The League of Women Voters will hold two public forums — Think Before You Ink — to discuss Measure 101, the only question on the Special Election ballot Jan. 23.

Voters are being asked to decide whether to approve a tax on the state Medicaid program.

The forums are from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Chetco Community Public Library on Alder Street in Brookings, and noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Port Orford City Hall.

The ballot question asks voters whether to allow the assessment of a 1.5 percent tax on certain hospitals, the state retirement program and others to help backfill a Medicaid funding shortfall.

Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach would not be affected and insurance companies would only be allowed to assess policyholders for a maximum increase of 1.5 percent.

Supporters include major healthcare providers and insurance companies; opponents include those who believe health care should not be taxed.

The nonpartisan league members are studying both sides of the issue; a member will present each in a 10-minute presentation. Questions will be taken from the audience.

“It has been a number of years since the league has done forums on a measure but, with our growing membership and the importance of this measure, we felt this issue should be discussed,” said League President Lucie La Bonte. “Ballots will be out, but we hope folks will come and participate to get the correct information before voting.”

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. The league works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences the public through education and advocacy.

19174315