Kitzhaber on TV: My plan could reduce medical costs and deficit

Kitzhaber on TV: My plan could reduce medical costs and deficit
In this file photo from Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber speaks during a meeting in Salem, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber does not pass up many chances to talk about health care.      

Kitzhaber appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program on Monday, ostensibly to talk about how the state would be affected by across-the-board federal spending cuts.      

Asked if the Obama administration was exaggerating the potential impact of the cuts, Kitzhaber said the rhetoric surrounding the issue is diverting attention from what lawmakers really should be discussing - how lowering medical costs would be the best way to reduce the country's long-term debt.      

Kitzhaber then explained his plan that changes the way doctors and hospitals are paid under Medicaid.

He says paying for outcomes instead of procedures will improve health care coordination for poor residents so their treatable medical problems don't grow in severity or expense.

Kitzhaber was a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama and sat near her during President Obama's Feb. 12 State of the Union address.

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