New white paper makes recommendations for Oregon’s public option

Media Contacts
Maribeth Guarino

Former High Value Health Care, Advocate, PIRG

PORTLAND — A new analysis by OSPIRG was released and sent to lawmakers on Tuesday with recommendations for Oregon’s public health insurance option. This white paper compares the public option policies in Washington, Colorado, and Nevada, and makes suggestions on how to make a low-cost, high-value health plan available to more Oregonians.

“We have heard countless stories of Oregonians struggling over health insurance, from sky-high premiums to inadequate coverage,” said Maribeth Guarino, OSPIRG’s Health Care Advocate. “As lawmakers are considering how to create a public option and lower consumer costs, there are plenty of lessons we can take from other states who have already done it.”

After the 2021 legislative session, state agencies are developing a proposal for the legislature to consider in 2022. The white paper, “A public option for Oregon: Health care policy lessons from other states,” advocates for a public option that:

  • is offered at least on the health insurance marketplace to individuals and small businesses
  • lowers consumer costs through administrative rate-setting and alternative payment methods
  • sets specific premium reduction targets
  • requires insurance carriers and providers to participate in the public option plan
  • prioritizes integrated primary care and other essential services to offer high-quality plans

“We are in the best place we can be to make health care work for Oregonians now. We should take every advantage to make the public option as successful as it can be,” said Guarino.

The full report can be found on our website.