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Kitzhaber Celebrates Two Health Care Victories

Governor John Kitzhaber was in Portland Friday to celebrate two big  health care milestones.

The first was the federal agreement that will send money allowing Oregon to devise a new way of providing Medicaid services.

The second was that enough health care providers have signed up for Kitzhaber’s plan, that 90 percent of Medicaid recipients will be covered.

Governor Kitzhaber called this week’s federal agreement a defining moment for health care. He said Oregon now has the opportunity to change the focus of health care, from treating medical problems, to preventing them.

“The second piece of good news is it appears as if we are going to have enough organizations lined up to actually take advantage of this significant federal investment.”

This week was the deadline for companies to apply to be Coordinated Care Organizations under Kitzhaber’s plan.

The governor says 14 organizations applied and if they’re approved, 90 percent of the Medicaid population will be covered.

Two other deadlines are set for other organizations. Kitzhaber said he’s sure enough will apply so everyone on Medicaid will be covered by the end of the summer.

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