BY BRANDON SAWYER
Health care costs in Oregon have been rising at a much higher rate than other sectors of the economy for much the same reasons they have been increasing in the rest of the country. A dysfunctional system of coverage shifts costs from growing legions of uninsured to private-insurance patients; an aging population boosts demand for services; and our insatiable demand for new technologies and drugs is an expensive habit. Oregon is ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing new requirements of the Affordable Care Act, with provisions intended to counter some of these factors. But in the short term, reforms may lead to still higher prices for care, as vested interests — employers, insurers, providers, the government and patients — continue to disagree about the best way to bring down costs.
SOURCE: OREGON INSURANCE DIVISION
SOURCE: OREGON INSURANCE DIVISION, OAHHS, OREGON EMPLOYMENT DEPT.