Rather than run for office, former Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon has decided to direct his energies toward re-engaging his home state and the nation in dialogue about common sense health care reform. Kitzhaber recently launched the Archimedes Movement (http://www.archimedesmovement.org), a new vision for health care in Oregon. His opening proposition is simple but profound: let Oregon re-direct current health spending to guarantee all Oregonians access to quality health care services. Accomplishing this will require waivers from various federal laws as well as creativity within the health care delivery system.
New America Foundation invited former Governor Kitzhaber to Washington to discuss why and how this can be acheived. Senator Ron Wyden, co-sponsor with Senator Orrin Hatch of the Citizen's Health Care Working Group in the Medicare Modernization Act, kicked off the discussion about starting a national dialogue on health reform. Two savvy commentators also offered their perspectives: Katherine Baicker, the newest member of the Council of Economic Advisors and a prolific young health economist, discussed the need and potential for health cost growth containment. Jack Meyer, who led the widely noticed Covering America project while at the Economic and Social Research Institute, reminded attendees of the challenges and potential of system-wide reform. Director of New America's Health Policy Program Len Nichols moderated and fielded audience questions.
A PDF version of Gov. Kitzhaber's PowerPoint presentation is also available.
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