Oregon Health Authority Director Lynne Saxton

Oregon Health Authority Director Lynne Saxton

Oregon Health Authority

The government-funded public relations plan to demean a Portland-area healthcare nonprofit sounds like a mish mash of the TV series “House of Cards” and “Mad Men,” but with an Oregon twist.

Among the plan’s elements: Find an HIV patient to complain about lack of care at the nonprofit FamilyCare, Inc., and connect them off-the-record with a reporter, perhaps at Willamette Week. Get reporters to write about FamilyCare and “look for opportunities to hurt their credibility in the news.” Portray the nonprofit as “more concerned with the bottom line and increasing revenues than the health of Oregonians.”

And the spin doctors tasked with doing all this? Communications staff at the Oregon Health Authority, the state agency overseeing Medicaid.

The communications plan, released in response to a public records appeal by the Portland Tribune, was forwarded between OHA’s head of lobbying, BethAnne Darby, OHA Director Lynne Saxton and others in January as a means to influence the 2017 Oregon Legislature.

Read more at the Portland Tribune.