Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today released the following statement as Congress considers the American Health Care Act:
"Congressional Republicans have proposed replacing the Affordable Care Act with their own bill, the American Health Care Act. They claim their bill has nothing to do with affordability of health care. And on this point I agree: this bill is not affordable – not for Oregonians, not for our state's budget, and not for the economy.
"Today, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, approximately 500,000 Oregonians have gained health care coverage through Medicaid or receive financial support to buy private health insurance. In just three years, our state's uninsured rate has dropped from 15 to 5 percent. In that same time, 23,300 health care jobs have been created in Oregon. These are vital economic drivers in rural parts of our state.
"I call on Congress to delay passing the bill until they have done a complete analysis of the impact it will have on Oregonians. The bill is being rushed through Congress before it has been fully vetted.
"I am directing the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Consumer and Business Services to provide an analysis of how this proposed, massive disruption will specifically impact Oregonians' access to health care, affect the state budget, and Oregon's economy.
"No vote should be called for until an independent and thoughtful review can inform deliberations.
"Instead of playing political games with people's lives, Congress must listen to struggling working families, fearful they will lose the health care coverage that they and their jobs depend on."