While the objective of expanding the Oregon Medicaid program is commendable, the means adopted by the Oregon legislature to control the costs of the expansion are problematic. This paper examines the legislature's approach from a legal perspective. The first part of the paper determines whether it is consistent with federal and state law governing the Medicaid program. Oregon is seeking waivers from any conflicting federal requirements, and since there do not appear to be any constitutional impediments, the key question is whether the waivers should be granted as a matter of sound public policy. The second and third parts of the paper explore this question in terms of the two main features of the Oregon plan: priority ranking of medical services, and redistributing Medicaid resources from current to future eligibles. The final portion of the paper considers whether alternative methods of expanding Medicaid eligibility would be preferable.


Medicaid, Oregon

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine

Publication Information

1 Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine 175 (1991)


COinS Maxwell J. Mehlman Faculty Bio