EUGENE, Ore. -- Measure 101, the statewide tax on healthcare providers to pay for the health care of low-income residents, easily passed Tuesday night by a 3-2 margin.
By early Wednesday, unofficial statewide results showed that 61 percent of voters approved the measure and 39 percent said no. In Lane County the margin of victory was greater, with 67 percent saying yes.
Supporters of the measure gathered at Falling Skies Pizzeria on the University of Oregon campus. Sophia DeLoretto-Chudy, a UO student, cheered the measure's passage.
"For me, that means that I won't have to be worrying about my own father's medical expenses," she said. "Knowing that I'm never going to have to choose between my higher education and his medical bills is just a sigh of relief."
But Ted Yanez, also a student at UO, said he was "disheartened" by the results.
"The YES campaign got a lot of money. Not just a lot of money in general, but a lot of out-of-state money," he said. "To see that so many people just gave in to what was basically a Citizen Kane moment is pretty disheartening."
Now that the measure has passed, a comprehensive health care law that was passed by the Oregon Legislature last year can go into effect. A no vote would have nullified parts of the law which is intended to raise money to prop up the state's medicaid program.