Rep. Julie Parrish and several legislators are petitioning to overturn the healthcare tax on premiums and several hospitals—which passed in the Legislature earlier this year—through a January referendum, according to OregonLive. The taxes are part of a $600 million tax plan intended to help Oregon pay for the federal Medicaid program, which currently covers about one-fourth of Oregonians, as reported by OPB.
Opponents of the healthcare tax plan have claimed that some of the measures discriminate against certain stakeholders, like small businesses, nonprofits, and college students, according to OregonLive.
To place the measure on the ballot, Parrish and her supporters will need to collect around 59,000 signatures by October 5. If the number is reached, voters will be able to help decide whether or not to keep the healthcare taxes in a January 23 special election.
However, the ballot title does not describe the law’s collection of revenue as a “tax,” but instead as an “assessment,” according to Statesman Journal. Several legislators are challenging this language, arguing that it is misleading to the public. Many voters determine their decision based on the ballot title and summary alone, with no other background information before casting their vote.