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GENETIC FOODS BILL It’ll be a little hard, in the end, to stop a bill that proposes to inform consumers about the food they eat. That’s the core of the bill to require notification about food products that have been genetically altered, and it may turn into a big issue at the Oregon Legislature – which might become the first in the nation to require such labeling. There is the point that genetic-based modifications in foods go back thousands of years; but the new laboratory-based modifications are (most people probably understand) a new kind of creature. The political fault lines, if they develop, could be fascinating.

PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX How many ways can you slice a tax proposal? Quite a few, as the increasingly complex debate over the Idaho personal property tax shows. The center of gravity seems to be toward a partial shift, cutting the tax on low-end items (which would eliminated a lot of paper work), but the battle rages.

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First Take

ridenbaugh Northwest
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The whole question in health care of who gets the money – which relates directly to how much money is in the system – hasn’t yet gotten near enough attention. But all it would take is the asking of a few pertinent questions.

Here’s a press release (in e-mail, from the Oregon House majority) about an Oregon bill that poses some of those questions. If it now passes the state Senate and is signed into law, it could turn into one of the more consequential measures of the session in its reverberative impact.

A bill that will provide equal pay for Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants who perform the same services as physicians passed the House today.

HB 2902A would help build the skilled and workforce that Oregon needs in order to meet the diverse healthcare demands throughout the state.

“Oregon is shifting toward a healthcare system that focuses on preventative and community-based care,” House Majority Leader Val Hoyle (D – Eugene) said. “Providing equal pay for equal work will help us grow Oregon’s healthcare workforce and improve access to care for more Oregonians.”

HB2902A would require insurers to pay health practitioners the same rate for the same services and reimburse based on an unbiased coding system.

“If two people are trained to perform the same procedure and it’s within their scope of work, they should receive equal payment,” Representative Mitch Greenlick (D – Portland), Chair of the Health Care Committee said. “This bill solves one problem within our healthcare system by following the fundamental principles behind equal pay for equal work.”

House Bill 2902A passed the House 39 – 20 and now heads to the Senate.

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