Oregon Legislature nears vote on hospital tax

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Associated Press

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 14 at 10:32 AM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature is nearing a vote on extending a tax on hospitals and nursing homes.

The $800 million tax provides a big chunk of the funding for the Oregon Health Plan, the state's Medicaid program for low-income Oregonians. The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday and the Senate could follow next week.

The federal government matches the tax dollars collected, which then come back to the hospitals and nursing homes in the form of Medicaid reimbursements.

The tax was created in 2003 and expires this year. The extension will need votes from both parties to reach the supermajority required to pass bills that raise revenue. Republicans in the Senate are vowing to block the extension until the Legislature adopts more cuts to public-employee pensions.

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