Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) on Thursday was named the next chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee by the House Republican Steering Committee. Among the areas over which the Energy and Commerce Committee has jurisdiction are the Department of Health and Human Services and its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a statement on his website, Walden said that as chairman next year, he will work to implement House Republicans’ “Better Way” agenda of policy reforms related to healthcare, taxes and other issues. He also said he supports expanded home health services in rural communities and opposes cuts to cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security recipients and “drastic” increases in Medicare premiums.
American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living President and CEO Mark Parkinson said that Walden will bring experience and policy breadth to his new role.
“The challenges facing the millions of residents, families and our members who care for them through the Medicaid program have never been more prevalent,” he said. “Chairman Walden appreciates that fact, and I’m confident he will make every effort to find workable solutions for the benefit of all.”
Argentum Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Public Policy Maribeth Bersani said that the organization “appreciates the care and thought he’s put into working on issues such as Medicare and Social Security and for his dedication to improving access to affordable healthcare for seniors, especially in rural communities.”
Walden has chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology since 2011. He also chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee.