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Oregon Takes Step Forward In Adopting Health Care Plan

Oregon’s efforts to adopt the nation’s new health care laws took a major step forward Friday as the new Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Board had its first meeting.

The health exchange will outline the insurance options for people who don’t get insurance through work. The idea is to allow them to comparison shop — like going to Orbitz or Expedia to find the right vacation.

Gov. John Kitzhaber asked Rocky King to set it up.

King says basically there were four tasks: setting up a new corporation, finding a physical home, setting up a business plan and then figuring out how the exchange will integrate with the federal health care changes coming in 2014.

King thinks they’re off to a good start.

“We’ve got the corporation up and running. We’ve put a lot of the ideas down around the small employer portion of the exchange. Today we ran our first payroll. We’ve finally got a facility we can meet in. We don’t have a name of the corporation yet. But we’ve really just spent this time putting together some of the work plans,” King said.

The Web page won’t be up until 2014. And if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down parts of the new health care law, the Oregon legislature will have to make substantial changes.