A result of poor planning (Michael Burton – Jan. 12, 2018)

This month, Oregonians have the opportunity to vote against an increase in their taxes to finance a shortfall in Medicaid funding. This problem was created when the progressive-dominated legislature and leadership decided to expand the Medicaid program under Obamacare. This worked when the feds paid the tab but the program now receives less federal funding.

The majority of states wisely saw this coming and rejected this expansion.

Oregon leadership ignored it and neglected to plan for the inevitable increase in costs. Sound familiar…say PERS.

This issue is a manufactured crisis caused by irresponsible leadership. Now they have put a sales tax on our health care. But not everyone is getting taxed. The SEIU and other Unions are exempt from this tax, as are some corporations, special interests and Oregon Health plan members.

Our schools and small businesses, college students and the privately insured will pay their share. According to the Cascade policy Institute, the middle class will pay most of this tax through higher premiums, and deductibles, and increased health care costs.

Many already pay more for health care and insurance premiums than for their mortgage. These unions and special interests are pouring money into support this unfair tax and to pay for Washington-based consultants to produce slick ad campaigns. Their strategy is talk about someone that “may” lose their coverage if we the people don’t pay. It is an emotional appeal that relies on hyperbole and plays on our compassion without any facts. Of course, nobody wants to deny anyone that truly needs our assistance. But, let’s not forget what caused this problem…poor planning and a complete lack of leadership. This is the same progressive group that brought us Cover Oregon, the biggest failure of Obamacare that cost Oregonians $300 million and made Oregon a joke to the nation.

The state also paid $280 million for 55,000 people that did not meet Medicaid eligibility and lost 74 million to overpayments. These leaders failed make the responsible choices to provide for our needs and they have wasted the resources that we have provided.

The state budget has grown faster than the population for several years during the sluggish economy. Oregon has one of the highest tax rates per person in the country, yet our leadership has pushed through increases in gas, vehicle, and this sales tax. Fair minded people of all parties agree that the truly needy should be helped.

Our heritage as a nation is based upon this ideal. I urge everyone to vote no on 101. Also, please contact your elected officials and tell them to get back to work and provide better oversight for this program. They should work through an open budgetary process that is fair to all, and provides for the needs of those we can help.