Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber will sit in the First Lady’s box for the State of the Union address Tuesday night.
The White House says Kitzhaber was invited because he’s built on his experience as a former emergency room doctor to transform health care delivery in Oregon.
Jenna Stento of Avalere, which monitors how the 50 states are adopting the Affordable Care Act, says Kitzhaber and Oregon are early movers.
Stento said, “Of the 18 states that are moving forward with a state-run exchange, they’re one of the first to past legilsation and they’ve been moving quickly everysince. They’re one of the few states that have released documents that are helping to guide healthplans in terms of how they’re going to be partcipating in these markets. And then they’re also working very actively with outside vendors to help build additional capacity, really to get the marketplace up and running.”
Kitzhaber released a statement saying he’s honored to join the First Lady. He says the President understands the value of partnering with states, and that Oregon is scaling up innovative models that show how government can do more with less.