Oregonians Against More Healthcare Taxes Pac Opens To Refer HB 2391 to Voters


Oregonians Against More Healthcare Taxes PAC announced plans to refer to the people of Oregon for a vote House Bill 2391 which includes two new taxes on hospitals and insurance companies. The two new taxes are expected to generate $265 million dollars, a cost shift to balance the wasted healthcare funds and project failures at the Oregon Health Authority on the backs of individuals, small business and non-profit employers, college students, and K-12 school districts.

“Governor Brown and the Oregon Legislature should be ashamed of themselves for considering a tax package that will hit ratepayers with more than a quarter-billion in new taxes at the same time insurance companies are at the state asking for double digit rate increases,” stated Lindsay Berschauer, the PAC’s director.  “If politicians think that insurance companies and hospitals are going to pay this out of the goodness of their hearts, they’ve lost their minds.”

Berschauer, an individual Oregon business owner, purchases health insurance through the ACA Exchange and has been appalled by the yearly premium increases.  “The number of insurance plans available to individuals and small business owners is dwindling and yet the premiums and overall cost to obtain coverage have been increasing by double-digits each year.  I am extremely concerned about adding another layer of taxes to these plans. Lord forbid people should ever need to visit the hospital, those taxes would be passed down to us in co-pays and deductibles,” she said.

Berschauer went on to say that working-class Oregonians shouldn’t be subject to a tax while big corporations like Nike, Intel and even the insurance companies themselves get a free pass.  “The insurance premium tax will only impact about 275,000 ratepayers.  Self-insured companies and some unions will once again have carved themselves out of legislation to pay their fair share while the rest of us get stuck with the bill.”

In recent weeks, news outlets have reported hundreds of millions of dollars in agency failures on IT projects, and grift in the system that is allowing for-profit CCOs and the hospital associations to take Medicaid money off the top and convert it into political contributions.

“It’s disgusting how our tax dollars, money which should be going directly to people in need, are being syphoned off to pay for inept management or redirected to buy-off politicians for a tax vote that will hit every day Oregonians straight in their wallet,” Berschauer stated. “If politicians can’t hold themselves accountable to the people they represent, our PAC will work hard to ensure they can’t waste another dime of our hard-earned healthcare dollars.”

House Bill 2391 and a companion bill, House Bill 3391 – a bill to give $50 million dollars to insurance companies that came out of ratepayer premium increases, are headed to the House Floor today for a vote.

“We can’t stop the $50 million dollar kickback to insurance companies because of the Emergency Clause legislators slapped on the bill to restrict our ability to vote,” Berschauer stated. “But we can give it our best shot to let voters vote on a massive new tax increase that could tip the balance of whether or not they’ll be able to afford their own healthcare next year.”

Contact:  Lindsay Berschauer, 503-708-2558


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