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Oregon Task Force Will Look At Universal Health Care Proposals

Chris Lehman

A task force created by the Oregon legislature to examine the potential for universal health care in the state will hold its first meeting Wednesday.

The 18-member panel includes three lawmakers, as well as advocates and members of the health care industry. Rep. Marty Wilde, D-Eugene, said the group will examine a broad range of options, many of which depend on waivers from the federal government.

Wilde said the bottom line is that health insurance can be complicated and expensive for many Oregonians. “We’re looking for ways to simplify it, and obviously to meet peoples’ needs for the best health care at the most reasonable cost,” he said.

The bill that created the task force was approved on the final day of the 2019 session along mostly party lines. Wilde says it’s not clear whether the panel will have a recommendation ready for the 2021 session, or whether they’ll ask for more time.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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