Ore. lawmakers decide Medicaid payment cuts

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon lawmakers have decided on a plan to cut Medicaid payments to hospitals and health care providers.

The Oregon Health Plan covers about 60,000 low-income Oregonians. It would be cut by 11.5 percent instead of 19 percent as proposed in the governor's budget.

Under the plan, hospitals will pay an increased tax on Medicaid services. That revenue would be matched by federal funds for a total of about $660 million.

The money would then be used to pay back hospitals for the tax, and provide additional money for them and health care providers throughout the state.

Democratic state Sen. Alan Bates of Ashland was part of the bipartisan group that worked on the plan. He says this will help with the program's difficult budget outlook.