Jan 10, 2023 - Health

Jason Smith elected House Ways and Means chair

Rep. Jason Smith. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Missouri Rep. Jason Smith on Monday won a three-way race to serve as House Ways and Means chair for the 118th Congress and presides over Medicare.

Why it matters: It was arguably the most closely watched contested race for a chairmanship in the Republican-controlled chamber and gives Smith jurisdiction over a broad swath of health policy.

Driving the news: The GOP steering committee chose Smith over Reps. Vern Buchanan, who had once been considered the leading contender, and Adrian Smith. He succeeds retired Rep. Kevin Brady, who was the longtime Republican leader of the committee.

  • Smith previously told Axios in an interview that if elected chair, he would focus on access to health care in rural America, telehealth, price transparency, health care security, innovation and “aggressive oversight.”
  • He also wants to hold hearings on health care costs across the country.
  • Smith hasn't said if he supports controversial Medicare policies, like raising the eligibility age, or whether he would vote to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act's drug pricing provisions.

A version of this item was published on Axios Pro. Get news like this by subscribing. Use code POLICY100, which gives you $100 off.

Editors note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the House Ways and Means Committee has jurisdiction over Medicare, but not Medicaid.

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