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Rep. Kevin Brady , R-Texas

Reform foe to lead Ways and Means health panel

By Jessica Zigmond
Posted: January 15, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), a nine-term congressman and strong opponent of the 2010 healthcare reform law, will lead the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee in the new 113th Congress.

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) announced his influential tax panel's subcommittee leadership posts on Tuesday. In an e-mail, Camp said Brady—the third-most senior Republican on Ways and Means—brings institutional knowledge to the subcommittee. “With our nation's safety-net programs nearing fiscal insolvency, his experience will be critical to protecting beneficiaries and ensuring taxpayer dollars are used efficiently,” Camp said in an e-mailed statement.

Brady, 57, succeeds Rep. Wally Herger, the California Republican who retired from Congress after his most recent term ended. A former Chamber of Commerce executive, Brady served in the last Congress as chairman of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee.

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“This law has 12 new taxes that will hit the middle class, 21 new taxes totaling $647 billion in all, and 159 new federal agencies, commissions and bureaucracies in between you and your doctor,” Brady said in a statement last summer after the GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted a second time to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in its entirety. “Under Obamacare, costs will go up for most people because of government mandates, more businesses will be forced to drop their healthcare plans and place their workers in the new government exchanges, and many of our Texas seniors will no longer be able to see their doctor or use their Medicare plan of choice.”

Meanwhile, Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced ranking members and assignments for the panel's subcommittees in this new session of Congress. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) will stay on as ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, while new members on that committee include Reps. John Barrow (D-Ga.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Donna Christensen (D-V.I.) and John Sarbanes (D-Md.).

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