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Sharon Ito's blog: Congressional candidate Ami Bera's turn | Politics

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Sharon Ito's blog: Congressional candidate Ami Bera's turn
Politics

Sharon Ito's blog: Democratic congressional candidate Dr. Ami Bera brought a congenial style to his studio interview on News10 at 9 a.m., though the last campaign with Republican incumbent Dan Lungren was a bruiser.

The way Lungren remembered it when he was our show the week before, Bera's campaign was "mostly attacks." Bera told us there were "attacks on both sides," but like Lungren he wants a higher level of dialogue this time around. Maybe when the men debate on our show in the coming months, we'll see a civil exchange. Their ad campaigns may be a different story.

This is a high profile and highly competitive race; both parties are heavily invested in this election since it could change the balance of power in the House. The 7th Congressional District has been redrawn and includes a greater swath of Elk Grove, and as a result leans more independent and democratic.

So here's what Bera told us on several key issues:

Gas Prices: "Why is it that when oil companies are making record profits, we still give them billions of dollars in subsidies, and that's another way to start lowering prices."

Health Care Reform: "I've been consistent. I think the "Affordable Care Act," health care reform by President Obama, misses the point. We have to address the cost of health care...That does require real health insurance reform. And that requires taking on the pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance industry, two of the biggest lobbies. And President Obama didn't do that. That would be, what I would say, is one of the biggest disappointments that we didn't address the cost of health care."

MediCare: "We've got Medicare, which is a pretty efficient system and most people are pretty happy with it. We've got to protect Medicare. We've got to strengthen it. I would say we should bring more lives into Medicare, and then we can start lowering the costs for everyone."

Super PACs: "There's millions of dollars going into these races, the whole Super PAC issue. You've got all this outside money coming into the presidential race, into the congressional races. Those special interests don't care about the people who live here. They're just buying a vote."

Politics