Is There a Doctor in the House? Upcoming Election News

Government Relations Update

Physicians Insurance believes in working within the legislative and regulatory environment and is committed to physician advocacy at the state and national levels. As the only medical professional liability carrier based in the Northwest with an in-house lobbyist registered in Washington and Oregon, we work to defeat legislative initiatives that:

  • create new causes of action against physicians,
  • alter the standard of care against physicians,
  • create strict liability, and
  • create onerous and unnecessary duties.

In addition, Physicians Insurance monitors changes in leadership in all three branches of government and seeks opportunities to support candidates who advocate for quality health care and a balanced, fair approach to our members’ medical professional liability exposure.


The Oregon Patient Safety Commission sought public comment on the draft administrative rules required by regon Laws 2013, Chapter 5 (SB 483) to implement Early Discussion and Resolution.Physicians Insurance offered oral and written public comment to address our concerns on behalf of physicians and their defense. We continue to work with the commission as we move forward to the July 1 implementation. If you have questions or comments you would like to share with Physicians Insurance, please contact Anne Bryant ( or Catherine
Walberg (

As a reminder, the most important step you can take is to call your professional liability insurance carrier as soon as you receive a Notice of Adverse Health Care Incident, even if you are not sure it falls within the scope of the new law.

Washington State’s primary election will take place August 5th, and the general election will be November 4th. Washington’s “Top Two” primary election means that the two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary election advance to the general election, regardless of their party preference.•

Senate: This year, 25 Senate seats — half the Senate—will be up for four-year term elections. Media attention will focus primarily on the races that affect members of the Senate Majority Coalition, which is the historical move of two Democrats crossing over to caucus with the Republicans to form a new majority controlling the Senate. One of those Democrats, Senator Rodney Tom, is not seeking reelection.

House of Representatives: All 98 House of Representatives seats will be up for two-year term elections. Dr. Nathan Schlicher, Gig Harbor emergency room physician, announced his candidacy to return to the Washington State Legislature. Dr. Schlicher, who won appointment to the Senate after Derek Kilmer left for Congress, was defeated by Republican Jan Angel in last November’s special election. He will seek Angel’s former House seat this election, challenging Republican Jesse Young, who was appointed to the seat in January. Dr. Schlicher graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma before going to the University of Washington School of Law and School of Medicine in Seattle. As a physician and attorney, he brings a promising skill set to the Washington Legislature.

Supreme Court: Governor Jay Inslee recently appointed King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu to the Washington State Supreme Court. Justice Yu replaced Justice James Johnson, who had been the lone Conservative voice on the nine-member high court before his retirement.


For more information on Physicians Insurance’s Government Relations and Community Outreach Program, contact: