Rep. Mitch Greenlick

Kotek Joins Greenlick in Pushing for CCO Reform, Against Resistance

Rep. Greenlick introduced legislation calling for better controls on CCO reserves and more transparent accounting by the organizations, which use tax dollars to provide healthcare for the state’s neediest residents.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, rolled out his coordinated care organization reform bill on Monday with the support of House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland.

Greenlick intends to build on the success of locally driven reforms to the state Medicaid program by requiring CCOs to be more transparent and more accountable while protecting the public investment in the health of the state’s children, low-income adults and disabled people.

Health Leaders Look Beyond 2016 Session to Fulfill Policy Goals

A group of four Democrats and one Republican discussed their policy ideas in Portland on Wednesday, but aside from a few modest proposals for the upcoming February session, goals from single-payer to improved consumer product safety and better Medicaid regulations may wait until 2017 and beyond.

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Goldberg’s Exit Shifts Medicaid Transformation into Uncertain Waters

Rep. Mitch Greenlick thinks it was a mistake for the governor to “scapegoat” Goldberg for Cover Oregon’s problems. The outgoing Oregon Health Authority director has been at the center of the state’s attempts to expand healthcare access and reform the delivery system for Medicaid. But others think his exit could be a chance to change a dysfunctional culture at the Oregon Health Authority.

The fallout from the Cover Oregon debacle will not be limited to the failed online insurance exchange and could have major repercussions throughout Oregon’s health system and the coordinated care organization reform efforts, largely due to the loss of longtime public servant Dr. Bruce Goldberg.

Last week, Gov. John Kitzhaber announced Goldberg’s resignation -- the health policy leader took responsibility for his role in the state’s failure to effectively manage lackluster web developer Oracle. While Goldberg headed up the Oregon Health Authority, the California technology giant sent Oregon a large infrastructure of bad codes rather than the functioning Amazon.com-style website it had promised, leaving Oregon as the only state where consumers cannot sign up for private health insurance online without assistance.

Cover Oregon Ejects Reporters from Closed-Door Meeting with Legislators

Cover Oregon
Gov. Kitzhaber announced Tuesday that open enrollment will be extended through April but the exchange is reeling from his announcement last week that top officials would lose their jobs. Cover Oregon staff blocked reporters from a legislative meeting, in possible violation of the Public Meetings Law.

Cover Oregon kicked The Lund Report out of a meeting with top legislators at its Durham headquarters Tuesday, and barred two Statesman-Journal reporters at the door from entering the office.

The reporter from The Lund Report was escorted out of the office by Cover Oregon marketing director Amy Fauver and spokeswoman Ariane Holm, and was told it was a private meeting.

Eli Lilly Amendment Exits Oregon Legislature as it Entered: Quietly

House Bill 4110 passes the House, requiring insurance companies to maintain coverage for people in police custody awaiting trial, putting taxpayers off the hook for those medical expenses.

The amendment that would restrict pharmacists from dispensing generic insulin slipped out of the Capitol in the same way it appeared -- quietly, in an irregular committee at an odd hour.

The Joint Capital Construction budget subcommittee voted to delete the amendment from House Bill 4110 at its 7:45 p.m. meeting on Wednesday. The full Ways & Means Committee approved HB 4110 without the amendment at its 8 p.m. meeting on Thursday.

Dealmaking Clem Forges Compromise on Marijuana Dispensaries

jelly jar of pot
Rep. Brian Clem’s version of Senate Bill 1531 would allow local governments to put a one-year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, which gained state sanctioning on Monday. The bill had stalled after the House and Senate Democrats could not agree on whether cities and counties could prohibit the dispensaries in their communities.

Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, has put forward a compromise that will clear the way for local municipalities to bar medical marijuana dispensaries from their domains for a year while they prepare to develop policies to regulate incoming outlets. The dispensaries gained state sanctioning last year through House Bill 3460.

Oregon Senate Frees Small Businesses to Offer Self-Insured Health Plans

couple going over paperwork
HB 4050 allows small businesses to buy stop-loss health insurance coverage and gives them the option of self-insurance as opposed to the state fully-insured small group market.

The Senate voted Tuesday to make it easier for small businesses to provide self-insured health coverage for their employees, eliminating a barrier that kept those employers from buying stop-loss coverage.

Conger Gets Two Amendments Approved Casting Daylight on Cover Oregon

Cover Oregon logo
Rep. Mitch Greenlick agrees to adopt two amendments from Rep. Jason Conger that will make clear that the public can get copies of the First Data audit and will require the Cover Oregon director to provide demographic data to the Legislature. The amendments have been attached to a bill from Regence BlueCross BlueShield that will help the insurer save costs on supplies to diabetic women.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, agreed with two amendments from Republican Rep. Jason Conger of Bend on Monday that aim to provide the public with more daylight into the operations of Cover Oregon.

Cover Oregon Bill Passes Health Committee with Few Alterations

The Lund Report
The committee’s Republican members failed to make major amendments to House Bill 4154 which included shutting down the insurance exchange and expediting an audit from the Secretary of State. Meanwhile, money from a lapsed premium tax should be able to cover the three-month extension of the high-risk pool.

The House Health Committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that seeks to mitigate the problems consumers have faced in obtaining health insurance because of the disastrous rollout of the state insurance exchange, Cover Oregon.

Democratic Plans Extend Open Enrollment, Offer Subsidies Outside Exchange

The Lund Report
The governing Democrats debated their plans to fix Cover Oregon with rival Republicans, who had their own ideas of what to do about the health insurance exchange debacle that has cast doubt on the state’s ability to deliver affordable healthcare as promised.

The House Health Committee debated Democratic plans to salvage the Cover Oregon insurance exchange yesterday, hearing several items that would require approval from the federal government to help Oregonians benefit from Obamacare who have been frustrated by the catastrophic rollout of the insurance exchange.

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