OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICANS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2011
Contact: Nick Smith
INSURANCE EXCHANGE GRANT TO MOVE FORWARD AFTER
REPUBLICAN SCRUTINY OF PROJECT
SALEM—Joint Ways and Means Co-Chair Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point) today said the committee will approve a $48 million grant from the federal government for the development of a state health insurance exchange. Considering the state’s track record on IT projects, Rep. Richardson sought assurances the state would be able complete the project on time and within the budget.
“All taxpayer dollars should be spent judiciously- whether the money comes from state or federal sources,” Rep. Richardson said. “I’ve questioned the appropriateness of the accepting the grant dollars, especially with Oregon’s past failures in implementing large IT projects. After careful research and evaluation, I will support the $48 million grant so this project can move forward.”
Republicans on the House Health Care Committee will begin considering the policy components of the health insurance exchange, which was approved yesterday by the Senate. Republicans say a state exchange should promote free market principles and help lower costs to small businesses and consumers.
“A state exchange is preferable to one imposed by the federal government,” said Health Care Committee Co-Chair Jim Thompson (R-Dallas). “An exchange has the potential to promote choice, transparency and competition in the marketplace, but it shouldn’t be used as a tool for government to impose more bureaucracy and control over our health care system.”