First Advisor

Sy Adler

Term of Graduation


Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies




Medical policy -- Oregon, Preventive Medicine -- Government policy -- Oregon, Health promotion -- Government policy -- Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iii, 148 pages)


On February 1, 1994, the state of Oregon implemented its landmark health reform legislation---the Oregon health plan. The plan was conceived as an insurance program which uses a prioritized list of treatment protocols to ration health care services to Oregon's poor residents.

During the planning and implementation process of the program, various groups (political stakeholders) participated to bring the program to fruition. Although it is commonly known that one of these stakeholders was the Oregon business community, it is not clear what form its participation took and the nature of its influence. While it is generally assumed that businesses are biased against government interventions, the kind of support given by the Oregon business community toward the program's evolution defies this commonly held view of business-political behavior. Given this state of affairs, the purpose of this research is to analyze the role the Oregon business community played in the evolution and implementation of the Oregon health plan.

The research strategy that is used in this research endeavor is a case study approach and an historical analysis. It utilized both primary and secondary data sources. Primary data sources came from elite interviewing while secondary data sources came from state of Oregon archival records. Data collected from theses sources were analyzed qualitatively within a socio-economic, socio-political context.

The research finds that the Oregon business community supported the Oregon health plan, although the coalition within the business community supporting the plan was very fragile. The research also finds that the businesses community's "economic self-interest" was a primary motivator for that support and that fear of adverse legislation that potentially could threaten its interests was a secondary concern.

Overall, this research study concludes that the support given by the Oregon business community to the Oregon health plan's evolution was symbolic, strategic and political.

The study provides insights for other states considering similar health care reform legislation and it is hoped that this research endeavor would contribute to the literature of health care politics.


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