Governor Ted Kulongoski signed H.B. 2116 on August 5 to expand access to health care for 80,000 currently uninsured children under the age of 19. Oregon is financing the expansion through additional taxes on hospitals, generating an additional $1.7 billion in Medicaid federal financial participation over four years to offset the new state expenditures, as well as a 1% tax on commercial health insurance premiums. Implementation will begin in October 2009. By January 2010, Oregon will be offering health insurance premium assistance, on a sliding scale related to income, to enroll children in families with incomes up to 300% of the Federal poverty level, and will be offering unsubsidized buy-in coverage for children at higher income levels. Enrollment will be offered through Oregon’s “KidsConnect” health insurance exchange. Oregon expects to achieve 95-98% health coverage of children within two years, which should help improve kids’ vaccination rates, offer better care for asthma, and provide for earlier detection of autism.