State News

The Oregon Senate is trying to take the lead in implementing Obamacare

TEA Note:  This post is out of date, but most of the essential wording is now law.  Here is what was said back in April:

 After reviewing SB 99 we copied the sections that almost guarantee a huge bureaucracy, increased union membership, PERS benefits and a wedge between you and your doctor.  Here it is:

Senate Bill 99:  The Oregon Health Insurance Exchange

SUMMARY:  Requires Oregon Health Authority to establish Oregon Health Insurance Exchange as public corporation to be governed by board of  directors. Specifies functions and duties.  Establishes Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Corporation as public corporation to be governed by board of directors and supervised by executive director. Specifies duties, functions and powers of corporation.

Sections 4 thru 8 establish a 9-member board of directors with broad powers, including establishing any number of advisory and/or technical committees. 

Section 9 provides for an executive director who, of course, must staff the organization with employees who automatically are enrolled in PERS.  Here is the exact language:

With respect to the Public Employees Retirement System, employees of the corporation shall be considered employees for purposes of ORS chapter 238 and eligible employees for purposes of ORS chapter 238A.

And, of course…

Employees of the corporation may participate in collective bargaining in accordance with ORS 243.650 to 243.782. 

Now, read the following and wonder what they are thinking…

Provide to the federal government:

(A) Information regarding individuals determined to be exempt from the individual responsibility requirement of section 5000A of the

Internal Revenue Code;

(B) Information regarding employees who have reported a change in employer;

(C) Information regarding individuals who have ended coverage during a plan year; and

(D) Any other information necessary to comply with federal requirements.

Then, if the Oregon statute fails to get the job done according to the federal government, guess what?

SECTION 13…  In all cases where federally granted funds are involved and the applicable federal laws, rules and regulations conflict with any provision of sections 1 to 11 and 13 to 23 of this 2011 Act, or require additional conditions not required under state statute, the applicable federal requirement governs…

And, of course, your personal medical information may be disclosed…

SECTION 15…  In order to assist in the performance of the executive director’s duties, the executive director may: (a) authorize the sharing of confidential documents, materials or other information that is subject to subsection (1) of this section within the corporation and subject to any conditions on further disclosure, for the purpose of carrying out the duties and functions of the  corporation or complying with federal health insurance exchange requirements…

At least part of the cost will be charged to insurance companies who will pass the cost on to you…

SECTION 17.  The Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Corporation board of directors shall establish, and the corporation shall impose and collect, an administrative charge from all insurers and state programs participating in the health insurance exchange in an amount sufficient to cover the costs of grants to navigators certified under section 3 of this 2011 Act and to pay the administrative and operational expenses of the corporation in carrying out sections 1 to 11 and 13 to 23 of this 2011 Act… 

But you will want to get on the gravy train:

SECTION 19…  In carrying out the duties, functions and powers imposed by law upon the corporation, the corporation board of directors or the executive director of the corporation may contract with any state agency or other qualified person or entity for the performance of such duties, functions and powers as the board or executive director considers appropriate.

 And, finally, the sky is falling.  We cannot wait for the Supreme Court to decide on constitutional issues…

SECTION 29Emergency clause. This 2011 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2011 Act takes effect on its passage.

 

TEA Comment:  First, we took things out of context in a manner similar to quoting an amendment to the Constitution.  Second, State Senator Jeff Kruse takes credit for writing major parts of this legislation.  Good grief.


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