Oregon health care tax plan heads to Gov. Brown

$670 million health care tax package has officially passed the Oregon Legislature

Getting information at an Emergency Room (Graphiq, file)
Getting information at an Emergency Room (Graphiq, file)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A $670 million health care tax package has officially passed the Oregon Legislature and now heads to Gov. Kate Brown.

Lawmakers in the Oregon Senate gave final approval on Wednesday in a 20-10 bipartisan vote. The package raises tax revenue from hospitals and insurers over the next two years so that 350,000 low-income Medicaid recipients won’t lose health care and a newly-built psychiatric hospital with hundreds of patients and workers won’t be shut down.

House Bill 2391 is also one of the most important pieces of legislation lawmakers need to finish writing the 2017-19 budget that begins July 1 and must be balanced no later than July 10.

More specifically, it closes the upcoming $1.4 billion shortfall by about one-third.