REP. HENRY WAXMAN, D-CALIF.
CHAIRMAN, HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Date of Birth: Sept. 12, 1939.
Education: B.A. and J.D., University of California-Los Angeles.
Career Path: Elected to the House in 1974, he built his reputation in the last decade as ranking member, then chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In January he became chairman of Energy and Commerce after defeating the incumbent, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., in a vote of House Democrats.
Role in Health Care Reform, 1993-1994: Chairman of Energy and Commerce’s Health Subcommittee, he couldn’t round up sufficient votes for President Clinton’s plan.
Why He's a Player Now: Waxman is seeking universal insurance coverage and has pledged swift committee action on comprehensive health care overhaul legislation.
Quote: “There is a growing consensus among my colleagues from both parties that the health care system is broken, and we must fix it. We don’t agree on all the solutions, and not necessarily even on the cause, but I sense a profound understanding that this is the time for very serious work to bring about fundamental change — precisely because it is costing the American people too much and delivering far too little.
"If we reform health care, we will help rebuild an engine of growth under the economy overall. Businesses will have fewer health care costs; employees will have fewer health care burdens. The system will be more equitable and will deliver better health care services for ourselves, our families and our children.
"It is imperative we succeed." (Roll Call, March 23, 2009)
Read about the other 'Players'.