OBA 2011 Legislative Agenda – Health Policy

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Access, Quality and Cost-Control

The rising cost of health care and health insurance is an unsustainable burden on Oregon businesses and families. New federal legislation will require all citizens to have health insurance benefits or face penalties starting in 2014, it is essential that Oregon find a way to reduce costs while maintaining access and quality.

Oregon Health Insurance Exchange

Oregon Business Association believes that the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange should provide transparency for the public and have access, quality and cost-control as priorities.

  • The exchange should be dual-market to allow individuals and small groups to purchase plans inside the exchange and outside the exchange. This option increases competition and innovation, and makes the exchange prove its value.
  • The exchange should be open to employers of all sizes following the federal timeline, to offer the greatest amount of choice (with the understanding that tax credits will not be available to employers inside the exchange who do not meet the criteria). The exchange should not include the Medicaid population, though it may be beneficial to have parallel regulations for the exchange and Medicaid.
  • The exchange should be a public corporation, not a state agency or private contract, with a skilled and qualified governing board that runs lean and is as free from political influence as possible.
  • There should be only one exchange that offers statewide and regional options.
  • The exchange will benefit from implementation on the federal timeline, simplifying the process for multi-state carriers.
  • The exchange should offer a manageable number of benefit designs in addition to the two national plans required by the federal government in order to offer choice to consumers while maintaining a simple shopping environment. OBA recommends between two and four additional plan options.
  • Any carrier who meets reasonable standards and criteria set by the governing board, including access and quality, should be allowed to offer plans within the exchange.
  • The exchange should be funded by an annual fee on consumers using the exchange, set by the governing board and dedicated solely to covering the costs of administering the exchange.


Employ cost-containment strategies such as administrative simplification and medical liability reform.