Ore. House votes to enact Kitzhaber health changes



SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House has voted to approve Gov. John Kitzhaber’s initiative to transform the way the state pays for low-income health care.

The House passed the measure on a 59-1 vote on Monday, sending it to the Senate.

Health care has been one of the state’s most rapidly rising expenses. Proponents hope to provide better health care by changing the Oregon Health Plan from a fee-for-service model to one that rewards care providers for keeping their patients healthy.

Some lawmakers were skeptical that the measure would create the $240 million in savings needed in the next two-year budget. But there was bipartisan praise for the effort to improve health care delivery.

The measure would create community-based organizations to coordinate mental, physical and dental health.