Senator Wyden Becomes Senate Finance Committee Chairman
February 20, 2014 03:49 PM
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has become the Chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee after Max Baucus (D-MT) was confirmed as the United States’ Ambassador to China. The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid issues, and will play an integral role in shaping legislation that affects the home care and hospice community.
Senator Wyden has long been a strong ally of home care and hospice – and has sponsored key pieces of legislation that would strengthen beneficiaries' access to such services. Senator Wyden’s past statements and actions on behalf of home care and hospice are encouraging as he takes over one of the Senate’s most powerful committees.
Senator Wyden has been a featured speaker at NAHC’s March on Washington. Below are some of his words of support for both home care and hospice gathered from previous NAHC Report articles:
March 2011: “To me, a country as good and strong and rich as ours ought to be for home care and hospice for purely moral reasons… But even if you don't make that moral judgment, you ought to be supporting home care and hospice for purely financial reasons.”
March 2011: “We are going to start the effort to get our priorities right, built around the needs of home care and hospice."
December 2010: I hope we can… be behind a policy that does two things. One is to give older people, patients, and their families everywhere all of the options
for end-of-life care and what will be their judgment about what is the best quality
for them. Second is that we're not going to have the government calling all the
shots [for end-of-life decisions]."
November 2010: “Home care services typically bring the expertise and compassion of providers in numerous disciplines into the setting where most sick patients prefer to reside -- the home. More than 11 million Americans benefit each year from this approach.”
March 2009: "We are spending enough on health care, but we are not spending it in the right places, and one of the right places is in home and community-based services."
Along with Senator Wyden becoming Senate Finance Chairman, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) has also been named to the committee. Senator Warner, too, has been a strong advocate of home care and hospice in the past – and was a featured speaker at NAHC’s March on Washington last year where he expressed his support for the hospice benefit being offered at a much earlier stage that it is currently.