SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

 

 

March 14, 2001                                                                                                       Hearing Room B

1:00 PM                                                                                                                        Tapes 53 - 55

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Bill Fisher, Chair

Sen. Margaret Carter, Vice-Chair

Sen. Gary George

Sen. Ken Messerle

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:          Sen. Frank Shields

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Rick Berkobien, Administrator

Andrew Morris, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES HEARD:                       SJR 35 Public Hearing

                                                SB 8 Public Hearing

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 53, A

004

Chair Fisher

Calls meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. and opens public hearing on SB 8 and SJR 35.

SB 8 AND SJR 35 PUBLIC HEARING

015

Sen. Gene Derfler

Senate President.  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35 (EXHIBIT A).  Provides opinion on mandating health care coverage.  States there is a need to find out the reason for rising health care costs.  States that small employers need the opportunity to provide health insurance to employees at a reasonable cost. 

072

Chair Fisher

Asks how the figures were established.

078

Sen. Derfler

Responds by a state agency.

080

Rep. Mark Simmons

Speaker of the House.  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35.  Comments on rising insurance costs and the effects on families in Oregon. 

096

Chair Fisher

States the fiscal impact on SJR 35 is being researched.

100

Sen. Messerle

Asks about the spending limitation.

110

Sen. Derfler

Responds the limitation is the best approach. 

124

Sen. Messerle

Asks if the limitations are flexible.

127

Sen. Derfler

Responds affirmatively.

130

Chair Fisher

Asks if the employee could pay more to add dependents.

133

Sen. Derfler

Responds the bill does not include that provision, but that could be a possibility.  Comments on flexibility in Medicaid. 

168

Geoff Brown

William Mercer, Inc.  Presents testimony in support of SB 8 (EXHIBIT B).  Comments on rising health care costs.  Presents statistics in (EXHIBIT B). 

218

Chair Fisher

Asks why the cost is more for employees in Oregon.

227

Brown

Responds it is due to local health plans that have had poor financial performance. 

245

Chair Fisher

Reiterates question.

249

Brown

States that provider contract costs are rising.

253

Sen. Messerle

Asks if new medications are reducing the need for surgeries.

260

Brown

Responds affirmatively.  Continues relating statistics.  Refers to pages five and six of (EXHIBIT B) and explains employee contributions. 

312

Sen. Carter

Asks about normalization.

323

Brown

Responds it refers to using the same percentages as the rest of the country.

330

Sen. Carter

Comments on Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) costs.

345

Brown

Explains HMO costs.  Discusses employee choices in using a PPO or HMO.  Reviews prescription drug costs. 

395

Chair Fisher

Comments on employee contribution.  Asks how Oregon rates to the rest of the country.

408

Brown

Responds that Oregon has lower wages than other western states, so the contribution rates are lower.

TAPE 54, A

000

Sen. Messerle

Asks about the increase in premium costs. 

009

Brown

States the statistics represent active employees.  States that prescription drug use is increasing. 

025

Sen. Messerle

Asks for a cost breakdown.

030

Brown

Responds there is more data needed to provide a breakdown. 

037

Sen. Carter

Asks if the data anticipated the healthier aging population.

045

Brown

Responds the data is from a reporting standpoint and not analytical. 

056

Sen. Carter

Describes older patients who are healthy. 

067

Chair Fisher

Provides personal opinion about Oregon’s rates, which are higher than other states in the nation.

093

Brown

Gives reasons why health care costs are higher in Oregon.

096

Sen. Messerle

Comments that a breakdown of provider costs in Oregon is needed to compare with the rest of the nation.  Ponders the increased costs.

148

Rick Rebel

Health Consultant.  Presents (EXHIBIT C) in support of SB 8 and   SJR 35.  Discloses a personal study of reimbursement rates from insurance companies. 

198

Sen. Messerle

Comments on contacts in his district.

225

Barney Speight

Kaiser Permanente.  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35 (EXHIBIT D).  States there is a crisis relating to healthcare costs.  States there is a need for an interim task force to study healthcare costs.  Comments on the background of SB 8.  States the bill would allow access to health insurance.  Comments on health insurance coverage.  Discusses affordability. 

389

Chair Fisher

Asks about the 2001 forecasts.

