Oregon Healthcare Finance Plan, Measure 23 (2002)

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The Oregon Healthcare Finance Plan Amendment, also known as Measure 23, was on the November 5, 2002 ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated. The measure would have created a health care finance plan for medical necessary services, regardless of preexisting conditions, and funded the plan through an additional progressive income tax and payroll tax.[1]

Election results

Oregon Measure 23 (2002)
Defeatedd No969,53778.51%
Yes 265,310 21.49%

Election results via: Oregon Blue Book

Ballot title

Creates Healthcare Finance Plan For Medically Necessary Services; Creates Additional Income, Payroll Taxes[2]


Ruth C Duemler, John W Partridge, and Phil Dreyer


[3] Even supporters of the measure acknowledge that the measure will cost more than the $10 billion to provide comprehensive health care to everyone in the state, but they believe the savings on health care will overshadow the increases on taxes.

One study, conducted by Deborah Socolar and the Boston University's School of Public Health, showed that universal health care would lower the cost of health care in Massachusetts by savings in administrative costs and more appropriate use of hospital care. Socolar points out that the same could be feasible in Oregon, where the uninsured are a greater share of the population and the state is among the 10 lowest in the nation for health spending per person. A feasibility study also showed universal health care coverage would save money in California, which has a higher number of uninsured residents and also has a lower spending per person.

[4]Some of the others in favor of the measure are:

  • Pacific Green Party of Oregon
  • Elders in Action
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
  • Eastside Democratic Club of Portland


Some of those opposed to the measure believe that having people pay on their own for the health care they can afford will keep prices competitive. Some call the measure "Canadian style health care;" putting the control of health care in the bureaucrat's hands and providing no cost controls.[5]

Many also argue that there is reason to believe Measure 23 could cause a financial hardship for the state. A study conducted by the economics consulting firm LECG concluded that Measure 23 could increase health care expenditures in the state by as much as 30 percent. The study was commissioned by The American Association of Health Plans, an opponent of the plan who represents managed care companies across the nation. According to the study, Oregon's health care costs would rise by $2.2 billion to $6.5 billion once the plan is implemented.[6]

Some of the others opposed to the measure are:

See also

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External links


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