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Local News

December 19, 2012

Oregon Leads Other States in Health Care Changes

Oregon received federal approval this month for the local version of the Affordable Care Act.  “Cover Oregon” is a cooperatively run health insurance exchange that will give individuals and small businesses a place to compare and buy health plans.  In addition to traditional insurance policies, there will be other choices says CEO Dr. Ralph Prows.  The exchange will combine several things beginning with simplicity, customer service and affordability.

Dr. Ralph Prows – “But in addition to just price, they’re really interested in a health plan that balances health promotion and wellness, in a way that’s at least equivalent to the emphasis it places on just covering basic medical services.  So, health promotion and wellness is a big deal.”

Oregon is in good shape compared to other states that dragged their feet at the prospect of adopting the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Ralph Prows – “There’s a ton of work to do to make sure that all of this flows properly and that the consumer can make a choice based on information that’s presented fairly and simply and clearly.  We’re considerably ahead of most every other state in this regard.  It’s easy to underestimate how complicated this all really is, to set up right.”

Enrollment will begin in October of next year for coverage set to start January 1st, 2014.

(Story and audio courtesy Chris Thomas and Oregon News Service)

More Japanese Debris

The U.S. Coast Guard had been searching the waters off the Washington Coast since late last week for a large dock that had been spotted by a fishing vessel.  They found it yesterday.

It had washed up on a remote beach in the Olympic National Park on the northwest Washington Coast and scientists are concerned that it if it is indeed debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami that it could carry invasive aquatic species.  It’s not clear yet if it is from Japan, but the object appears to be similar to the one that washed up earlier this year near Newport.

Gas prices continue to slide, reach 22 month low.

The average price of regular gasoline is at the lowest point in 22 months.  This week’s average is down seven cents from last week… at $3.21 a gallon.

Oregon’s statewide average, as measured by Triple-A, dropped six cents this week and is at $3.31.  The national average dropped by nine cents, but for the second week in a row it’s above the local average… this week at $3.24.

The most expensive gasoline in the lower 48 states is in the northeast; New York state; where the average is $3.75.  For the fifth week in a row Missouri has the cheapest gas… prices there are down to $2.95 a gallon.