The historic events that occurred this week in Oregon and in our nation are going to make a profound difference for the people of our state and country.
First, as you know, on Wednesday we announced the certification of eight new Coordinated Care Organizations that will begin serving Oregon Health Plan clients August 1, 2012. You can see the list of the new CCOs here.
This is an incredible achievement for those local CCOs. These organizations are helping to lead the state and the nation in creating a patient-centered system for better health and better care at a more sustainable cost. It is also an achievement for the OHA and DHS teams who have been working so hard on finalizing the contracts and planning for member transition, and all the other preparations that come from enrolling approximately 175,000 Oregon Health Plan members into the new CCOs.
And yesterday we all learned that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal Affordable Care Act. That is very good news for the 600,000 Oregonians who do not have health care coverage – many because it simply costs too much for them to afford.
That Supreme Court decision will make it possible for an estimated 180,000 to 200,000 more people to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan in 2014. Hundreds of thousands more people will have access to the health insurance exchange.
That is good for them, good for their families, and good for Oregon. They will have better health care and more financial security.
The new CCOs will be central to ensuring that once people have coverage, the cost of care is more affordable.
We truly are on a path, both locally and nationally, to make our health care system something that brings better health and better care at a more affordable cost.