John Dingell: A Health Care Giant

By Henry A. Waxman: For More Info, Go Here..

Over the course of my 40 years in the House, I worked closely with many fine legislators. But one towered over us all, both literally and figuratively: John D. Dingell, Jr.

It was an extraordinary privilege to serve with this larger-than-life public servant, who chaired the House Energy & Commerce Committee for 16 years and was ranking member for another 12 years.

John, who passed away on February 7, 2019 was certainly a giant when it came to health care policy. His father, a strong New Deal Democrat who preceded him in the House, first authored universal health care legislation in 1943. When John was elected in 1955, he reintroduced his father’s bill and continued to do so at the start of every Congress throughout his record six decades of service.

While fiercely dedicated to the principle that health care coverage should be a right, not a privilege, John was also a pragmatist and skilled practitioner of the legislative arts who never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. He was a champion of the Clinton Administration’s health care reform efforts and was pivotal to passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, even though both bills fell short of his own legislation.

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