Oregon voters last night approved a referendum backing the state legislature’s decision to increase the provider tax on certain larger and urban hospitals by 0.7% and institute a 1.5% tax on certain health plans to help preserve the state’s expansion of Medicaid to some 350,000 low-income residents under the Affordable Care Act. “Tonight’s vote is critical affirmation of our collective belief that Oregon is better off with a robust Medicaid program that tends to the needs of patients before, during and after an illness or the birth of a child,” said Andy Davidson, president and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, which was part of a coalition that supported the ballot measure. “It is a recognition that our vulnerable friends and neighbors need access to the lifesaving services that our entire health care system provides. We are proud to have been an integral partner in fighting for these patients and their families.”