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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Health Care Provider Tax Opponents Turn In Ample Signatures

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Chris Lehman
/
Northwest News Network

A group trying to overturn a recently created health care tax turned in more than enough signatures Thursday to send the issue to Oregon voters.

The group is led by three Republican state representatives. They turned in more than 84,000 signatures. They needed around 59,000. The state elections division has a month to determine whether enough are valid for the referendum to make the ballot.

Supporters of the tax on hospitals and insurance companies say overturning it would strip health care coverage from 350,000 low-income Oregonians.

Rep. Julie Parrish disputes that number. And she said higher health care taxes will be passed on to middle-class families.  ?

“There’s another population of people who could lose their health care,” Parrish said. “It’s the people who are paying full freight for their own health care.”  ?

If enough signatures are valid, the tax would go before Oregon voters on January 23.