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LARGE PRINT VOTERS’ GUIDE – SPECIAL ELECTION – JANUARY 2018


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
GENERAL INFORMATION
COUNTY ELECTIONS PHONE NUMBER LIST
BALLOT MEASURE 101
2018 LEAGUE EVENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


StarINTRODUCTION

This Nonpartisan Voters’ Guide is published by the League of Women Voters of Oregon. This is a FREE NONPARTISAN ELECTION REPORT for the Oregon January 23, 2018 Special Election. More election information is posted on our VOTEResources page.


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General Information

Check your Voter Registration. You can check, update &/or register to vote online in Oregon. Be sure to check if you have moved: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/orestar/vr/showVoterSearch.do

Important Dates: January 2: Last day to register to vote.
January 3-January 9: Ballots mailed to registered voters. If you don’t get yours, contact your county elections office.
*If you mail your ballot, remember to add more time because of our Oregon USPS site closures and rerouting.
January 23-Election Day: Last day to DROP OFF your ballot at an official drop-off site by 8:00p

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Star County Elections phone list

Click to view list

Baker ………………….541-523-8207
Benton ………………..541-766-6756
Clackamas …………..503-655-8510
Clatsop ……………….503-325-8511
Columbia …………….503-397-7214
Coos ……………………541-396-7610
Crook ………………….541-447-6553
Curry …………………..541-247-3297
Deschutes …………….541-388-6547
Douglas ……………….541-440-4252
Gilliam ………………..541-384-2311
Grant …………………..541-575-1675
Harney ………………..541-573-6641
Hood River ………….541-386-1442
Jackson ……………….541-774-6148
Jefferson ……………..541-475-4451
Josephine …………….541-474-5243
Klamath ………………541-883-5134
Lake ……………………541-947-6006
Lane ……………………541-682-4234
Lincoln ………………..541-265-4131
Linn …………………….541-967-3831
Malheur ……………….541-473-5151
Marion ….503-588-5041; 1-800-655-5388
Morrow ………………..541-676-5604
Multnomah …………..503-988-3720
Polk ……………………..503-623-9217
Sherman ……………….541-565-3606
Tillamook ……………..503-842-3402
Umatilla ……………….541-278-6254
Union …………………..541-963-1006
Wallowa …………….541-426-4543; Ext 158
Wasco ………………..541-506-2530
Washington ………..503-846-5800
Wheeler ……………..541-763-2400
Yamhill ………………503-434-7518

Secretary of State Website Listing

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BALLOT MEASURE 101

How We Research Ballot Measures

League of Women Voters members have researched and written these ballot measure reports. Researchers try to verify all factual information. We work diligently to ensure that our reports are balanced, accurate, and fair. We strive to provide the information you need to make an informed VOTE!
Our sources include:

      • Financial Impact and Explanatory Statements from the Secretary of State
      • Measure supporters and opponents summaries
      • State agencies and economists
      • Reports and published information, including current press coverage

Spoiler title

Official TitleApproves temporary assessments to fund health care for low-income individuals and families, and to stabilize health insurance premiums. Temporary assessments on insurance companies, some hospitals, and other providers of insurance or health care coverage. Insurers may not increase rates on health insurance premiums by more than 1.5% as a result of these assessments.

Referendum: Ballot Measure 101 is a veto (repeal) referendum. A veto referendum is a citizen-initiated measure addressing a law that the state legislature and governor approved. Certifying a veto referendum for the ballot requires signatures equivalent to 4% of the votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election. This veto referendum was placed on the ballot with 70,230 valid signatures.

Financial ImpactHB 2391 will produce an additional $673 million for the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) in the 2017-2019 budget cycle through state medical fund transfers and new assessments.

Although there is no direct financial effect on local government revenues, there may be an indeterminate effect on local government expenditures related to increases in associated insurance assessments. There is likely to be an indirect and indeterminate effect on the state economy and local government revenues and expenditures.

