Oregon is ready to go statewide with health care cost reform, ending fee-for-service in their Medicaid program. The Obama administration is helping them get started because this is one of the most important components of the ACA, creating a path for health care costs to get under control.
On Thursday, the Obama administration made a $1.9 billion bet that Oregon can dramatically reduce health costs in an unprecedented way.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will chip in $1.9 billion of start-up costs to get Oregon’s Medicaid reforms going. In return, Oregon made a big promise: The state says it will keep its Medicaid costs growing 2 percent slower than in previous years.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber thinks he can save the federal government $11 billion in Medicaid costs over a decade. (Bruce Ely – AP)
If Oregon can make good, it will save the federal government $11 billion over the course of a decade — even counting Medicaid’s initial, $1.9 billion investment made Thursday. Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) calls it a “defining moment for health care transformation in Oregon, and the Obama administration.”
Massachusetts wants to go this route also because they already passed a plan, signed and touted by Mitt Romney, very similar to the Affordable Care Act, and it’s entirely self-defeating if the care isn’t affordable.
Most of our future budget worries are about affording health care. While the Beltway can’t quit Paul Ryan’s imaginary fiscal conservatism, Oregon and the Obama administration are practicing it, conserving our medical safety net by making it affordable.