Born and raised near Tacoma, Washington, native son Mike Kreidler has served the people of Washington in elected offices and appointed posts for more than 30 years. From the boardroom of the North Thurston School District to the state capitol and halls of Congress, Mike has represented our state with dedication, while also managing a professional career in optometry.
Kreidler has distinguished himself in issues ranging from health care and the environment to insurance. He was elected Washington State Insurance Commissioner in November 2000. Voters returned him to office in 2004, 2008, and 2012.
As Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler is responsible for regulating the $30 billion insurance industry in Washington State. Accomplishments include:
- Strengthening the insurance market, increasing competition and bringing more choices to consumers
- Cut excessive rate increases by insurance companies, saving auto and homeowner consumers over $310 million
- Successfully fought repeated attempts by big out-of-state insurance companies to take away consumer legal protections
- Helped individual consumers recover over $160 million on their insurance policies when payments were delayed or denied
- Protected women by requiring that contraceptives be included in prescription drug coverage
- Brought transparency and regulatory oversight to the individual health insurance market
- Strengthened the law to protect consumers from surprise medical bills
Experienced and Professional
Mike Kreidler earned a Doctor of Optometry degree from Pacific University in Oregon and a master’s degree in public health from UCLA. As an optometrist, he worked for 20 years for Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound in Olympia.
Kreidler served in the Washington state Legislature as a Representative and Senator for 16 years. Major legislation on generic drugs, respite care, HIV/AIDS, health care cost containment, foster care, and day care were enacted through his leadership.
As a freshman in the U.S. Congress, Kreidler won a coveted seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the subcommittees on Health and the Environment and Energy and Power. Kreidler took on issues of food safety, violence against women, Medicare reimbursement rules, improved mental health services and expedited Superfund cleanups.
Serving his Country
Kreidler retired as Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves with over 20 years of active and reserve service. In January 1991, his hospital reserve unit was called to active duty in January 1991 in support of Desert Storm and he was assigned to Madigan Hospital in Washington State.
Mike’s wife, Lela, is a former teacher who is now retired from the North Thurston School District. They have been married over 40 years and have three children, Kelli, Michael, and Lora. They also are proud grandparents of Kendell, Helene and Griffin.