The Laredo congressman will support federal health care reform legislation, according to a statement just released by his office:
“From the beginning, I have wanted to provide what’s in the best health care interest for the people of the 28th Congressional District of Texas. As residents of the third most uninsured district in Texas and one of the ten most uninsured districts in the nation, my constituents face tremendous health care needs.
Texas is the most uninsured state in the nation, with premiums rising faster than wages. Nearly six million hard working Texans, 28 percent of the state population, have no health insurance and for those who do, premiums have doubled in the past decade, nearly a 104 percent increase. This means, Texas is on a health care path that is preventing families from keeping their insurance and this is putting millions of Texans’ health in jeopardy. Families in Texas need more affordable coverage, more access and more choices than they have today. Our small businesses need more buying power and tax cuts to keep their employees covered and employed. And over 1.4 million children in Texas still need health insurance.
For these reasons, I have thoughtfully and thoroughly analyzed how this health care reform plan will benefit the constituents of the 28th District of Texas and the rest of my state. As a Blue Dog Democrat, I am pleased that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined this plan will reduce the deficit by nearly $1.5 trillion in the next two decades while it is fully paid-for. In a time of extreme economic challenges, this is a pivotal moment for the nation to stem rising premiums and begin containing health care costs for the future. No longer can we stand idle as Americans compromise their health because they can’t afford to get care.
Therefore, I have determined that H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, will benefit my district and my constituents. Of any state in the nation, Texas stands to gain the most from this health care package, bringing an estimated $120 billion in health care funding to our state’s economy. The cost of inaction is far greater than the investment for these reforms. After many discussions and numerous meetings with my constituents, their families, the uninsured, insured, local businesses, physicians, health practitioners, nurses, local hospitals, community clinics, local officials, statewide officials, educators, community leaders, local advocates and religious leaders, and after a thorough reading of the bill, the changes and several legal analyses, I have decided to stand in support of this plan for health care reform.”