Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, urged swift action for healthcare reform in a letter to President-elect Barack Obama, highlighting the need to expand coverage and reauthorize the State Childrens Health Insurance Program.
Dingell also encouraged boosting use of information technology, increasing competition in the insurance market, and improving the public health infrastructure.
Dingell has been advocating for universal healthcare coverage for a good part of his 53-year career in the House. We must seek a path to universal coverage that will provide access for those who do not have it, while protecting the good coverage others currently enjoy. Each Congress I introduce a bill to provide universal access to healthcare. More recently I joined with Sen. (Edward) Kennedy to put forward a framework to cover all Americans through the Medicare for All Act, he wrote.
Kennedy has been ill with brain cancer, but that has not stopped him from assembling a group of stakeholders to quickly produce major healthcare legislation early in Obamas term.
Dingell, whos been facing his own challenges, namely the fight for his chairmanship with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), indicated his desire to work with the new administration to achieve such reforms. -- by Jennifer Lubell