Henry A. Waxman, JD
Former Democratic Congressman Henry A. Waxman, JD, is one of the most influential and prolific health lawmakers ever to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, sponsoring key legislation on a range of health and environmental issues during his four decades in Congress.
Prior to his retirement in January—after representing California’s 33rd district since his election in 1974—Waxman played a leading role in much of the defining health legislation passed during his tenure: the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides medical care and other services to Americans living with HIV/AIDs; the Waxman-Hatch Generic Drug Act, which gave rise to the generic drug industry, saving consumers over $1 trillion in the last decade alone; and the Affordable Care Act, which gives Americans access to affordable health insurance.
Waxman was deeply involved in public health policy on vaccine research, funding and distribution. He authored the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which established a vaccine adverse-event reporting system and created a no-fault compensation system for vaccine-related injuries.
Waxman also achieved notable legislative victories in tobacco regulation, nursing home reform, women’s health initiatives and Medicare and Medicaid expansion, in addition to historic achievements for the environment.
He served as chair of the Health and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee from 1979 through 1994, and chaired the Committee from 2009 to 2011.
When Waxman announced his retirement in January of 2014, President Obama described the congressman as “one of the most accomplished legislators of his or any era.”