Editor's note: This is in response to our editorial on Sunday, Jan. 7.
Who pays for Measure 101? According to the impartial explanatory statement in the Voters' Pamphlet, Measure 101 taxes premiums collected by insurance companies, all the expenses of the Public Employee Benefit Board, payments to Managed Care Organizations and net revenues of hospitals. If you are a member of the tax-paying public and pay for insurance, as an employee or an employer you will pay a tax on your premium. Public Employees pay only a portion of their health insurance premium. The balance is paid by the tax-paying public. People who receive their health care from a Managed Care Organization such as Kaiser will also pay a tax on those benefits. Many people who receive their health care through a Coordinated Care Organization that administers the (Un)Affordable Care Act pay little or nothing for their health care. The balance is paid by the tax-paying public. Hospitals will be charged an additional tax on their net revenues, a tax that will be passed on to the tax-paying public. According to the explanation in the voters pamphlet, the tax on hospitals will go into effect regardless of the outcome of Measure 101.
Imagine Measure 101 is a dinner check for you and three friends. The private-sector taxpayer will pay for his meal, a portion of the public employee's meal, the (un)Affordable Care Act meal and the hospital meal. Granted all taxpayers will pay extra under Measure 101, but private-sector employers and employees will pay the lion's share, approximately four times what anyone else pays. Additionally, the Legislature is not required to spend the revenues from Measure 101 on the “health care” outlined in this measure. They can (and most likely will) spend it on whatever other pet project they find attractive at the time. Can you say “bait and switch”?
If you’re a member of the tax-paying public, how much longer are you willing to pay for the benefits of people who don’t want to pay for their own? How much longer are you going to pay increased taxes to a state government that refuses to cut any spending and refuses to live within its means even in the midst of record tax revenues flooding state coffers due to the strong economic growth in our state?
This newspaper never met a tax it didn’t like and they support this measure as a temporary tax. Has anyone ever seen a temporary tax? In a state that spent billions on a failed health care website, and a state that would rather let forests burn than let trees be cut for the benefit of taxpayers and the forest itself, why would you give them more of your hard-earned money? All they do is waste it.
— A. Kent lives in Central Point.