A few days ago, the state of Oregon approved an increase in tobacco taxes but also a new tax of 65% on the wholesale price of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The funds raised would make up for the deficit of Medicaid, a program that aims to provide health insurance to individuals and families with low incomes.
The Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill last Thursday to create a sustainable funding mechanism for the state's health plan. For this, an increase in taxes on tobacco products is planned and a new tax of 65% on electronic cigarettes and vaping products will see the day.
Bill 2270 provides for a referral to voters. If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Kate Brown, the people of Oregon will vote on the subject in November 2020. In case of adoption this one would come into force on January 1 2021.
If the bill is implemented, officials estimate that taxes would raise 340,4 million dollars for the 2021-2023 exercise. 90% of revenues would be allocated to the Oregon Medicaid Program, the Oregon Health Plan and 10% funding for smoking cessation and cessation programs.
« Without this funding, we will have an additional $ 320 million deficit in Medicaid over the next biennium and continue to bear the burden of tobacco-related disease, while the tobacco industry continues to benefit from it." , said Andrea Salinas, Chair of the House Committee on Health Care.
« We must have all the political tools at our disposal to try to recover the lost ground of smoking prevention with the introduction of electronic cigarettes. The project HB 2270 is one of those tools. "
Because the HB 2270 law does not only attack tobacco, it also provides new tax on e-cigarettes and other vaping products. This new bill wants to impose a tax of 65% of the wholesale price on these products while currently they are not taxed in Oregon. In addition, it prohibits the sale of individual cigars unless the individual price of the cigar is greater than 3 $.
« HB 2270 contains the last tranche of funding we need to pay for Oregon's share of the Medicaid expansion", Said the representative Rob Nosse (D-Portland).
« Keep in mind that if we do not pass this bill, we will have to go to the General Fund for the rest of the money we need for the expansion of Medicaid. »He declares before adding« The passage of this bill means that money from the general fund will be released to help seniors, children in foster care, people with intellectual or intellectual disabilities and, more generally, the poor.«