not taking a ‘kinder-gentler’ approach to those who do not pay their state taxes and if we hired people at revenue who really wanted to work!

    When my husband worked at Revenue in 2007-08, there was a 3-billion outstanding liability. The collectors in his office spent most of their time taking extra long lunches and breaks and with no drug-testing required, were often stoned at work! He actually got in trouble by his boss and was blackballed out of his job for finding and billing millions in overdue taxes in just over 6 months! They said he was ‘working too hard’, when in fact he was just following his training and didn’t even break a sweat. Long story short – he made his boss and the other slackers (who spent more time campaigning for Obama than they did working) in his office look bad and that was not acceptable.

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