Meet a Member of the 114th Congress: Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA)

Inside HSCA examines members of the 114th Congress who have a background in healthcare or who could have an impact on the supply chain.

Dr. William “Bill” Cassidy won’t be a new face on Capitol Hill—but he will be in a new place.

The Louisiana Republican is leaving the U.S. House of Representatives for the United States Senate after recently defeating incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu in a December 6th election runoff.

Cassidy, who served as a Louisiana state senator before being elected to U.S. Congress in 2008, has been involved in healthcare his entire professional life. He started practicing medicine in 1983 and has taught at Louisiana State University Medical School since 1990. Furthermore, the Baton Rouge-based physician has undertaken many projects aimed at helping the uninsured and underinsured both in his community and overseas.

For example, Cassidy created a private-public partnership to vaccinate 36,000 children in the Baton Rouge area against Hepatitis B at no cost to parents; he co-founded the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic, which provides free health and dental care to individuals who work but lack insurance; and he provided medical treatment while travelling to Africa several times with his wife Laura, who is a surgeon.

Cassidy has also said that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act will be among his top priorities in the 114th Congress.

In a statement from his website, Cassidy says he has “always been committed to making sure all Americans have access to good health care,” and explains this should be achieved through free-market solutions that “give patients the power, not Washington DC bureaucrats.”

Cassidy has already been assigned a seat on the influential Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), where he will use his background in healthcare to shape legislation when he joins the upper chamber in January.

A graduate of LSU and LSU Medical School, Cassidy lives in the Baton Rouge area with his wife Laura and their three children.

For more information on Senator-elect Bill Cassidy, visit his campaign website here.


Meet a New Member of the 114th Congress: Brian Babin, DDS (R-TX)

Inside HSCA examines new members of the 114th Congress who have a background in healthcare or who could have an impact on the supply chain.

Dr. Brian Babin has practiced dentistry for over 30 years, first in the U.S Air Force and later through his private practice. He will bring his extensive background in healthcare and public service to Congress as the next U.S. Representative of the 36th Congressional District of Texas.
Babin ran as a strong conservative and made water conservation, border security and healthcare reform the core messages of his campaign.
The dentist believes the Affordable Care Act should be abolished, stating that the legislation is “destroying jobs, the economy, and causing millions to lose their promised healthcare policies.” His plan for reform is to replace the Affordable Care Act “with federal tax credits and free market solutions.”
Before easily defeating Democrat Michael Cole in the general election, Babin fought through a difficult primary field—eleven other Republicans sought the seat vacated by Rep. Steve Stockman—to eventually defeat tea-party backed Ben Streusand for the GOP nomination.
What many say distinguished Babin in the crowded primary battle was his deep connection with the district, which was formed through years of community involvement.
In addition to running his successful dental practice in Woodville, Texas, Babin was also Mayor of the city, served as a City Councilman, is a deacon at his Baptist church and has held numerous board and advisory positions in the area. Furthermore, Babin has campaigned for state and national Republican candidates for decades, helping turn the one-time Democratic stronghold into a consistently Republican district. This established strong ties to the region’s politics and gave him a distinct advantage over his competition.
Babin earned his BS degree from Lamar University and his DDS from the University of Texas at Houston. He has been married to his wife Roxanne for over 40 years and has 5 children and 11 grandchildren.
For more information on Representative-elect Brian Babin, visit his campaign website here.


Meet a New Member of the 114th Congress: Mark Takai, MPH (D-HI)

Inside HSCA examines new members of the 114th Congress who have a background in healthcare or who could have an impact on the supply chain.

Lt. Col. Mark Takai is a member of the Army National Guard, former member of the Hawaii House of Representatives, and the next U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District. Takai has a deep healthcare background in both the public and private sectors.

Currently a Preventive Medical Officer with the Hawaii National Guard, Takai has previously served as the Hawaii Army National Guard Deputy State Surgeon and as a public educator for the state’s Department of Health. Takai also owns and operates Pacific First Health Solutions, a health insurance brokerage firm.

Healthcare featured prominently in Takai’s congressional campaign. On the trail, Takai continually stressed the need to improve access to care, reduce costs for Hawaiians and protect Medicare beneficiaries. Takai supports the Affordable Care Act, but also notes he will consider any “changes to the law that will provide better access to affordable health care.”

Takai won the seat in a close contest against Republican Charles Djou and will replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

Takai is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a 20-year member of the Hawaii House of Representatives, and he aims to make bipartisanship a staple of his first term in order to get “things done for middle-class families” and to “bring an end to the extreme rhetoric and partisanship that is dominating Washington.”

Takai earned a B.A. in political science and a master degree in public health from the University of Hawaii, where he was also a standout swimmer. He lives near Honolulu with his wife and two children.

For more background information on Representative-elect Mark Takai, visit his campaign website here.