400

Speight

Responds it was a conservative estimate. 

411

Rebel

Comments on choices in healthcare and medical savings accounts.

TAPE 53, B

014

Sen. Messerle

Comments on coverage in rural areas.  States that insurance companies are unwilling to serve people in rural areas. 

033

Speight

States that rural needs should be looked at during the interim. 

052

Dave Anderson

CNF Transportation, Oregon Health Care Purchasers Coalition.  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35.  Comments on increased insurance costs.  States that employers are almost to the point of not being able to provide health insurance.  States the increased costs surpass expected increases. 

119

Lisa Trussell

Association of Oregon Industries.  Testifies in support of SJR 35 and SB 8.  States that SJR 35 will answer many questions regarding the increase in health insurance costs.  States the costs prohibit insurance coverage in some circumstances.  Comments on HMO availability in rural Oregon. 

172

Chair Fisher

Explains the –1 and –2 amendments.

177

Trussell

Comments on insurance coverage for children.

193

J.L. Wilson

National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35.

202

Gene Henshaw

Small business owner, NFIB.  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35.  Relates a personal experience. 

226

Wilson

Reviews SB 8 and comments on affordability.  Explains declining healthcare coverage. 

290

Sen. Messerle

Asks about small businesses that are having problems getting coverage.

295

Wilson

Responds he is unsure.

310

Scott Gallant

Oregon Medical Association (OMA).  Presents testimony in support of SB 8 and SJR 35 (EXHIBIT E).  Presents amendments the OMA would like to see to SB 8.

360

Sen. Carter

Asks about cost shifting.

366

Gallant

Responds by explaining cost shifting practices.  Comments on physician reimbursement. 

400

Chair Fisher

Reviews the Oregon Medical Association’s proposal. 

416

Gallant

Reviews possible amendments.  States the disagreement with the –2 amendments. 

TAPE 54, B

010

Gallant

Continues disputing the –2 amendments.

024

Peggy Anet

Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA).  Presents testimony in support of SB 8 and SJR 35     (EXHIBIT F).  States there are existing models the interim committee could look at tracking healthcare costs.

047

Joel Ario

Insurance Administrator, Department of Consumer and Business Services.  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35 (EXHIBIT G).  Reviews SB 8.  Points out potential problems with SB 8.  Comments on the current market.  Comments on insurance plan shifting. 

202

Stephen Kafoury

Oregon Physical Therapy Association (OPTA).  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35.  Proposes ideas for amendments.  Comments on mandated services and providers.  Reviews the language of SB 8. 

242

Diana Godwin

OPTA.  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35.  Further explains Kafoury’s proposal. 

270

Kafoury

Comments on insurance payment schedule. 

284

Chair Fisher

Enters a letter from the AFL-CIO (EXHIBIT H).

325

Euan Horniman, MD

Doctor.  Testifies in support of SB 8 and SJR 35.  Provides amendment ideas for SB 8 and SJR 35 (EXHIBIT I).  Comments on cost shifting which causes increases in prices.  Discusses bankruptcies due to medical bills. 

TAPE 55, A

000

Horniman

Continues testimony.  States a need for socialized medicine. 

043

Chair Fisher

Closes the public hearing on SB 8 and SJR 35 and adjourns the committee at 3:00 p.m.

 

Submitted By,                                                                           Reviewed By,

 

 

 

Andrew Morris,                                                                        Rick Berkobien,

Committee Assistant                                                                 Administrator

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – SB 8, Written testimony, Sen. Gene Derfler, 1 p.

B – SB 8/SJR 35, Survey, Geoff Brown, 19 pp.

C – SB 8/SJR 35, Written testimony, Rick Rebel, 8 pp.

D – SB 8/SJR 35, Statistics, Barney Speight, 6 pp.

E – SB 8/SJR 35, Written testimony, Scott Gallant, 1 p.

F – SB 8/SJR 35, Health Care Cost Categories, Peggy Anet, 1 p.

G – SB 8, Written testimony, Joel Ario, 4 pp.

H – SB 8, Letter from AFL-CIO, Sen. Bill Fisher, 4 pp.

I – SB 8/SJR 35, Personal proposed amendments, Euan Horniman, 9 pp.