Rep. Greg Walden, the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is not just another backbench Republican. He will have a large role in drafting promised legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act.
ONTARIO, Ore. —
When Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon visits his district, which swallows two-thirds of a very blue West Coast state, his constituents grouse amiably to their longtime Republican congressman about environmental regulations and federal lands policy.
And then the conversation shifts to the Affordable Care Act and what its repeal would mean for the struggling rural workers who have long voted for Walden, and for children like Rocco Stone, 11. Because of the health law, Rocco has been able to live at home, attend school and have a nearly normal life despite having autism and a rare genetic disorder.
“Our life was…