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Tue Jun 13, 2017, 07:57 PM

Junction City psychiatric hospital could remain open if state passes new tax on health insurers and

Junction City psychiatric hospital could remain open if state passes new tax on health insurers and providers, lawmakers say


SALEM — Oregon lawmakers appear set to avoid closing the Junction City psychiatric hospital, or even cutting any patient beds there, if they can pass a $550 million new “provider” tax on hospitals, health insurers, and coordinated care organizations.

A budget plan passed by a key legislative committee on Tuesday preserves the full 400-plus staff of the Junction City facility.

Last December, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown proposed fully closing the psychiatric hospital, which opened only in mid-2015, to save money and help plug the state’s 2017-19 budget gap. But skeptical state lawmakers have consistently thrown cold water on that idea.

On Tuesday, the Legislature’s main budget committee passed a two-year Oregon Health Authority budget that would keep the hospital’s current 100-bed capacity and its workforce of around 400.

Read more: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35673164-75/story.csp

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