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2011 ONA Legislative Action Center

Thank you for everyone's work on various action items.  Stay tuned for updates!

Oregon House Passes Health Insurance Exchange

Earlier this week the Oregon House passed SB 99, which directs the state to develop a business plan for Oregon’s Health Insurance Exchange, which has the potential to help up to 350,000 Oregonians access quality affordable health insurance. This bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for final approval.

ONA remains concerned that SB 99 may not have the ability to negotiate on cost—as large businesses already do—and be able to offer Oregon consumers and small businesses a better deal. We remain committed to continuing to work with the state as they develop the business plan to ensure that the Exchange best meets the needs of Oregonians.

Important Update on SB 858: Payment Parity for NPs in Independent Practice

Thank you so much for all of the calls and emails to Oregon Legislators urging them to support SB 858, which would require insurers to reimburse Nurse Practitioners in independent practice the same rate as physicians when they provide the same services.

Legislators have reported getting calls and emails from NP’s all over the state, and your work definitely helped highlight the importance and impact of this issue.

Unfortunately, this bill will not be moving forward this legislative session.

While this is disappointing in the short term, please know that ONA and NPO remain committed to and engaged in this work.

The Co-Chairs of the House Health Care Committee have acknowledged that payment parity for Nurse Practitioners is an issue worthy of discussion, particularly as we transition to a health care system that aims to focus on primary and preventive care. We fully anticipate that the committee will consider similar legislation when the February 2012 legislative session convenes.

We will be working to advance this discussion during the legislative interim, and will keep you posted on developments.

Past and Other Legislative Action News

SB 695 - Banning BPA 

SB 695 bans bisphenol A, a chemical that has been linked to cancers, endocrine system disorders, and other health issues, from baby bottles, sippy cups and reusable water bottles. This legislation also requires the state’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) Program offer only BPA free formula, and it establishes the Oregon BPA-Free Advisory Group to help Oregon companies that want to be BPA free capitalize on the market advantage of offering BPA-Free products.

This bill passed the Senate in April with a strong bipartisan majority, and support from the health care community, including ONA, and the environmental community.

Unfortunately, this bill is stalled in the Oregon House, and wasn’t scheduled for a work session in committee. This means that the bill is dead, unless a majority of House Members indicate that they would like the opportunity to vote on it.

We need your help: Please take a few minutes today to call your State Representative and ask them to sign the discharge petition for SB 695. If 31 State Representatives sign on, SB 695 will come to the floor of the Oregon House for an up or down vote.

SB 99 - Creating Oregon’s Health Insurance Exchange

Federal Health Reform requires each state to have a Health Insurance Exchange, which will allow consumers and small businesses to compare health insurance plans, purchase coverage, and access federal tax credits that they may qualify for. Oregon has the opportunity to create a strong Exchange, with the power to offer consumers and small businesses a better deal by setting standards for included plans that can prioritize primary and preventive care, and to negotiate on cost. Unfortunately, the current version of this Legislation specifically prohibits the exchange from negotiating on cost. The Senate has already passed this bill, and it’s currently in the House Health Care Committee, which has the ability to improve it.

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