State hospital tax could be renewed to plug new hole in Oregon Health Plan (Oregon Live)

November 11, 2012 – Six months after rescuing the state budget with a $1.9 billion pact for federal health funding, Gov. John Kitzhaber has been working behind the scenes to plug a hole in next year’s Oregon Health Plan budget, in part by renewing the state’s hospital tax.  The problem? The federal pact will chip in $910 million to Oregon’s 2013-15 budget, but it won’t make up for the expiration of the hospital tax and insurance tax next October. Not only that, but federal stimulus money ran out last year. That leaves the state staring at a roughly $900 million hole. In recent years the state relied on those taxes and stimulus of about $800 million to pay its share of the Oregon Health Plan; the rest – nearly two-thirds of medical costs – came from federal matching funds. Before that, the state share relied mainly on discretionary general fund – the money from corporate and income taxes.

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