Brown says half-million could lose health insurance

The American Health Care Act is the proposed replacement for "Obamacare"

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown outlines her 2016 policy agenda at a press conference at the State Capitol in Salem, Ore., on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Molly J. Smith /Statesman-Journal via AP)
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown outlines her 2016 policy agenda at a press conference at the State Capitol in Salem, Ore., on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Molly J. Smith /Statesman-Journal via AP)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Gov. Kate Brown says nearly half a million Oregonians may lose health insurance by 2026 under the federal health care overhaul proposal, beginning next year with 80,000 people losing coverage.

That could triple the rate of uninsured Oregonians to 15 percent as premiums for older individuals could increase fivefold and roughly 23,000 health workers may lose their jobs.

Brown and state health officials said Thursday most of the 465,000 total coverage losses will occur under the state’s Medicaid program, called the Oregon Health Plan, beginning in 2020.

Brown said the American Health Care Act would also fundamentally alter the state program and shift $2.6 billion in total Medicaid costs to Oregon between 2020 and 2023, which will force state health and benefit cutbacks at a time when Oregon’s upcoming budget already faces a $1.6 billion-funding crisis.