Update on HB2342A
On Sunday, I wrote to convey my concerns about HB2342A, a bill granting the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) – who oversees the Insurance Division – emergency powers to override any and all Oregon laws governing health insurance, in order to protect the insurance industry from the financial risks of President Trump’s proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA).
I am pleased to say that DCBS Director Patrick Allen has contacted me to let me know that he agrees with our proposal to amend HB2342A to protect consumer rights to Essential Health Benefits and coverage of pre-existing conditions, such as:
- “Notwithstanding the rule-making authority granted in subsection (1), the Department of Consumer and Business Services may not adopt any rule that is not in compliance with the provisions of Chapter 743A [Health Insurance Mandates], Chapter 659A [Civil Rights], or ORS 731.097 [Essential Health Benefits]; or that permit health insurers to exclude consumers with pre-existing conditions.”
For procedural reasons, he prefers to move the bill through the House to be amended in the Senate, and we look forward to working with him to adopt this important amendment.
A big thank you to everyone who reached out to legislators on this – our voices have been heard.
I will keep you informed as this bill progresses, and plan to work with local and national health advocacy groups to ensure that the final form of this bill fully protects consumer rights.