State Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton, made a dire prediction the other day. If Ballot Measure 101 fails, as many as 350,000 Oregonians will lose health care coverage next year.

No solution is possible? The Legislature could do nothing?

That’s ridiculous.

Measure 101 seeks to repeal a tax on hospitals and some insurance premiums but not others. It’s on the January ballot.

Hundreds of thousands of Oregonians would lose health coverage, only if the Legislature does absolutely nothing about in the February session. Yet, this is just the sort of problem the short sessions were created to solve.

But, if you believe Steiner Hayward, lawmakers won’t have any choice. Every single penny the state spends is spent in just the right place, apparently. Thus, it’s impossible to plug at least some of the hole in the Oregon Health Plan’s financing that defeat of 101 would create.

Finding money for health care spending is not easy. But it doesn’t help matters if lawmakers conjure up dire scenarios and ordain them as inescapable fate.

19019823