What They’re Watching: Dr. John Kitzhaber, former Governor of Oregon

Dr. John Kitzhaber is the former Democratic Governor of Oregon. He is the longest-serving governor in Oregon’s history serving two terms from 1995 to 2003 and again from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that he served in the Oregon Senate and House of Representatives. He currently serves as the director of the Center for Evidence Based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon and holds an endowed chair on health care policy at The Foundation for Medical Excellence. He joins us in this episode of “What They’re Watching” to talk about partisan politics in health care.

“The other area that I think affects everybody is the uncertainty in Washington D.C. concerning what’s going to happen to the ACA. I’m spending some time with a bipartisan group of governors trying to design sort of a governor-driven alternative to replacing and repealing the Affordable Care Act so that there’s something on the table other than just replacing it. So you can give senators like Murkowski something to do besides just say no, right?

I think one of the mistakes the Democrats have made, and the industry to some extent, is for the last year we’ve just said no instead of recognizing that there are in fact problems, not just with the small insurance market, but also with the cost of Medicaid. So how do you address that without doing violence to the people who are already covered? I think Washington State is well-positioned to be a player in that.”