The Oregon Health Plan
Theodore R. Marmor
Yale School of Management
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Social Medicine
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Political Science
The Oregon Health Plan (OHP) has been widely heralded as an important innovation in medical care policy. Oregon's pioneering model of prioritizing funding through systematically ranking
services drew an extraordinary amount of national and international attention. Indeed, the Oregon story has seemed so compelling and by now is so familiar that it has attained what Rudolf Klein termed "nearly mythical status" in the health policy community.
The article proceeds in three sections. First, we very briefly review the original proposals and ensuing (and misleading) debate over rationing in Oregon. Next, we explore how the politics of rationing unfolded in Oregon from the enactment of OHP to its implementation. Finally, we consider the character of Oregon's innovation and the broader lessons that it holds for reform efforts elsewhere.
Date posted: November 17, 1998