State Board Seeks Your Opinion on Healthcare

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By Erika Weisensee

Throughout September, Oregonians will have the chance to speak out about the future of our healthcare. The governor-appointed Oregon Health Fund Board has completed a draft plan aimed and reforming and improving Oregon’s healthcare system. At meetings around the state this month, board members will share details and listen to public feedback.

Barney Speight, executive director of the Oregon Health Fund Board, says committee members had a lofty task in creating a comprehensive healthcare plan for Oregon. The committee’s goals included expanding healthcare to cover Oregon’s uninsured, containing rising costs of healthcare, improving the quality of care, and contributing to the overall health of the population. “Health is the goal,” Speight explains. “Healthcare is the means to the goal.”

Public meetings will take place in ten communities between September 8th and 18th. Locations include Portland, Hillsboro, Bend, Medford, Gresham, Eugene, Salem, La Grande, Corvallis and Newport. For specific dates and times call 503-373-1538 or visit healthfundboard.oregon.gov.

The board will finalize the plan in October and then submit it to the Governor and legislative leadership. The Oregon Health Fund Board was created under the Healthy Oregon Act (SB 329) during the 2007 legislative session. The committee’s seven volunteer members began working on the plan in October of last year.

Copies of the draft plan can be viewed and downloaded at healthfundboard.oregon.gov.

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