(Published in JamaNetwork.com)
When Rep Henry Waxman (D, Calif) retires from the House of Representatives later this year, he will leave behind an impressive list of accomplishments. Waxman, who is completing his 20th term in Congress, has had a hand in nearly every major piece of health legislation in the past 40 years. He has helped expand the Medicaid system, created the Children’s Health Insurance Program, enacted nursing home reforms, facilitated the growth of the generic drug industry, and created incentives for drug companies to study rare diseases. Waxman has also developed a reputation as a watchdog in Congress, holding notable hearings on tobacco industry tactics and the politicization of science.