Health Care Reform in the House - Committees & Contacts

For several months the apparent public action has been in the Senate, first mostly with the Finance Committee (Baucus) and more recenlty, finally in the Health Committee (Kennedy, with Dodd and Harkin).

Late last week the House became more publicly active wiht Majority Leader Steny Hoyer having a publicized meeting with the leadership of the the three committees (and their subcommittees working to develop health care reform legislation in the House - Energy and Commerce Committee (Henry Waxman; Frank Pallone), Ways and Means (Charles Rangel & Pete Stark), and Education and Labor Committee (George Miller & Robert Andrews).

There is a House Health Care Reform Clearinghouse, being sponsored out of the Majority Leader's website.

And this Wednesday June 10 there will hearings devoted to single payer with PNHP leaders among those testifying, being held by the Education and Labor Committee.

It is past time to make our voice heard in the House!

Therefore: I have taken the liberty to pull together contact information for all the members of the sub-committees below:

But first some commentary and a "get"

Hoyer's boilerplate at that meeting was:

"We may have three Committees with jurisdiction over health care in the House of Representatives, but we speak with one voice.  Reforming America’s health care system to control costs and ensure that everyone has affordable care that meets their needs is central to long-term economic recovery and growth.  We are committed to working together to advance health reform legislation that meets the objectives laid out by President Obama. Today’s meeting was very productive as we continue to move forward in a focused and coordinated way to improve health care for all Americans. "  House Democrats continue to be very focused on the goal of passing a comprehensive health care reform package this year. In the 111th Congress, the three committees of jurisdiction have conducted 10 hearings on health care reform, including two this week. Over the April District Work Period, Democrats held more than 150 health care related events in their districts on the need for reform.  The goal is to pass a comprehensive health care bill through the House by August.

A good number of these folks are pretty good liberals progressives, historically allied with labor and/or single payer.  Alas, predictably, many of them have either ran from their prior single payer "support" from when they were in the minority (Rangel) or are at best ever so respectfully and regretfully walking away:

"The public option is a compromise by many Democrats who would like to have a single-payer system," says Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of one of three House committees with jurisdiction over the health care legislation. The California Democrat says the House bill will include a public option, arguing it would create a "healthy tension" to keep costs down and protect consumers' interests.

However, as noted above, this Wednesday June 10 there will hearings devoted to single payer with PNHP leaders among those testifying, being held by the Education and Labor Committee (George Miller & Robert Andrews). Yeah for the people's house.  


Now here is what I at least am asking for:

  1.  Single payer policy wonks and advocates be included in ALL hearings from now on.

  1. There must be a complete, honest, side-by-side comparison of all major proposals, including Single Payer HR-676, by the Congressional Budget Office.  The side-by-side comparison must include projected costsnot only to the federal government, but also to state government, employers and to individuals and households of different income levels. Not just for 2010, but with projections beyond.


Let there be an honest and complete comparison of policy and economics.

This way, if we are not going to get single payer this time around due to the politics, then at least we can fight to make sure that Americans know what it is that they are getting, and what they are not getting.

Out there in the real world there is a very real danger that the distinction is lost and not understood.  Too many people in America think what they are getting IS national health insurance.

There is a danger that the general public actually thinks that what has come to be known as public option is the progressive, liberal, left solution. Regardless  of the no doubt good faith efforts of the public option, it really is not. It is a pre-compromised kludge of a camel. It is designed to prop up the inherent failure of the for-profit private insurance model, rather than replace it.  And it is pre-designed to fail: it will not get us to universal coverage and actual access to care, it will not provide coverage that is comprehensive for all care necessary; it will not control total costs; it will not control individual out of pocket costs.

Now, if single payer policy wonks and advocates are wrong, and this reform is all that is needed and works out great, then let us at least make it the best we can get now.  I call it the 51 Senate vote version (I have no interest in the 61 vote version).  

But if we are going to be fighting for Reform  2.0 in a few years, then we need  plan strategically now in order to win the "I told you so" argument.  At the very least we want to be sure that after this "reform" does pass, that if it fails, the next step is forward to single-payer ("see you left the private for-profit in as wasteful cheating unneeded intermediaries that also prevents real planning"), and not backward ("see liberal big government tries to fix things and it went badly") to market fundamentalism.


