Born in Wisconsin, John attended Notre Dame as an undergraduate (in Chemical Engineering) and Washington University in St. Louis for Medical School. There he met and married Kay. Internship and residency at the University of Arizona followed.
Drs. John and Kay Rusche started practice at Valley Medical Center in Lewiston, Idaho in 1980. In 1995, Dr. John moved to BlueShield of Idaho (now Regence) as Medical Director. After working there 11 years, he retired as the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Regence BlueShield of Idaho and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.
John has been a strong supporter of the community with participation in the United Way, Lewis-Clark State College Artist Series, Northwest Children’s Home, and CASA (Court Appointed Child Advocates). He has served as the Chief of Staff at St Joseph Regional Medical Center and secretary-treasurer of the Idaho Pediatrics society. In 1991 he was awarded the Idaho Pediatric Society “Shaker and Mover” award for child advocacy and governmental activities. In 2012 he received the Qualis Health Quality award, and the Idaho Academy of Pediatrics child advocacy award in 2014.In 2015 he was named public official of the year by the Idaho Association of Social Work. He has also won awards from numerous healthcare entities , and named an “AG All Star” for 2016 by the Food Producers of Idaho.
The 2004 campaign was Rusche’s initiation into electoral politics and he was unopposed for reelection in 2006 and in 2008. In 2008, the House Democratic Caucus selected him to serve as Minority Leader.
Former Representative Rusche served on these committees:
Health and Welfare
Health and healthcare policy and regulation, and oversees the Department of Health and Welfare including Medicaid programs.
Oversight of the Departments of Commerce, Finance and Insurance and Bureau of Occupational Licensing; Policy and regulation of small and large businesses.
Energy, Environment, and Technology
Oversight of public power systems, the PUC and Department of Environmental Quality. Telecommunications (including broadband), public power systems, water quality and waste water treatment.
Ways and Means
Composed of the leadership of both parties, it expedites bills and resolutions.
Other Workgroups or Committees:
Co-Chairman of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee
Oversees the Office of Performance Evaluation and namages the performance audits of State government performed by the Legislative staff.
• YourHealthIdaho (health insurance exchange) Board of Directors
• State Hospital North Advisory Board of Directors
• Indigent health care (CAT) Board of Directors
• Health Quality Planning Commission member appointed by Governor Otter
• Millennium Fund Board (Tobacco Settlement funds)
• Medical Care Advisory Committee for Medicaid, physician member
• Leadership in Nuclear Engineering (LINE) 2.0 Commission
• Milbank Memorial Fund–Reforming States Group Steering Committee, an International health policy think-tank sponsored state health issue workgroup
Recent Legislative Achievements:
- Time Sensitive Emergency System (SB 1329)
- Telehealth Council (HCR 046)
- Prescription Drug Abuse Database (HB 614, 2006; update 2014)
- Childhood Vaccine Purchase Program (HB 130, 2011)
- State procurement and contracting management (HCR 018, 2013)
- Pipeline for Workforce Preparation (HCR 053)