His Own Fox Bite Inspires Congressman to Pen New Bill

Rep. Ami Bera wants to make vaccine less expensive for uninsured Americans
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2022 10:50 AM CDT
His Own Fox Bite Inspires Congressman to Pen New Bill
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/MriyaWildlife)

According to government estimates, as many as 60,000 Americans need a rabies vaccine each year. Democratic California Rep. Ami Bera was one of them. Bera was one of numerous people who suffered a fox bite on Capitol Hill in April. A fox was captured and euthanized after testing positive for rabies, and Bera received post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Now, he's endeavoring to ease the financial burden for uninsured Americans who are in his shoes via legislation.

"Despite being a fatal disease, rabies is preventable if treated quickly," Bera, a physician, said in a Wednesday statement. "I was fortunate to have access to readily available and low-cost vaccines. But for too many Americans, the costs of treatment would break their banks." The Washington Post reports rabies vaccine costs can run from $1,200 to $6,500. NPR cites drug pricing data from GoodRx that gave a tighter $4,868.35 to $5,930.83 range, and the media outlet notes that doesn't include any ER markup or the cost of administering the drugs. What would happen under Bera's bill: Program-registered providers would be able to submit claims and get reimbursed for providing PEP to uninsured patients. (More rabies stories.)

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