The following is a statement by Andy Davidson, president and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, regarding the outcome of the state and national elections and the impacts on health care:
With last night's election results, serious questions are before us concerning the ability to continue Oregon's health care transformation efforts. With the failure of Ballot Measure 97 and the discussion in Congress about substantial changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we believe there is a monumental challenge facing Oregon's Medicaid program for the 2017-2019 biennium and beyond.
As such, we strongly encourage the Governor and Legislature to come together to build a realistic model to appropriately fund the Medicaid program – which provides health care access for more than 1 million Oregonians – 25 percent of our state's population. In the absence of a frank conversation about what we can afford in Oregon and the challenges facing the ACA at the federal level, we risk our collective progress on health care transformation.
Since 2004, Oregon's hospitals have willingly taxed themselves to ensure the Medicaid program's sustainability. Through that hospital tax, we generate 23 percent of the total funds spent on the entire program. Oregon's hospitals are proud to have continuously worked with both sides of the aisle in developing solutions in difficult times. And that work has not always been easy.
While last night's elections create more questions than answers, we stand ready to partner with all state officials, legislative leaders and stakeholders to find a viable solution for Oregon's Medicaid program. Our state's collective effort to provide health insurance coverage to Oregon's most vulnerable children and families is a cornerstone of helping our fellow Oregonians break the cycle of poverty.