If the measure is defeated, there will be a reduction of $210-$320 million in state revenue, resulting in possible reduction of $630-$960 million in federal matching funds.

Probable results of a YES VOTEA “Yes” vote allows House Bill 2391 to go into effect in its entirety as enacted by the 2017 Oregon Legislature. It upholds specified assessments on health insurance companies, managed care organizations, the Public Employees’ Benefit Board, and some hospitals. These assessments will provide Oregon’s non-federal portion of funding for the Oregon Health Plan. Insurance companies cannot increase premiums by more than 1.5% as a result of the assessments.

Probable results of a NO VOTEA “No” vote rejects temporary assessments on health insurance companies, managed care organizations, the Public Employees’ Benefit Board, and some hospitals. Defeating ballot measure 101 will remove funding for House Bill 2391.

See the Proposal section below for details.

BackgroundThe Oregon Health Plan (OHP)—Oregon’s Medicaid program—covers about a million people, including low-income children, seniors and people with disabilities.

In 2014 the federal government’s Affordable Care Act provided federal funds to Oregon and other states to expand Medicaid coverage. As of 2017, this resulted in OHP providing coverage to 350,000 previously uninsured low-income Oregonians. Medicaid expansion includes adults not covered by an employer’s plan who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Initially, the federal government paid 100% of these expansion costs. However, starting in 2017, Oregon was required to pay 5% of the expansion costs in order to release federal funds or cover the Medicaid Expansion coverage. Oregon’s required percentage contribution will increase in 2018 to 6%, 7% in 2019, and its share will be capped at 10% in 2020 and beyond.

By the end of 2016 there was a $1.6 billion budget shortfall for Oregon’s mandated programs. Starting in January 2017, the Oregon Legislature worked with stakeholders on HB 2391 to fund the Oregon Health Plan for another 2 years to ensure that this shortfall did not cause approximately 350,000 Oregonians to lose insurance. It was signed into law on July 3rd, 2017, passed by a three-fifths majority vote (Senate: 20 to 10, House 36 to 23).

HB 2391 funds the state’s cost sharing obligation by imposing temporary (two-year) additional assessments on hospitals and health insurance companies. (Since the Medicaid healthcare provider organizations are the primary beneficiaries of federal Medicaid funding, such assessments are used in 49 states to fund health care. Oregon has used similar assessments since 2003; prior to 2014, an assessment on insurers funded Oregon’s Healthy Kids Program.)

Part of the revenues will be used as “reinsurance” for individual policy insurers, as a backstop for extraordinarily large claims. The intention is that individual market insurers will be able to lower their premiums. If this measure passes, the assessments on some hospitals will be approved, subject to the approval date by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Approval of Ballot Measure 101 will retain HB 2391 in its entirety, including the five contested sections summarized below:

SECTION 3

The Public Employees’ Benefit Board shall pay a 1.5% assessment on the gross amount of premiums equivalents received during the calendar quarter. (A “Premium equivalent” means a claim for reimbursement of the cost of a health care item or service provided to an eligible employee or family member, other than a dental or vision care item or service, and the administrative costs associated with the claim.)

SECTION 5

An insurer shall pay a 1.5% assessment of the gross amount of premiums earned by the insurer during that calendar quarter that were derived from health benefit plans delivered or issued for delivery in Oregon.

SECTION 8

Insurers may increase their premium rate on policies or certificates that are subject to the assessment (Section 5 above) by 1.5%. and increase its rates up to 1.5%, and may include a notice in its billings.

SECTION 9

A managed care organization shall pay a 1.5% assessment of the gross amount of premium equivalents received during that calendar quarter.

SECTION 27

In addition to existing assessments, a 0.7% assessment is imposed on the net revenue of each hospital in Oregon that is not a waivered hospital (such as public hospitals).

ProposalBallot Measure 101 contests certain sections of HB 2391 as passed by the Legislative Assembly. A “yes” vote on Ballot Measure 101 would uphold HB 2391 and retain the assessments.  A “no” vote would overturn sections 3, 5, 8, 9, and 27 of HB 2391. Removal of these sections eliminates the funding for HB 2391.

