In recognition of the unprecedented health care crisis caused by COVID, OBI supports legislation that both ensures stable access to high-quality health care for Oregonians and reduces the total cost of care. As employers recover from the pandemic, policymakers should seek to stabilize Oregon’s economic environment, including its health-care system, by providing time for affected entities to adjust to the recent Oregon Health Plan expansion and related measures.


Policy Objectives

Health Care Disparities: OBI recognizes that all Oregonians are not served equally in our state health care system. We support legislative efforts to evaluate and address disparities across the health care system.

Access and Quality: OBI will promote efforts to improve access to high-quality health care while controlling costs.  We support efforts to reduce medical errors and expand the use of Oregon’s Early Discussion and Resolution program. OBI supports efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of expanded telehealth and scope-of-practice policies that proved to be effective during the COVID pandemic.

Employer Costs: OBI supports policies that enhance health-care coverage of the underinsured without shifting costs to employers. We will seek to protect ERISA provisions for self-insured plans and defend employer health plans against efforts to tax premiums and claims. OBI will oppose proposals that may raise the cost of insurance or prescription.

Public Option: OBI recognizes the need to expand access to care for people who don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to pay for coverage otherwise. However, legislators should avoid coverage and delivery options that impose additional fees or taxes on employers. Any public option proposal must include adequate time for input and discussion.

Oregon Health Plan: The Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) must have adequate, sustainable and broad-based funding. Because such funding is a product of a healthy economy, lawmakers must avoid raising additional money from businesses struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic.

Tobacco Use: OBI supports a comprehensive approach to decreasing the state’s tobacco use, including chewing tobacco and e-cigarette use.

Association Health Plans: OBI supports the preservation and expansion of employer private market options such as association health plans.


Gayle Evans, Unitus Community Credit Union

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