The Rehabilitation of John Kitzhaber Continues

Former governor remains under federal investigation but will give keynote address at Portland conference.

Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and former first lady Cylvia Hayes remain under federal investigation for the influence-peddling allegations that forced Kitzhaber to resign Feb. 18, 2015, less than two months into his fourth term.

And there's no end in sight to the sprawling mess of litigation between the state of Oregon and Oracle America Inc. that has already cost tens of millions of dollars continues as the parties attempt to apportion blame for one of Kitzhaber's signature policy efforts, the failed $300 million online health insurance exchange called Cover Oregon.

The continuing investigation and the taint of Cover Oregon seem not to have diminished the enthusiasm some groups feel for Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor who spent decades on healthcare reform.

Related: The City Club of Portland includes Kitzhaber in panel.

Today, organizers of a September 28 healthcare gathering at the Hilton Hotel in Portland made a big announcement:

"We have some great news to share," the announcement said. "Former Governor John Kitzhaber will offer our lunch keynote address at the 2016 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference!"

Here are Kitzhaber's thoughts on coordinated care organizations, the networks of providers of Medicaid-funded services he pioneered in his third term.

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