House Republicans block OHA from receiving executive office powers; instead guarantee insurance coverage for essential health care visits

SALEM, Ore. – House Republicans negotiated a fix to SB 1529 to ensure that Oregonians can receive insurance coverage for annual primary care and mental health care doctor visits.

SB 1529 previously included a proposal from Democrats that would have given the Oregon Health Authority’s public health director, an unelected bureaucrat, the same powers as the Governor to declare a health emergency and dictate mandates related tothat emergency. Republicans successfully changed the bill to prevent OHA from gaining this inappropriate power.

“Oregonians need better access to health care, not a state agency with more power to dictate mandates,” said House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville).

“The pandemic was and still is exhausting for hardworking Oregonians,” said Representative Raquel Moore-Green (R-Salem), a member of the House Committee on Health Care. “Rather than empowering OHA to declare more frequent emergencies and mandates, this bill gives Oregonians better access to affordable health care.”

SB 1529 is scheduled for third reading on the House floor today, March 1.

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