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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Insurance Commissioner

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Mike Kreidler (D) 1,577,521 58.58%
Richard Schrock (R) 1,115,365 41.42%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

About The Race

Longtime Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has overseen the state’s transition to federal mandates to expand health insurance coverage. He and his Republican opponent, Richard Schrock, differ on the outcome of that change, and even on what they call it. Kreidler uses the official Affordable Care Act; Schrock uses the more familiar term considered derogatory by some, Obamacare. “I think Obamacare is collapsing,” Schrock said. “It’s destroyed the individual health insurance market in the state. Small businesses, including farmers, are unable to get plans that are what they want.”

Kreidler said the numbers don’t support the idea that it’s collapsing. Before 2014, when the law took effect, nine companies offered health insurance in the state; now there are 13. Those companies also offer a greater variety of coverage plans. And they don’t offer plans that failed to provide coverage federal law requires, such as maternity care and prescription drugs. The Affordable Care Act needs improvements, Kreidler said. He hopes that, after President Obama leaves office, Republicans in Congress will stop trying to repeal it, and will work with Democrats on fixes.

The Candidates

Mike Kreidler

Tumwater, Washington

Education: Graduated from Gen. Curtis High School in University Place; Earned undergraduate and Doctor of Optometry degrees from Pacific University; Earned master’s degree in Public Health from UCLA in 1972.

Political experience: State insurance commissioner since 2001; member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1993-94; Washington state senator, 1985-92; Washington state representative, 1977-84; North Thurston County school board, 1973-76.

Work experience: Former member Northwest Power Planning Council; former regional director Department of Health and Human Services; owned optometrist practice for 20 years; former member U.S. Air Force Reserve.

Campaign Fundraising: Raised almost $39,000 as of Sept. 8; largest donors include Washington Education Association and Justice for All PAC at $4,000 and Washington Medical PAC, Washington Dental PAC and Carpenters Union for $2,000. 

Family: Married to Lela Kreidler. Has three grown children.

Richard Schrock

Lynnwood, WA

Education: Attended St. Martin’s College in Lacy, Wash., did not earn degree.

Political experience: Serving his second term as Snohomish County Fire District 1 commissioner.

Work experience: Part-time consultant on communications, advertising and public relations. Member of Snohomish County Emergency Radio System, Lake Stickney Conservancy and Sno-King Watershed Council. Served as director of state Department of Commerce in Gov. John Spellman’s administration.

Family: Single.

Complete Coverage

Sunday Spin: Is “alternative facts” just a nice way of saying “liar, liar, pants on fire”?

There was a time when a politician would be careful about suggesting an opponent was lying. Back in the halcyon “good old days” it was deemed more appropriate to accuse a fellow official of being stupid than dishonest. Now, it seems common to accuse someone of using alternative facts, which may be just a nice way of calling them a liar.

Spin Control: ‘Alternative facts’ abound in Washington political debates

Accusing someone of “alternative facts” seems to be just a slightly nicer way of calling them a liar.

Loss of Obamacare could affect 750,000 Washington residents

Washington has about 750,000 residents who get health insurance because of Obamacare. How Congress repeals or revises the system would affect them, the health care system and the state’s economy.

Inslee to McMorris Rodgers: Don’t repeal Obamacare

Gov Jay Inslee asks Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to back away from plans to repeal Obamacare.

Washington Obamacare increases below U.S. average

Washington health insurance rates will go up an average of 13.6 percent next year, state officials said Wednesday. But the average increases for insurance bought through the state exchange under the Affordable Care Act will be less than that, and far below the national average.

Washington health insurance premiums have smaller increases than plans in Idaho or through federal exchange

Health insurance premiums through Washington’s state exchange see smaller average increase than in Idaho or through the federal exchange.

Kreidler earns support; yes on SJR 8210

The final two Spokesman-Review endorsements cover the insurance commissioner’s race and a simple housekeeping measure related to redistricting. Insurance Commissioner. When full-scale implementation of the Affordable Care Act occurred, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler was prepared. As a result, the state had one of the nation’s smoothest transitions to the new insurance market. Since then, he’s made sure insurance companies have complied with the many requirements of the federal law.

Obamacare remains an issue in race for Washington’s Insurance Commissioner

Four-term incumbent Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler faces a challenge from Republican Richard Schrock.

Health insurance companies seek double-digit rate hikes in Washington

Health insurance companies that sell individual policies in Washington want to increase their rates by an average of 13.5 percent in 2017, the state insurance commissioner’s office said Monday.

Kaiser submits formal bid to acquire Group Health

Officials with California’s Kaiser Foundation Health Plan have formally applied to acquire Seattle’s Group Health Cooperative, the next step in the controversial proposal, Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said Wednesday.

Number of uninsured in Washington cut in half

The number of uninsured people in Washington state has been cut in half since health care reform took effect. But the state insurance commissioner’s office reported Wednesday there are still about 500,000 uninsured people in the state.

Insurers share history, business model

Consolidation to Kaiser Permanente and Group Health will be tough sell to members who prize the cooperative’s independence.