Economy | local

Kitzhaber Says He's Not Interested In Cabinet Post

OPB | Feb. 4, 2009 4:18 p.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:12 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By Colin Fogarty

Former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he’s flattered by being mentioned as a possible cabinet secretary in the Obama Administration. But he says he’s not interested in heading the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

And Kitzhaber says he’s not being vetted for the job. Kitzhaber’s name came up after former Senator Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination to HHS.

Kitzhaber says he’d rather focus on his current role out of government.

John Kitzhaber: "I don’t think that running the agency is necessarily the same as reforming the health care system. My real interest is in the reform effort myself. And I have some very definite ideas about what the problem is and how to address it. And I’m very anxious to see if we can get those ideas into play."

Kitzhaber said he was unexpectedly flattered to be called a “loose cannon” by a commentator on Fox News.

The former Democratic governor heads a non-profit that advocates for health care reform.

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