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Health Insurance Exchange Moves Ahead

SALEM, Ore. — There are about 612,000 Oregon residents who do not have health insurance. That’s about 16 percent of the population.

Oregon is further along than most states when it comes to implementing the health care law.┬áThe state started working on health care reform even before President Obama’s 2010 initiative.

The federal government committed more than $60 million in grants to develop a health insurance exchange.

State leaders will continue creating that exchange to implement by 2014.

Some small businesses aren’t happy about the plan, saying it will cost them a lot more to provide health insurance for their families.

Still, Governor John Kitzhaber says Oregon’s work is a clear example of what’s possible.

“I think the reason that the federal government, the Obama administration, was so willing to engage in this partnership with Oregon is that our our coordinate care organizations, our health care reform effort, essentially embodies the key elements of the affordable care act,” said Governor John Kitzhaber.

“The congressional budget office admitted to the fact that premiums will go up, that it will be higher cost for the insurance companies. We all know that those higher costs get handed down,” said Jan Meekcoms, Director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Planned Parenthood of Oregon says this decision and act will allow for access to birth control and cancer screenings without co-pays.

The Oregon Student Public Interest Group (OSPIRG) says this is great for young adults who can stay on their parents plan till 26.

Those against, such as the Oregon Tea Party PAC, say this a huge tax on business and the middle class.

U.S. Representative Greg Walden says it will damage the economy and families.

The Obama administration has tentatively agreed to give Oregon nearly $2 billion to help implement the Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs).

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