Responding to you | Congressman Ami Bera

Responding to You

As your representative, listening to you is my most important job. Every time you send me a letter or call my office – even if we respectfully disagree – it helps me do a better job of serving you.

I take great pride in reading your letters and each one makes a difference. That’s why my office has now responded to more than 207,157 of your letters since 2013.

Click below to watch me reply to some of your letters personally to learn more about where I stand, and always please feel free to call or write to share your views.


Responding to Nancy from Carmichael: Protecting the Peace Corps

Nancy, who lives in Carmichael, is a former Peace Corps volunteer who recently wrote to share her concerns about the future of the program. As a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I know the Peace Corps is crucial for providing humanitarian assistance and American leadership around the world. You can click below to see me respond to her:

The Peace Corps is the best of America – it’s core to our global leadership and American values. And it has a long track record of success. Thousands of Americans have answered the call to serve, going overseas to help make the world a better place.

In Congress, I’ve supported strong funding for the Peace Corps and I am disappointed that the White House has proposed cutting this vital initiative in its budget plan. On the Foreign Affairs Committee, I will stand against undermining the Peace Corps and will work with people in both parties to continue investing in this important mission.

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Responding to Marilyn from Sacramento: The President’s Election Commission

As you may have heard, President Trump formed a new commission to look into so-called voter fraud. The leader of the commission has requested private voter data from every state, which both Republicans and Democrats alike have rejected.

Marilyn, from Sacramento, wrote to me with her concerns about this. You can see me respond here: 

California’s Secretary of State has said he will not cooperate with this request for information, and I strongly agree with him. With very little evidence of voter fraud, we shouldn’t do anything to undermine voting rights or voters’ rights to privacy.

Protecting the right to vote is core to our democracy. That’s why I’ve supported legislation to update and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. This would help make sure everyone can exercise their voting rights freely and fairly, regardless of a person’s race, ethnic background, or creed.

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Responding to Thom and Kath from Elk Grove: The Future of Health Savings Accounts

As a doctor, I know we need to give families more innovative and useful ways to save for their health care needs. That’s why I’m a strong supporter of health savings accounts, which folks can use to help pay for prescriptions, copays and other expenses.

Thom and Kath from Elk Grove recently wrote in to ask about the future of health savings accounts. You can click below to see me respond:

I’ve long been a supporter of health savings accounts. In fact, I introduced the bipartisan Health Savings Protection Act to rollback a harmful tax that would shift more costs onto patients and has led many employers to threaten to stop providing health savings accounts.

In addition, I’ve joined with several of my congressional colleagues to support a new Prescription to Protect our Care. This is a plan to fix what isn’t working in the Affordable Care Act to make it better, and it includes support for health savings accounts. You can click here to learn more about our plan:

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Responding to Lorrie from Carmichael: Protecting and Strengthening Medicare

As a doctor, I’ve cared many seniors who have paid into and rely on Medicare. I know firsthand that we can reduce runaway health care costs without making dramatic cuts that will hurt our seniors.

While we must lower our debt, we shouldn’t look to balance our budget on the backs of our seniors. That’s why I have consistently opposed partisan budgets to turn Medicare into a voucher - we shouldn’t shift costs onto seniors.

Instead of undermining the Medicare guarantee, we should be strengthening Medicare for today’s seniors and future generations. That’s why I helped pass the historic and bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which is now law. At its core, this bill fixes a broken payment system called the Sustainable Growth Rate that caused financial uncertainty in Medicare for more than a decade and forced doctors to see fewer Medicare patients. If left unaddressed, doctors would have struggled to afford to care for seniors on Medicare. Fixing this broken system was critical for protecting the Medicare guarantee for seniors.

Please click here to learn more about how I’m working to protect the Medicare guarantee.

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Responding to Phyllis from Citrus Heights: Supporting Paid Family Leave

As a father, I know firsthand how important it is to have time to take care of a newborn baby or a sick child. My daughter, Sydra, was born prematurely and my wife and I had to take time off of work to care for her. But I was lucky: my employer gave me paid time off, and my wife could take time off of medical school.

Today, many families aren’t as fortunate. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, less than half of all American workers qualify for unpaid leave to care for a sick child or other family member. Just 13 percent of the workforce has access to paid family leave through their employers.

A parent shouldn’t be placed in the impossible position of choosing to either care for their sick child or keeping their job. That’s why I’ve supported the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or the FAMILY Act. This bill would expand paid leave to millions of American families so they can have the security they need. I’ve also supported the Healthy Families Act to give workers a chance to earn paid sick leave.

Please click here to learn more about how I’m supporting healthy women and healthy families.

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Responding to Celeste from Folsom: Addressing Russian Interference in Our Democracy

As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I’ve been pushing the intelligence community to investigate the involvement of the Russian government in our election as well as connections to President Trump’s administration. We need to do more to protect our country and democracy from cyber-attacks and foreign influence. 

That’s why I’m strongly supporting the Protecting our Democracy Act to establish an independent commission to investigate foreign government interference in the 2016 election.

Regardless of whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or independent, these findings should be incredibly alarming. We cannot allow a foreign government to compromise our national security. 

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Responding to Jessica in Sacramento: Honoring Our Veterans

As a doctor who has helped care for veterans, I've seen firsthand how much they've sacrificed for us. After giving so much for our country and our safety, the least we can do is make sure they have access to basic resources.

That’s why I've been working to fix problems at the VA since my first month in office. I’m proud that my local office has helped Sacramento County Veterans recover more than $1.9 million in benefits and services they were owed. If you or someone you know needs help, please call my office at (916) 635-0505 or visit my Help for Veterans page.

In Congress, I also introduced and helped pass the bipartisan 21st Century Health Care for Heroes Act. This bill, which is now law, requires the Defense Department and the Veterans Administration to streamline and update electronic health records. This will both help reduce the backlog of veterans’ benefits at the VA and get our heroes the care they've earned.

Please click here to learn more about how I’ve been working to help veterans access the jobs, benefits, and health care they deserve.

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