President Barack Obama talked about bringing down the cost of Medicare, while delivering high-quality health care in his State Of The Union address last night.
Oregon has been working to deliver better health care at lower costs. That's why Gov. John Kitzhaber was invited to attend the speech. OPB caught up with Kitzhaber before he left the nation's capitol today. We asked whether Oregon's new "coordinated care organizations"-- or CCOs -- are indeed saving the state money.
"The oldest CCO is 5 months old, the youngest is about two. But there are some incredibly innovative things going on around the state and I'm very confident that in a couple of months we'll be able to demonstrate that we're saving costs. In fact this budget is built on the assumption that we're going to move our inflation rate from 5.5 percent down to 4.4 this year and down to 3.4 next year. And the potential savings from reducing the rate of inflation down just a couple of percentage points are quite dramatic."
The governor says he will be making a presentation at the National Governor's Association meeting about Oregon's health care model.