16 House Members Who Could Influence Healthcare Reform

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media , September 14, 2009

As the House moves to finalize its healthcare reform bill (HR 3200)—combining the versions of the 1,000-plus page bill approved by the Education and Labor, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce committees in July—a number of legislators on both sides of the aisle will be visible in the debate.

Here are 16 of them that you can expect to see:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has stood behind the bill's public option.

House Committee Chairmen Henry Waxman (D-CA), Energy and Commerce, George Miller (D-CA), Education and Labor, Charles Rangel (D-NY), Ways and Means, will continue to have oversight of the bill's progress through the House.

Pete Stark (D-CA), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee's Health Subcommittee, and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), chairman of Energy and Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee, can be expected to weigh in as well.

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (D-VA), and House GOP Health Care Task Force Chairman Roy Blunt (R MO) are expected to continue highlighting Republicans' proposed health reform plan that focuses on costs, accessibility, and no public option.

Ranking minority members of the three committees with oversight of HR 3200—Joe Barton (R TX) with Energy and Commerce, Dave Camp (R MI) with Ways and Means, and Howard P. Buck McKeon (R CA)—had questioned the bill's costs during the tri-committee hearings and will likely continue their challenges over costs and the public option.

The fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition's Healthcare Task Force, lead by Mike Ross (D-AR), challenged access and cost issues during the Energy and Commerce meetings on HR 3200.

Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Raul Grijalva (D AZ) of the 83-member Congressional Progressive Caucus have called for a strong public option in the final House bill.

Barbara Lee (D-CA), chair of the 40-member Congressional Black Caucus, has called for a strong public option as well.

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at jsimmons@healthleadersmedia.com.

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