GOP launches fight against Oregon’s new health tax

59,000 signatures needed before October 2017

Rep. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, May 2015 (KOIN)
Rep. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, May 2015 (KOIN)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Three Republicans in the Oregon House have officially launched an effort to block a multimillion-dollar health care tax to fund Medicaid before it can go into effect.

Reps. Julie Parrish, Cedric Hayden and Sal Esquivel filed initial paperwork with state elections officials on Wednesday for a voter referendum on House Bill 2391, which Gov. Kate Brown signed into law Monday.

If they can gather nearly 59,000 valid signatures before the bill goes into effect in early October, HB 2391 would be placed on hold until voters can decide its fate at the ballot in November 2018. But Democrats are working to move the vote up to January 2018 instead.

The Legislature passed the $670 million tax package on health insurers and providers to sustain coverage for more than 350,000 local Medicaid expansion recipients