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For Immediate Release

Date: 01/28/11

Rep. Les Fossel takes post on Health and Human Services Committee

AUGUSTA -- State Rep. Les Fossel has been appointed to the high-profile Health and Human Services Committee (HHS), giving him an influential voice in shaping legislation on issues ranging from MaineCare and medical marijuana to homelessness.

"I'm delighted to be serving on this committee," said Rep. Fossel (R-Alna), a second-term legislator. "As a business owner who has worked for years in and outside the Legislature on lowering the cost of health care, I am looking forward to being in a position to put ideas into action. Maine's health care and health insurance costs are among the highest in the country, and they are a major drag on our ability to create jobs.

"I think my service on the Insurance and Financial Services Committee and the Committee on Health Care Reform gives me the background to be effective," he added. "As an employer who pays the full cost of health insurance for my employees and their families, and who had to deal with a 34 percent increase in renewal premiums, I am extremely motivated to bring costs under control to benefit all Mainers."

The Health and Human Services Committee has one of the broadest jurisdictional charters in the Legislature. It oversees the huge Department of Health and Human Services; MaineCare, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D; and children's welfare and mental health services. It also handles disease control; prescription drugs; social and rehabilitation services; substance abuse; mental health; disabilities; poverty, homelessness and public assistance.

The committee's purview also extends to home and community-based long-term care; aging, elderly and disability issues; medical use of marijuana; maternal and infant health; and nursing facilities and residential care.

The Maine Legislature has 16 bipartisan policy committees that handle bills and issues that fall within their areas of jurisdiction. Each committee has 13 members - three senators and 10 representatives.

Rep. Fossel's House district includes Alna, Dresden, Pittston and Wiscasset. ###

Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445