Gov. John Kitzhaber

Kitzhaber Heats Up Debate Over Oregon's Medicaid Direction

This article is for premium subscribers. Please sign up here for a tax-deductible subscription. 

If you're a premium subscriber, sign in below. 

Debate over how Oregon should run its $6 billion-a-year Medicaid system for intensified sharply this week, with controversy continuing to swirl around Trillium Community Health Plan, a for-profit subsidiary of the nation’s Medicaid heavyweight.

Kitzhaber Returns from Exile to Target Social Determinants of Health

The former governor called for an increasing share of CCO funding to be invested in social services to reduce health disparities caused by social determinants of health. After resigning in February 2015, the speech marks a new effort by Kitzhaber to serve the public in his role as a health policy icon from out of office.

Former Gov. John Kitzhaber took a step out of the shadows Wednesday, sharing his latest health policy ideas at the annual State of Reform conference in Portland, and calling for changes to the Medicaid waiver that would have coordinated care organizations pay an increasing share of their funding on social services.

State Officials Explain Process to Abort Cover Oregon to Legislators

Gov. John Kitzhaber holds firm in his opinion that Cover Oregon needs no legislative approval or special session to scrap its portal for the federal exchange, despite an opinion from legislative counsel that says otherwise.

State officials on Tuesday worked to downplay the drama in their decision to pull the plug on Cover Oregon as well as buck the public conception that the $248 million given to the failed state insurance exchange was wast

Thompson Tries to Survive Strong Challenge from the Right

Rep. Jim Thompson is among the most influential Republicans on healthcare issues, serving as the vice-chair of the House Health Care Committee. But his support for same-sex marriage and his compromising demeanor on healthcare reforms has forced him to defend his Dallas-based House district against a conservative eager to take a more provocative approach to politics.

Mike Nearman wants to take the Oregon Republican Party in a new direction, one along Tea Party lines and rid the party of so-called “Republicans In Name Only” that hold sway in the Oregon House. He wants to start with Rep. Jim Thompson, R-Dallas, whom he believes hasn’t done enough to derail the hated Obamacare laws.

“He’s content to just get spoon fed whatever Cover Oregon wants,” said Nearman, an information technology professional and the chairman of the Polk County Republicans. “I wouldn’t let John Kitzhaber get away without answering any questions.”

Oregon House Passes Cover Oregon Reforms on 56-2 Vote

The House passed a bill that would seek relief for small businesses who were denied subsidies because of the failed SHOP program and asks the federal government to extend open enrollment through April.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect the passage of HB 4122 and SB 1582, as well as decisions from the federal government regarding changes in health insurance policy.

Rep. Betty Komp, a Woodburn Democrat and the House Speaker Pro Tempore, added a personal touch as she explained the need to make Cover Oregon work.

Kitzhaber Hires Cover Oregon Examiner as Doubts Build on Fate of Exchange

The governor reiterated enrollment numbers, noting that 170,000 Oregonians now have some form of affordable healthcare coverage, despite the Cover Oregon debacle. But Rep. Jim Thompson said the troubles aren’t over for the exchange’s viability, and the Medicaid expansion is not without growing pains.

Gov. John Kitzhaber told reporters Thursday that the state has hired an independent examiner to critically analyze the mistakes of contractor Oracle Corp and the state in rolling out Cover Oregon, while he and other Democratic officials have skirted discussion of whether the insurance exchange can survive its botched roll out.

Kitzhaber Celebrates First Year of CCOs with Fanfare in Portland

With primary access up and emergency rates down, the governor and the CCOs had much to tout at Thursday’s forum. They praised the advantages of team efforts where community health workers could provide better outcomes than doctors alone. Members of the so-called community advisory councils were invited, but in some counties the public remains shut out of the process.


Chiropractors Take Discrimination Fight to the Governor

They believe that the federal law requires health insurers to include not only chiropractors but other alternative medical professionals on their panels

Vern Saboe, who’s fighting to end discrimination against chiropractors, naturopaths and acupuncturists, is convinced he has the federal law on his side.


Subscribe to Gov. John Kitzhaber