California Congressman Henry Waxman, a longtime expert and champion of health care issues, was elected today as the new Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
With Californians in key leadership and committee posts, our state is poised to lead the nation in the fight for quality, affordable health care for all.
Chairman Waxman has long been an expert and champion on health care issues, from defending Medicaid and Medicare from cuts, to protecting consumers from insurance industry practices. His new committee has key jurisdiction on health reform, and he has shown the knowledge, skills, and values to use that power well.
Most recently, this past July, Congressman Waxman held oversight hearings on the practice, in California and elsewhere, on insurers retroactively denying patients and terminating their coverage.
Californians know the urgent need for health reform in our state: Even more than most Americans, Californians are more likely to be uninsured, less likely to get coverage on the job, more likely to be denied for pre-existing conditions, and most at risk from budget cuts.
Health Access California and the national Health Care for America Now! (HCAN) campaign sent out statements of congratulations to Congressman Waxman today. We look forward to working with Congressman Waxman, who was the first member of the House to support the HCAN principles for comprehensive health care reform.
In addition to Chairman Waxman, President-elect Obama, Vice President-elect Biden, Incoming White House Chief of Staff Congressman Emanuel – along with more than 150 other Members of the 111th Congress – have all signed onto Health Care for America Now’s principles since mid-August. California members who have signed include Congressional Representatives Joe Baca, Lois Capps, Susan Davis, Bob Filner, Michael Honda, Barbara Lee, Loretta Sanchez, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Hilda L. Solis, Jackie Speier, Pete Stark, Henry Waxman, and Lynn Woolsey.