In the 113th Congressman Bilirakis joined the Energy and Commerce Committee. Part of his Committee assignment includes serving on the Health Subcommittee, with jurisdiction over Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – and the rest of the American health care system.
Congressman Bilirakis has introduced two pieces of legislation to help preserve Medicare for current and future beneficiaries. H.R. 3392, the Medicare Part D Patient Safety and Drug Abuse Prevention Act, would establish a Safe Pharmacy Access Program, to prevent high-risk beneficiaries from abusing controlled substances. This is a cost-saving measure utilized by private industry, TRICARE, and state Medicaid programs. H.R. 2828, the Medicare Abuse Prevention (MAP) Act, would remove Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards and strengthens the civil and criminal penalties for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP abuse. It would also incentivize states to conduct their own prescription drug monitoring programs.
Bilirakis is a staunch opponent of Obamacare. He opposed the legislation when it passed in 2009, and has worked to repeal and replace the law. Bilirakis supports the infusion of free market principles and cost transparency into the health care system, which he believes is the best way to lower costs and increase access to affordable care. He opposed a government takeover of health care, and has long been an advocate for Health Savings Accounts, access to catastrophic care, and high risk pools to ensure coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Bilirakis supports legislation to allow veterans who completed military emergency medical technician (EMT) training to more easily receive civilian accreditation to work as EMTs; to create a 10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund to the National Institutes of Health; and to allow epi-pens to be kept in schools. In the past, Bilirakis has sponsored legislation to require Medicare to cover hearing aids for older Americans to improve their quality of life and increase their safety. Gus also has voted to renew important breast and cervical cancer detection programs.
Additionally, Congressman Bilirakis is a member of numerous health care-related caucuses through which he advocates for many important causes, including the:
- Community Health Center Caucus
- Brain Injury Task Force
- Health Care Caucus;
- Prescription Drug Caucus;
- Congenital Heart Caucus;
- Cystic Fibrosis Caucus;
- Diabetes Caucus;
- Down Syndrome Caucus;
- Health Hearing Caucus;
- Vision Caucus;
- House Cancer Caucus; and
- Pediatric Cancer Caucus.
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The 21st Century Cures Act has been three years in the making, and on December 13, 2016, it was finally signed into law. Over the years, Rep. Bilirakis has met with local patients, doctors, and advocates from Florida to discuss how to get new treatments and cures to market faster. Proudly, much of their input is reflected in the final law.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, applauded the committee’s passage of legislation today to reform the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and promote important public health priorities. Among the bills advanced today are Bilirakis’ Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1222) and the FDA Reauthorization Act (H.R.