Supporters Say:

  • Hospitals, insurers, nurses, doctors and consumer groups all supported the financing package, which passed the Legislative Assembly by a three-fifths majority. Seventy-five civic and health care organizations so far have signed on to support Ballot Measure 101.
  • HB 2391 protects health insurance coverage for about 350,000 Oregonians (1 in 4) on the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid). Without funding, uninsured low income Oregonians will lose preventative care and may end up in the emergency room, causing everyone’s premiums to go up again.
  • HB 2391 protects the 94% federal share of the funds for Oregon’s Medicaid program. Federal money provides three quarters of the funding for the Oregon Health Plan.
  • HB 2391 protects the 210,000 Oregonians, who buy their own insurance, from rising costs in health insurance premiums.
  • With lower individual market premiums and more Oregonians insured, fewer medical bills end up unpaid, lowering future premiums for everyone.

Opponents Say:

  • Rejecting the taxes will force lawmakers to get more creative and find other ways to cut costs when it comes to providing health care for low-income Oregonians.
  • The fiscal impact analysis is based on forecasts which are speculative and not quantifiable; Oregon should not assume that the federal contribution will continue.
  • HB 2391 assessments represent a cost shift from the Oregon General Fund to Medicaid; the assessments will cost the General Fund $12 million for the Public Employees Benefit Board and $25 million for the Oregon Educators Benefit Board that will be collected from local school boards, depriving funds for other agencies and services.
  • HB 2391 assessments are not applied fairly, as small group insurers are assessed, while large corporations, unions, and insurance companies are not.
  • HB 2391 increases the cost of private insurance for 217,000 Oregonians who purchase health insurance inside or out of the health exchange, as well as 11,681 college student healthcare plans, and 50,500 employers who employ 50 people or less.


Star2018 League Events

For a complete and updated list of our events, visit: www.lwvor.org/join us/events-calendar/

Roseburg – M101 Voter Education Session
Thursday, December 21
2:00pm – 2:45pm
Umpqua Valley Arts Center, 1624 W. Harvard Ave, Roseburg, OR 97471
Event contact: Jenny Carloni – jennifer.carloni@gmail.com – 541-672-1914

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This non partisan Voters’ Guide is published by The League Of Women Voters® of Oregon. Please join us in encouraging informed and active participation of citizens in government. Tax-deductible donations may be made to the League of Women Voters of Oregon at: http://lwvor.org/donate/.

Our membership is open to men and women. If you are interested, we’ll send you membership information. There are Leagues in many communities around the state. Send your name, address, phone number and email address to:

503-581-5722 – www.lwvor.org
1330 12th St. SE, Suite 200
Salem, OR 97302

VOTEResources TEAM

  • 1st VP, Voter Service & Education – Rebecca Gladstone
  • Administrative Manager – Sarah Andrews
  • Research and Support Team – Vernadene Anderson, Jane Berry-Eddings, Diana Bodtker, Bea Epperson, Rebecca Gladstone, Sally Hollemon, Josie Koehne, Margaret Noel
  • Voters’ Guide Layout – Sarah Andrews

Benefactors VG 2016

Benefactors ($6,000+)
Carol and Velma Saling Foundation
Vernier Software and Technology
League of Women Voters Members

Supporters since 2015 ($1,000- $5,000)
Debbie Aiona
Dorothy Anderson
Alice Bartelt
Jean Bottcher
Heather Drake
Becky and Igor Gladstone
Mary Hepokoski
Kris Hudson
Claudia Keith
Ruth Kistler
Paula Krane
Karan Kuntz
Betty Mack
Margaret and Gordon Noel
Betsy Pratt
Merilyn Reeves
Karen Taylor
Norman Turrill
Chris and Daryl Vogel
Veronika and Jerry Walton

Paid for by the League of Women Voters® of Oregon. Thank you for taking the time to read this important information.



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