This week the legislation for Coordinated Care Organizations moved forward through a series of committees, culminating today with its passage by the full Joint Ways and Means Committee by a 19 to 6 vote. It now will go to the Senate floor and then if passed to the House.
During the committee hearings there was compelling testimony from health care stakeholders about their vision for providing better care to low-income Oregonians with the flexibility inherent in this new way of doing business. Earlier this week Oregon Public Broadcasting and The Oregonian newspaper both ran news stories that described the kind of innovations in care that we are seeking.
As I have said in the past, one of the fundamental elements of a transformed health care system is that it will support smart investments that improve health and save money in the short and long term. This is especially important in light of the announcement this week from the state economist that tax revenues are projected to take another slight dip before turning around. Our state can no longer afford to pay unrealistic health care costs that take money away from other vital services and do not give us the outcomes we need.
Speaking of the budget, lawmakers continue to have discussions on the best way to balance the current budget shortfall. As the session reaches its mid-point next week, there should more detail about actual budget reductions and the effects they will have.
As always, I will keep you posted as details develop. Thank you for all you do. Have a great weekend.