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Rep. Bera addresses gun control, health care reform at Folsom gathering

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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FOLSOM, CA - Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, spoke to area residents Saturday at Lions Park in Folsom for his seventh Congress on the Corner.

It was his first public visit to Folsom since winning the election in November.

The visit, publicized on Facebook, drew a modest crowd of about 20 supporters.

Bera said Congress on the Corner is meant to be an interactive event where he can hear the concerns of the public and share what he sees “coming down the pike.”

After a brief introduction, Bera took questions from the group.

Affordable Care Act and gun control were issues of concern voiced during the one hour gathering.

Roberta Ward, of Folsom, had questions about medical care changes.

“Are the Feds ready and what about the Health Exchange?” Ward asked.

Bera explained that the Health Benefit Exchange will create a competitive marketplace for medical care.

“It should, theoretically, keep costs down,” he said. “I, as a consumer, will have a choice. This is not a government takeover of health care.”

According to the California health exchange website, the mission is to increase the number of insured Californians, improve health care quality and lower costs. This exchange allows consumers to choose a health plan and health providers “that give them the best value.”

Dori Keast, of Folsom, asked about Bera’s thoughts on gun control.

He said the two sides of the issue are not in a place to have that discussion. The question that should be asked is, “how do we keep our community safe,” Bera said.

“Are our laws the right ones and are we enforcing the ones we have,” he said. “What about mental health services?”

He went on to explain that he is not a gun owner and does not believe high-capacity magazines are necessary.

“If someone want to own a gun that’s fine, but be responsible,” Bera said. “Many (National Rifle Association) members agree that 30-round magazines aren’t necessary.”

More Congress on the Corner events will be held and announced on Bera’s website, www.bera.house.gov.