Bridging the Ideological Divide in Health Care Reform: An Actionable Plan for Oregon

Health Care


The subject of health care reform in the United States has become a disturbingly chronic debate for decades. Who can remember when we were satisfied with the costs or functionality of our system? What action-oriented person can bear to read another article providing a restatement of excessive costs and the uninsured? For a problem of this importance to persist for so long with no credible or sustainable strategy must signal important subtleties at work, beyond the deductive reasoning required to construct a new future.

Proposed here is a voluntary health care reform proposal that has the potential to change significantly the way health care and health insurance are provided in America. Oregon should be an early adopter of this proposal; and when proven beneficial here, it then can be implemented elsewhere.

Before considering the substance of the proposal, it is useful to reflect on the universal constraints influencing this debate.

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Bridging the ideological divide

About the author: Stephen A. Gregg was the founder and CEO of the Ethix Corporation, a Portland-based national managed care company, which was sold to a national health insurer in 1994. In addition to his extensive managed care background, Mr. Gregg has been a senior vice president of a hospital management company and an administrator of a 400-bed acute care hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mr. Gregg is the co-founder of the Oregon Health Assessment Project (OHAP), a community-based initiative concerned with the development of an actionable and comprehensive redesign of Oregon’s health care system. OHAP produced its first suggested plan for actionable reform in 2003.

Mr. Gregg has a Master’s degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. He has lived in the Portland area for approximately twenty-five years and has been an active participant in the health policy debate locally and nationally. He can be reached by email at

About Cascade Policy Institute: Founded in 1991, Cascade Policy Institute is Oregon’s premier policy research center. Cascade’s mission is to explore and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity. To that end, the Institute publishes policy studies, provides public speakers, organizes community forums and sponsors educational programs.

Cascade Policy Institute is a tax-exempt educational organization as defined under IRS code 501(c)(3). Cascade neither solicits nor accepts government funding and is supported by individual, foundation and business contributions. Nothing appearing in this document is to be construed as necessarily representing the views of Cascade or its donors, or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before any legislative body. The views expressed herein are the author’s own. Copyright 2006 by Cascade Policy Institute. All rights reserved.

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