- Spring 2007
Nancy Johnson, a recognized authority on national health care and tax policy, served 24 years in the U.S. Congress from 1983-2007 and was the most senior woman in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 109th Congress. Johnson was known as a bipartisan leader who co-authored the national Children's Health Insurance Program with Senator Ted Kennedy, worked closely with Congressman Charlie Rangel on school construction and low income housing funding, helped write the Medicare Modernization Act with Senator Max Baucus and authored numerous health policy initiatives as chairwoman of the Health Subcommittee. As a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and free-trade proponent, Mrs. Johnson played an integral role in passage of every major tax cut bill, trade agreement and health care initiative during her tenure on the committee.
Hailed by the non-partisan Almanac of American Politics as "one of the most active and productive legislators in the House," Johnson's legislative accomplishments reflected the diverse interests of her district, and included improving health care for seniors and children, lowering taxes for working families, strengthening manufacturing to compete globally, encouraging entrepreneurship, improving our schools, and protecting the environment. As a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, she was the first Republican woman to be so appointed and also the first woman to chair one its subcommittees. As a member and chairwoman one of the Health Subcommittee, Johnson co-authored the laws that expanded Medicare to cover prescription drug benefits, chronic disease management, increased preventive health benefits and coverage of care offered by nurse specialists, physician assistants and nutritionists. Johnson also wrote the law that created the children's health insurance program, known as HUSKY in Connecticut, and funded residency programs at hospitals for children.
Congresswoman Johnson also helped cut taxes for families and expand retirement saving opportunities, working to reform pension laws so more small businesses and excluded groups of workers could enjoy tax subsidized savings opportunities. Johnson also established a record as a committed environmentalist. Her focus on river quality and open space resulted in the protection of millions of acres of Connecticut forests and agriculture lands, the inclusion of the Farmington River in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, the designation of the Connecticut River as a Heritage River and the recognition of Connecticut's Northwest corner as a National Heritage Area.