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This Week's Number: 600,000

This week's number is 600,000, the number of uninsured Oregonian's who will be eligible for health insurance coverage under a new health care exchange.

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That's the number of uninsured Oregonian's who will be eligible for health insurance coverage under a new health care exchange established this week by the state Legislature. The Oregon House voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve the legislation establishing the exchange and the bill is headed to Gov. John Kitzhaber this week for his signature. The exchange will offer federal tax credits on a sliding scale to anyone making up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. It will also have the ability to sell insurance to employers with fewer than 50 employees. The move also brings the state into compliance with the new federal health care law, a.k.a. Obamacare, that requires state's to provide low-income residents an avenue to purchase insurance. The exchange is set to begin operation in Jan. 2014, ahead of the deadline that requires all individuals to purchase some form of insurance or face penalties.


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