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Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Oral History Project[1970 - Present]
About the Project
Project Themes and Interviews
Year 1: Evidence-Based Medicine
Year 2: Kaiser Permanente "Core Values"
Year 3: Diversity and Culturally Competent Care
Year 4: Government Regulation and Public Policy
Year 5: A Viable Economic Model
KP Founding Generation
Relevant Resources

Project Themes and Interviews—Year 4: Government Regulation and Public Policy

The growth of health care as a political issue has been another dramatic development transforming the practice of American medicine. Mandates, regulations, and programs come from the federal and state governments. The courts have become a major player in medical practice as a body of law grows, covering an ever-widening range of issues. Health care and its problems have proven decisive issues in some elections. The citizenry expects quality health care that it can afford, but despite the growing pressure on politicians to expand regulations and entitlements, no consensus has yet developed about how best to organize and pay for the nation’s medical care. All medical providers have moved from a situation in which contractual agreements determined rights and responsibilities to a highly volatile, mixed environment combining contracts, regulation, and new case law.

Narrator Transcripts

Robert Crane, MBA: Robert Crane was born and raised in Pennsylvania and educated at Wooster College. Pursing his long-term of working in health care administration, Crane enrolled in the Cornell University MBA program with a focus in health care administration. Mr. Crane then held a series of positions in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and in the New York State Department of Health prior to joining the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in 1983 as a vice president. While at Kaiser, Crane worked in government relations, national accounts, quality management, and in the international division. In this interview, Mr. Crane discusses health care public policy from the 1970s through the Clinton Administration, with a focus on the government relations program of Kaiser Permanente. Approximately 5 hours; interview conducted by Martin Meeker.

Richard Froh, MPH: Richard Froh was born in California’s Sacramento Valley and educated in public schools in the state. He attended pharmacy school at the University of California and then went to Harvard to study for his Master’s of Public Health. Froh worked at a number of positions in the public health sector, including at the US Public Health Service and UCLA’s National Health Law Program. From 1978 through 1981, Froh worked as a professional staff member for the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Labor and Human Resources. In 1981 he took a position in Kaiser Permanente government relations department, eventually becoming Vice President of Government Relations. He retired from that position in 2004. In this interview, Mr. Froh discusses health care public policy from the 1960s through the Clinton Administration, with a focus on the government relations program of Kaiser Permanente. Approximately 5 hours, 30 minutes; interview conducted by Martin Meeker.

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