Don’t let the numbers fool you. They may account for only 4% of the 113th Congress, but the 20 physician members will wield big influence over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and other policy. The new class includes two Democratic physicians from California—Drs. Ami Bera and Raul Ruiz—and Congress bids farewell to two GOP physicians—Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who didn’t seek re-election, and Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.), an ophthalmologist who was defeated Nov. 6. Here’s a sampling of perspectives from the physicians who will serve in the next Congress, as well as a sampling of bills current members sponsored in the session about to end.
At left, U.S. Rep. Tom Price tears a page from the Affordable Care Act as it was about to be argued before the Supreme Court. Price, an orthopedic surgeon, lost a bid last month to be the House Republican Conference chairman.