McDermott Lands Top Dem Spot on Healthcare Panel

By Sam Baker for The Hill

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) snagged the top spot on a key healthcare subcommittee, House Democrats announced Tuesday.

McDermott is now the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. The top spot opened up after former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) lost his reelection bid in November, and McDermott’s selection was widely expected.

McDermott, who is a doctor, was a strong supporter of President Obama’s healthcare law. He supports a single-payer healthcare system and has introduced a bill to let states pursue single-payer on their own, in the absence of a more sweeping federal overhaul.

He has sharply criticized Republicans’ plan to partially privatize the Medicare program — changes that would have to go through the health subcommittee if the GOP ever tries to put the plan on paper.


  1. Laura Scheffer on January 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I am a almost 60 year old, who lost her job with health insurance in 2010. Since then I have been unable to pay for or secure a permanent job with health insurance for myself and my husband, who is physically unable to work a full-time job. When I was in the Grocer Union here in Washington State, I marched with the Healthcare for All Now group in Seattle. I can not tell you how proud and excited I am to hear that Jim McDermontt is still fighting for the Single-Payer option.

  2. John Barker on January 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Medicare is already partially privatized. It was 20% privatized at the onset to satisfy Republicans at the time of enactment. Medicare pays 80% and private for profit gap insurance pays the remaining 20%. Medicare has been further privatized with the enactment of private for profit Medicare Advantage Plans (MAPs). About 25% of regular Medicare recipients have signed on to MAPs enticed by subsidized benefit “Advantages” at the expense of current and future regular Medicare recipients. For this 25% of people eligible for Medicare, their health care is 100% privatized. Further, Medicare Part D is privatized, only private for profit drug insurance are available under Medicare Part D. The horse is nearly half way out of the barn. Rep. McDermott had better act fast before Americans trade away one of the most enlightened Government programs ever enacted.

    • Lou Mains on January 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks for that information. And additionally, Obama has further privatized dual-eligibles (those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid)in ?18 states, as of last autumn.