Oregon's Health Care Crisis
Oregon’s health care system is in crisis. The numbers are staggering:
- One in six Oregonians does not have health insurance.
- In 2007, health care costs for the uninsured rose a staggering 530% to $876 million over ten years.
- Health care costs continue to rise at more than twice the rate of normal inflation.
- As much as 9% of the average Oregonian’s health care insurance premium is used to pay health care costs for people in the state who don’t have insurance.
- In 2008, employee insurance premiums at a company with 50 or fewer employees increased by 11% and the rate for individual coverage jumped nearly 18%.
Rising health care costs continue to hammer the budgets of Oregon businesses and families. And more and more Oregonians have no health insurance at all. Yet, every year Oregon leaves almost $1 billion in federal health care funds unclaimed because it does not raise the matching dollars necessary to claim the federal money. These federal dollars could be used to help fund the Oregon Health Plan, providing health care coverage to thousands of Oregonians.