Retiring Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., has served in the House for 58 years, but his greatest accomplishment in all those years came to fruition very recently, according to President Obama who hailed his support for health care reform as Dingell's most "remarkable" achievement.
"[O]f all John's accomplishments, perhaps the most remarkable has been his tireless fight to guarantee quality, affordable health care for every American," Obama said of Dingell in a press statement on his retirement. "Decades after his father first introduced a bill for comprehensive health reform, John continued to introduce health care legislation at the beginning of every session. And as an original author of the Affordable Care Act, he helped give millions of families the peace of mind of knowing they won't lose everything if they get sick."
Perhaps Obama couched that comment as a "perhaps" because Dingell tells a more nuanced story of his career. He regards the health care work as a "tribute" to his father, who preceded him in Congress and also worked on the issue, but it's just one project among many, per the Detroit News.
"Dingell was a champion of the auto industry, but also an advocate for the environment, writing the clean air and water bills and helping obtain thousands of acres for parks and preserves," the News' Nolan Finley writes. "He cites those as his greatest accomplishments, along with civil rights, food and drug safety, immigration reform and finally, the Affordable Care Act."