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The Players


Date of Birth: July 8, 1926.

Education: B.S. and J.D, Georgetown University.

Career Path: Dingell won a special election in 1955 to assume the seat of his father, who died. Reelected 26 times, he is the longest serving representative. Dingell lost his chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee to Rep. Henry Waxman in 2008.

Role in Health Care Reform, 1993-1994: Dingell was chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and supported President Clinton’s legislation. Though he lobbied hard to get the bill voted out of committee, Dingell was ultimately unsuccessful.

Why He’s a Player: Dingell, at Waxman’s request, will take the lead on health care reform legislation and serve as main negotiator with the Senate and the Obama administration.

Quote: “While the specifics may be different, we all share some common goals. First, we must pass legislation that reduces the cost of health care for families, businesses and government. Second, we must pass legislation that makes quality affordable health care available to all Americans and we must pay for this legislation and we must pass the legislation now. The choices we make over the coming months are going to be historically significant and they will rank with the passage of Social Security and Medicare.

If we are courageous and enact comprehensive health care reform, our projects will meet the test of history . If we are not courageous, we will have failed this generation and generations to come, and the country will suffer for it.

I am certain this year we will pass comprehensive health care reform that will build on the existing system, keep intact that which is working in our system and give people the peace of mind that, no matter what life changes they face, they will always have access to health insurance. The American people deserve nothing less” ( House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on draft health legislation, June 24, 2009).

Read about the other ‘Players‘.