Okay, now for all those contacts:

Below is the basic contact information for the three key House committees that are going to deal with health reform, and the complete list of contcts for their health-specific subcommittees:


Energy & Commerce:
Committee Telephone: 202-225-2927
And the Subcommittee on Health

  Henry A. Waxman (Chairman) CA-30th  202-225-3976
  Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman, Health Subcommittee) NJ-6th  202-225-4671
       John D. Dingell, Chairman Emeritus MI-15th   202-225-4071
       Lois Capps, Vice Chair CA-23rd  202-225-3601
       Bart Gordon, TN-6th  202-225-4231
       Anna G. Eshoo, CA-14th  202-225-8104
       Eliot L. Engel, NY-17th  202-225-2464
       Gene Green, TX-29th  225-1688
       Diana DeGette, CO-1st  202-225-4431
       Jan Schakowsky, IL-9th  202-225-2111
       Tammy Baldwin, WI-2nd  202-225-2906
       Mike Ross, AR-4th  202-225-3772
       Anthony D. Weiner, NY-9th  202-225-6616
       Jim Matheson, UT-2nd  202-225-3011
       Jane Harman, CA-36th  202-225-8220
       Charles A. Gonzalez, TX-20th  202-225-3236
       John Barrow, GA-12th  202-225-2823
       Donna M. Christensen, VI-delegate  202-225-1790
       Kathy Castor, FL-11th  202-225-3376
       John P. Sarbanes, MD-3rd  202-225-4016
       Christopher S. Murphy, CT-5th   202-225-4476
       Zachary T. Space, OH-18th  202-225-6265
       Betty Sutton, OH-13th  202-225-3401
       Bruce L. Braley, IA-1st   202-225-2911

  Nathan Deal, GA, Ranking Member
       Ralph M. Hall, TX
       Ed Whitfield, KY
       John Shimkus, IL
       John B. Shadegg, AZ
       Roy Blunt, MO
       Steve Buyer, IN
       Joseph R. Pitts, PA
       Mike Rogers, MI
       Sue Wilkins Myrick, NC
       Tim Murphy, PA
       Michael C. Burgess, TX
       Marsha Blackburn, TN
       Phil Gingrey, GA
       Joe Barton, TX (ex officio)


Education & Labor:
Telephone 202-225-3725
Holding single payer hearings on June 10!

  George Miller, Chairman CA 7th 202-225-2095
  Robert Andrews, Chair Subcommittee HELP, NJ-1st 202-225-6501
       David Wu  OR-1st  202-225-0855
       Phil Hare IL-17th  202-225-5905
       John F. Tierney MA-6th 202-225-8020
       Dennis J. Kucinich  OH-10th 202-225-5871
       Marcia Fudge OH-11th 202-225-7032
       Dale E. Kildee MI-5th  202-225-3611
       Carolyn McCarthy NY-4th  202-225-5516
       Rush Holt NJ-12th  202-225-5801
       Joe Sestak  PA-7th  202-225-2011
       David Loebsack IA-2nd  202-225-6576
       Yvette Clarke NY-11th  202-225-6231
       Joe Courtney  CT-2nd 202-225-2076

  John Kline, Ranking Member
       Joe Wilson
       Cathy McMorris Rodgers
       Tom Price
       Brett Guthrie
       Tom McClintock
       Duncan D. Hunter
       David P. Roe


Ways & Means:
Tel: 202-225-3625 | Fax: 202-225-2610

  Charles B. Rangel, Chariman Ways and Means NY-15th  202-225-4365
  Pete Stark, Chairman  Subcommittee on Health CA-13th  202-225-5065
       Lloyd Doggett, TX-25th   202-225-4865
       Mike Thompson, CA-1st  202-225-3311
       Xavier Becerra, CA-31st  202- 225-6235
       Earl Pomeroy, ND-At Large  202-225-2611
       Ron Kind, WI WI 3rd  202-225-5506
       Earl Blumenauer, OR-3rd  202-225-4811
       Bill PascrellJr. NJ-8th  202-225-5751
       Shelley Berkley, NV-1st  202-225-5965

  Wally Herger, CA, Ranking Member
       Sam Johnson, TX
       Paul Ryan, WI
       Devin Nunes, CA
       Ginny Brown-Waite, FL


No votes yet