Buchanan takes on new congressional healthcare, taxation roles

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) on Jan. 26 was named co-chair of the Healthy Future Task Force, which was created by U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to develop Republican health reform initiatives.

The appointment follows Rep. Buchanan being named ranking member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and as a member of the Joint Committee on Taxation, a 10-member panel that includes senior members of the Senate and House tax-writing committees. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity to drive healthcare and tax policy this year and well into the future,” Rep. Buchanan said on Jan. 26. “I’m looking forward to this exciting new challenge to improve the lives of all Americans, as well as strengthen the economy.”

On the Healthy Future Task Force, Rep. Buchanan plans to host listening sessions with his Republican colleagues and hear firsthand from Americans about developing proposals focused on myriad issues, such as lowering the cost of health care, increasing patients’ choice of providers, encouraging investments in new cures and therapies, and protecting seniors and the most vulnerable, according to his staff.

Such work will coincide with Rep. Buchanan’s duties as the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, which oversees traditional Medicare and its prescription drug benefit, Medicare Advantage, and issues related to medical education, healthcare access, and private health insurance programs and subsidies delivered through the tax code, among others, according to his Jan. 19 statement.

“I’m honored to lead Republicans on this crucial panel that oversees health care in our nation,” Rep. Buchanan said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to advance an agenda that makes health care more affordable and accessible for every American.”

The congressman said his subcommittee agenda will have a patient-oriented focus that encourages innovation and increases personalized healthcare choices, and he also plans to work on strengthening Medicare, bolstering telehealth services, and prioritizing preventive care, his staff said.

As one of two Republicans on the Joint Committee on Taxation, Rep. Buchanan will assist in drafting and analysis of legislative proposals. The panel, created in 1926, also prepares revenue estimates of all tax legislation considered by Congress and drafts legislative histories for tax-related bills, according to his staff.

“I’m honored to join this respected panel, which has a large and experienced staff of economists, analysts and accountants who provide guidance to Congress on tax legislation,” said the congressman.