Oregon Lawmakers Approach Adjournment

Mar 5, 2012

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers appear to be on track to wrap up their legislative session Monday evening. A budget committee approved a package of measures Monday afternoon designed to bring the current spending plan back into balance. There are no new taxes and public schools are shielded from further cuts.

Lawmakers are also on track to give Governor John Kitzhaber some legislative victories. The Oregon Senate gave final approval Monday to a measure that would create a so-called health insurance exchange.

Democratic Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson says it would allow people to make apples-to-apples comparisons between health insurance plans.

"It will not replace the health insurance system as it stands now. It will augment it," she says. "It will enhance consumer options rather than limit them. It will offer a competitive environment with many plan choices."

The concept of a health insurance exchange catering to individuals and small businesses originated with the federal health care overhaul bill passed by Congress in 2010. Washington state is also moving ahead with plans for a health insurance exchange. A coalition of business groups is lobbying the Idaho legislature to create a similar system.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network