As both an intern for OSPIRG and an Oregonian concerned about the high cost of health care in our state, I’ve been watching HB 2010 closely as it moves through the Legislature. This bill is centered around the concept of a public option - a new insurance plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace with lower premiums and costs designed to meet the needs of folks who don’t qualify for Medicare, Medicaid or employee-sponsored insurance. To me, this seems like a great first step towards establishing truly affordable and universal care for everyone, and I’ve been excited to see how the bill has progressed.
However, as often happens in the legislative process, HB 2010 has undergone some significant changes since it was first introduced in February. Most importantly, it no longer establishes an immediate public option program. Instead, the bill’s sponsors amended it to direct state agencies to create an implementation plan that the Legislature can use in the next session to establish the program with all the potential benefits and design options for the plan. The Committee voted to adopt this amendment and pass the amended bill on the 13th.
Here’s a quick glance at how the bill ended up here and what to expect next: