INTERVIEW: Tommy Alquist talks gubernatorial race, plans for Idaho

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series about gubernatorial candidates in Idaho’s 2018 election.

IDAHO FALLS — Gubernatorial candidate Tommy Alquist back out on the campaign trail again for another tour around the state as the race for the Idaho governor’s seat continues to heat up.

After Alquist completed a 97 city tour at the intial launch of his campaign and then a “44 Counties in 44 Days” initiative earlier last year, he’s back in Idaho Falls again to talk policy with potential voters.

“We’re laser-focused and got all of our energy focused on meeting and connecting with as many people as we can and getting our message out, our platform out, so it’s very exciting right now, a lot of great enthusiasm in voter land,” Tommy Alquist, a candidate for the Idaho governor’s seat, told KID Newsradio.

Photo Courtesy: Tommy Alquist

In meeting with so many Idahoans, Alquist says the relationships he’s cultivated with people across the state remind him just how conscious government must be about the impact that comes to smaller communities and their constituients when making tweaks at high levels of government.

“I think one of the errors we made going back on funding forumlasand the way we do some of the policies from Boise, is we haven’t looked at the data always and say, ‘OK, we’re going to tweak this, but what’s this going to do to rural Idaho,'” Alquist said. “We need to make sure we follow data, we need to make sure we that we look at every single thing we do through that lens of, ‘OK, how is this going to affect all of Idaho?'”

One issue that impacts many Idahoans, Alquist says, is the healthcare system and structure in Idaho.

“Healthcare has gone from a very primary care centric delivery system to a hospital centric delivery system,” Alquist said. “We don’t talk anymore about the cost of care, we talk about pricing and if you look at pricing all over the state, you’d fall off your chair if you saw the differences in between two facilities. There’s no transparency and they’re a huge consolidation in medicine.”

Alquist says his focus is on talking about reduce costs for families and businesses by reforming Medicaid, reforming the insurance industry and cultivating transparency.

“I can promise when I’m governor, you will have an app on your phone where you’ll be able to put in your zipcode and put in what you’re going to do and voluntarily we’ll have healthcare organizations tell you what it costs in your area,” Alquist said.

You can view the interview with Alquist in the video link below.