Oregon House advances $670M health care provider tax

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A $670 million health care tax package designed to help sustain Medicaid services for the next two years and avoid the shuttering of a newly-built psychiatric hospital passed the Oregon House on Thursday.

The 36-23 vote exceeded the constitutionally required supermajority by just one vote.

The measure will now be considered by the Senate.

House Bill 2391 is among the most high-profile pieces of legislation in Salem this year.

Without it, lawmakers would have less than a month to solve a large chunk of the state's upcoming $1.4 billion shortfall, a psychiatric hospital in Junction City with 100 beds and 400 workers would be on the chopping block and more than 350,000 low-income Oregon residents could lose health insurance under the federal Medicaid expansion almost immediately.

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