Kitzhaber on health care: 'The gains we made here in Oregon are at risk'

Former Governor Kitzhaber talks healthcare

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- A familiar face returned to the public spotlight Monday to talk about health care in America and in Oregon.

Former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber spoke to a packed room at the Washington County Public Affairs Forum at the Golden Valley Restaurant in Beaverton.

It’s the first of a two-part speech taking a comprehensive look at health care in our state. Kitzhaber will deliver the second part of the speech next week at the Beaverton Library.  

Kitzhaber resigned as the governor of Oregon back in 2015, amid allegations of influence peddling involving his fiancé, Cylvia Hayes. The investigation remains open and no formal charges have been filed against Kitzhaber. He maintains his innocence.

On Monday, Kitzhaber discussed the Trump Administration’s repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

“Health care is something I’ve worked on for most of my political career. It affects everybody and right now I think the debate in Washington D.C. is a little out of control and all the gains we made here in Oregon are at risk, and so I’m interested in keeping my head in the game,” Kitzhaber said.

In his speech, Kitzhaber cited the “coordinated care organizations” in Oregon, as an example of good medical care and a lesser cost with better outcomes. He also says reducing costs of health insurance should not leave people without coverage.     

“If you look at the debate in Congress, they’re trying to make sure everyone can afford the cost of health insurance. But the fact is, it’s the cost of medical care that’s driving up the cost of health insurance. Unless you deal with the underlying cost of medicine, we cannot solve the problem,” he said.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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