Speaker's BiographyBenjamin Cardin
United States Senator, Maryland
Benjamin Cardin is a U.S. senator from Maryland. A leader on health care, retirement security, the environment and fiscal issues, the Democrat serves on the Foreign Relations, Finance, Environment and Public Works, Budget and Small Business committees. In the Senate, he introduced legislation to repeal Medicare's annual caps on physical therapy and other rehabilitation services. He also sought to allow individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 to buy into the program. In the House, his bill to expand Medicare to include preventive benefits such as colorectal, prostate, mammogram and osteoporosis screening was enacted into law. He also authored legislation to improve the drug benefit for seniors, guarantee coverage for emergency services and fund graduate medical education. In 2009, Cardin succeeded in getting a guaranteed dental benefit included in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization. The Affordable Care Act included his amendment to elevate the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities to an institute in the National Institutes of Health.