Governor Kate Brown announced that AARP Oregon State Director Ruby Haughton-Pitts will join a group of experts on a committee to control the cost of health care for Oregonians. The committee will set an annual target for health care spending growth and recommend enforcement tools to hold the health care system accountable for meeting the target.
“All Oregonians should have access to the health care services they need to live healthy and productive lives,” said Governor Brown. “Oregon’s community-based approach to health care, which covers 94 percent of adults and 100 percent of Oregon children, is a model for the nation. But if we do not control the rising costs of health care, too many Oregon families, particularly those in historically underserved communities, will again find the care they need is beyond their reach.”
Research shows that Oregonians pay more for health care and have higher deductibles than residents in other states. Between 2010 and 2016, Oregon household income grew by 15 percent, while employer-sponsored health care premiums grew by 25 percent and deductibles for families grew by 77 percent. Oregon has the third-highest health insurance deductibles in the country and is in the top ten highest states for family budgets spent on out-of-pocket hospital costs.
Oregon has already established a 3.4 percent growth rate for public programs, but there isn’t a similar target for the private market, where almost half of Oregonians get their health insurance.
“I’m honored to serve on behalf of AARP’s 500,000+ members and the Oregonians 50+ and their families that are in need of relief from the high cost of healthcare," said Haughton-Pitts.
This citizen and stakeholder led implementation committee, selected by Governor Brown and under the supervision of the Oregon Health Policy Board, was established by Senate Bill 889, passed during the 2019 legislative session. In addition to setting an annual target for costs, the committee will also provide recommendations for the Legislature to adopt in 2021 on how entities with unreasonable cost increases will be held accountable.
The Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target is modeled after a program in Massachusetts that has saved $5.5 billion for consumers between 2013 and 2016. Rhode Island and Delaware have also adopted similar programs.
Implementation Committee for Oregon’s Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target program:
This story is provided by AARP Oregon. Visit the AARP Oregon page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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