News Release

Oregon Health Reform Plan Takes on Rising Costs

OSPIRG Analysis Finds $5.4 Billion in Potential Savings

Consumer and small business leaders gathered together just before the Oregon Health Fund Board’s final public hearing to call attention to the Board’s efforts to make health care more affordable for Oregonians. The advocates also urged the Board to rein in the high cost of health care by making the final plan even stronger.

“The Oregon Health Fund Board’s recently released a draft health care reform plan is heading in the right direction. It's good news for consumers that the plan proposes cutting costs, not by cutting care, but by cutting waste,” said Colleen McCann, Consumer Associate for OSPIRG.

At the event, OSPIRG released a new analysis, More for Your Money: How The Oregon Health Fund Board's Draft Health Reform Plan Reins In Skyrocketing Health Care Costs. It finds the cost containment strategies in the Oregon Health Fund Board’s draft plan could potentially save an estimated $5.4 billion in health care costs over ten years.

The draft plan proposes cutting costs by cutting waste in the health care system, boosting Oregon consumers' and taxpayers' purchasing power to negotiate better deals, and by strengthening the state's role to watchdog excessive health care costs.

Reining in the skyrocketing cost of health care couldn't come soon enough for small businesses.

"The majority of small businesses simply cannot afford the high premiums and the double digit increases that we have experienced the last 9 years,” said Christine Chin Ryan, chair of Oregon Small Business for Responsible Leadership. "Oregon officials need to act now.Health care costs are also becoming increasingly unaffordable for the average consumer.

“My husband and I are currently with one of the largest health insurance companies in the state. We have seen our insurance rates increase approximately 10% each year," said Becky Jarvis, an Aloha resident. "Yes, we are lucky to have health insurance but it is a huge financial burden.”

Implementing OSPIRG’s cost containment recommendations and strengthening those already in the draft plan would dramatically rein in costs, saving everybody money.

“Stories like Becky’s are why the Health Fund Board must be bold when it comes to holding the health care industry accountable to Oregon’s working families," said Maribeth Healey of Oregonians for Health Security. "The Board must strengthen its proposed cost-cutting measures if we are ever going to get to the point where every Oregon family can afford the care it needs.”

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