SALEM, Ore. -

Legislative counsel has determined that Oregon health officials need legislative approval to move from Cover Oregon to the federal health insurance exchange, House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) said Wednesday.

"The House Republican Office sought a legal opinion from Legislative Counsel to determine the Cover Oregon Board's authority to switch to the federal exchange," McLane said.

"As suspected, the opinion determined that Cover Oregon is not granted the legal authority to switch to the federal exchange without legislative amendments to state law," he said. "Without such legislative approval, the federal government must conclude that Cover Oregon failed to comply with federal requirements."

"After months of misleading Oregon taxpayers and disregarding questions from legislators, I am left to wonder if the Democratic leadership's hand-picked Cover Oregon appointees have continued their incompetence or are willfully disregarding the law," the Powell Butte Republican said.

"It's time to get on the same page and find a solution to move Oregon forward," McLane concluded.

To access a PDF of Legislative Counsel's written legal opinion on the matter, click here.