WesCom News Service staff

SALEM — The proposal from leadership in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act would cause nearly 440,000 Oregonians to lose health coverage as early as 2021, according to a new analysis from state health policy experts and insurance regulators. As a result, Oregon’s uninsured rate would triple from its current level of 5 percent.

In addition, the Senate plan could shift more than $6.2 billion in costs to Oregon taxpayers and the state budget, due to steep cuts in federal Medicaid funding.

While younger Oregonians would likely pay lower premiums for health coverage on the individual commercial market, older people would pay more. On average, consumers would face higher deductibles and copays than they currently pay under the ACA.

Although it is similar to the ACA repeal that passed the U.S. House in May, state analysts found key elements of the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act were even harsher on Oregon and other states than the House bill, largely due to steeper Medicaid cuts.

Medicaid is the federal-state program that provides safety net health coverage for low-income and disabled children and adults, as well as working individuals and families close to the poverty line. Today Medicaid covers one in four Oregonians through the Oregon Health Plan.