The historic change of power to Democrats after 12 years of Republican control in the U.S. House of Representatives ushers in a huge shift in Washington. Most significantly for home care are the changes in chairmanship of the committees of jurisdiction.
New York Democrat Charlie Rangel is expected to step up to chair the House Ways and Means Committee. California Democrat Pete Stark is likely to chair the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. In the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Michigan Congressman John Dingell is expected to assume the chair. If control shifts in the U.S. Senate, the chair of the Senate Finance committee would also change.
The power shift in the House means the agenda for the lame-duck session, scheduled to begin next week, is likely to be modest. Congress will need to approve appropriations legislation to wrap up but may not try to accomplish much more.
AAHomecare will carefully follow all key bills to ensure there are no threats to home care during the final days of the 109th Congress. More information about the new Congress will follow in the weeks ahead as the dust settles.