Congressman Ami Bera

Representing the 7th District of California
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Health Care

As a doctor, I took an oath to care for the well-being of my patients. As the Chief Medical Officer for Sacramento County, I fought to deliver quality healthcare to thousands of residents. As your Congressman, I am working with my colleagues to prioritize patient care, lower health care costs, and protect Medicare for our seniors.


 

Lowering Health Costs and Putting Patients First

Health care costs too much.  We’re paying more and more for health care and we keep getting less and less.  We have to start lowering health costs by targeting waste and fraud, encouraging medical best practices like preventive care to find and treat health care problems early, and by allowing the federal government to negotiate for the best possible prescription drug prices. 

Doing this will not only help us save taxpayer money and make our economy more efficient, but it also puts patients’ needs first.  As a doctor, I have committed myself to provide my patients with the best options available and to explain the risks and benefits of those choices.  I take that oath very seriously – as do the thousands of doctors and medical care providers in this nation.

  • The Small Business and Family Relief Act: I introduced this bill to make health care more affordable for working families, small businesses, and seniors. 

By delaying a new Affordable Care Act health insurance tax for two years, my new bipartisan bill would give health insurance markets time to stabilize while providing immediate relief to middle class Americans.  This health insurance tax makes providing health benefits to employees more expensive and hinders job growth.  It disproportionately impacts small businesses, and is expected to cost the typical family an additional $660. 

We need to work together to fix problematic areas of the Affordable Care Act and make it work better for the American people. We should reform our health care system so it is built on cooperation with the private sector, and improve on what we already have to make it better.

  • The Women’s Preventive Health Campaign Awareness Act:  One of the first bills I introduced as your Congressman was the Women’s Preventive Health Campaign Awareness Act. 



    My bill would launch a national public outreach campaign to raise awareness on the importance of yearly women’s doctor’s exams.  These exams are crucial for both saving lives and lower health care costs by finding and treating health problems early.

  • The 21st Century Health Care for Heroes Act: I was honored to co-author the 21st Century Health Care for Heroes Act with my Republican colleague form New York, Chris Gibson.  I’m proud to report that this bill is now law of the land.

    Part of a bipartisan effort to construct a streamlined and easily accessibly electronic health record system for service members and veterans, this common-sense initiative will have the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs merge their electronic health records.

    This will save money, makes the transition to civilian life easier for vets, and help address the VA backlog.  In essence, it will help make government work for our veterans. 
     
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act: As a doctor, I believe it only makes sense to let Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices so we can get the best deal for American taxpayers.  That’s why I strongly support the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act.

    The Veterans Administration already negotiates drug prices, and they pay 40 percent less than Medicare Part D for commonly prescribed prescription drugs.  This one common sense change could save American taxpayers $156 billion over ten years.

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Promoting Medical research

Millions of Americans suffer from debilitating and life-threatening diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS, Lupus, Parkinson's, and diabetes.  Congress needs to support researchers as they pursue medical breakthroughs that can positively impact millions of patients.

That’s why I strongly support the National Institutes of Health – the premier federal agency in disease research.  I’m working to prioritize investments in NIH medical research to help us unlock the mysteries of diseases, and also boost local researchers at the University of California, Davis. 

I am also working closely with the Institute’s leadership to build bipartisan support for the agency to ensure they get all the help and support they need.  And as a proud member of the Science Research Subcommittee in Congress, I pledge to work tirelessly to promote medical research and scientific advancement.

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Addressing the Doctor Shortage

The Association of American Medical Colleges projects there will be a shortage of 63,000 doctors by 2015 and more than 130,000 by 2025.  As more and more Americans gain access to health care in the coming years, it will be crucial to address this doctor shortage so that everyone can get the doctor they need.

That’s why I introduced the bipartisan Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Act.  This bill allows international doctors to remain in the U.S. longer than their visas initially permitted, if they agree to practice in underserved areas of the country that are in dire need of more doctors. 

America’s strength has always been built on our ability to attract the best and the brightest people from around the world to innovate and help us here in the U.S.  This bill is simply common-sense and, I will work to make sure it’s part of any comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced in the House.

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Protecting and Strengthening Medicare

As a doctor, I cared for thousands of patients who have paid into and rely on Medicare.  I know first-hand that we can reduce runaway health care costs without making dramatic cuts to Medicare that will hurt our seniors.  By lowering drug costs, ending wasteful tests, and encouraging preventive care, we can safeguard Medicare for future generations.

To learn more, please click here to visit my page on strengthening Social Security and Medicare.

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More on Health Care

Oct 21, 2014 Press Release

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. met yesterday with Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye to discuss Sacramento County’s emergency response and preparedness for Ebola and the upcoming flu season.

Bera asked about the County's plan and specifically about how lessons from the Ebola issues in Dallas are being incorporated into training and supplies here in Sacramento County.

Oct 9, 2014 Press Release
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. met with Rob Lynch, CEO of VSP Vision Care (VSP) today to celebrate World Sight Day and to discuss The Small Business and Family Relief Act, a bill to delay a new tax VSP is facing.
Sep 30, 2014 Press Release

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. addressed the America’s Health Insurance Plans Medicare conference today as the organization’s featured speaker.

“As a doctor, I know firsthand how critical strengthening Medicare is for our seniors," said Bera. “Medicare Advantage plans cover 45 percent of Medicare recipients in Sacramento County, nearly 100,000 seniors, and deliver improved health outcomes while bringing down healthcare costs. I'll continue to fight against any cuts to this vital lifeline."

Jul 18, 2014 Press Release

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. spoke out in support of the Not My Boss’ Business bill Thursday. The bill would address the Supreme Court’s misguided decision in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell.

Jul 1, 2014 Ami's Updates

I sent an email update on Tuesday to express my disappointment on the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case.  Join my e-mail updates now so you don't miss any in the future!

Jun 25, 2014 In The News

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, and a Republican House colleague from North Carolina, Mark Meadows, introduced a bill Thursday that would extend visas for U.S.-educated foreign doctors to ease a shortage that's affecting care in veterans hospitals, especially in rural areas.

The bill, named the Doctors Helping Heroes Act, attempts to help fix a widespread problem in the Veterans Administration health care system. Audits have revealed a high percentage of veterans in multiple states who have to wait 30 days or more for appointments with the VA.

May 3, 2014 Ami's Updates
Here's an an e-mail update I sent on Saturday about how I've been working for you in Sacramento County. Join my e-newsletter now so you don't miss out on any future updates!
Apr 11, 2014 Ami's Updates

Saturday, April 26th, is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  This is your chance to turn in your expired or unused medications for safe disposal, any time between 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

As a doctor I cannot stress enough how important it is to safely dispose of any expired or unused medications.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, and disposing of them properly is crucial for preventing abuse.

Apr 8, 2014 Press Release

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. released the following statement in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement about payments to Medicare Advantage for 2015. CMS estimates that the change to plan payments between 2014 and 2015 will be 0.4 percent increase instead of the 1.9 percent cut that was initially proposed.

Apr 4, 2014 Press Release

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. joined 27 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of  Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius urging her to reverse course and reconsider proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage to ensure that the critical program in sustainable for seniors.