12 August 2009

Blue Dog Cuellar Get's It Right On The Public Option

Today's Rio Grande Guardian reports that Blue Dog, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D - Laredo) is running against the pack and has come out in support of a "Public Option".

One wants to run out into the street and pound on hoods of passing cars and stop traffic shouting, "At last, a voice of reason emerges!"

The "Public Option" is opposed by the insurance oligarchs and from them to Texas 28 the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and the always reactionary Rio Grande Valley Partnership as well as virtually all congressional Blue Dogs (most of whom are on the take from the insurance industry).

Cuellars's comments came at a press conference at McAllen City Hall last week. He said, "I support a public option plan. It does not mandate anything. It just gives you an option. There is still a role for the insurance industry. The public option is not going to take over.

He held the press conference to discuss economic stimulus funds coming to Hildago County and McAllen, but the health care reform debate quickly became the focus of the question and answer period.

Cuellar said, "When people say, oh, we don't want the government programs I ask many of you are are on Medicare, how many of you are veterans. When the hands go up, I say, I don't know if y'all know this but those are both government-run programs.

The congressman said that in his district alone there are about 267,000 people without health insurance which greatly influences his position on the issue. He said the the House reform bill (America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009) would provide health care coverage for about 95 percent of the population which would translate to 244,000 people in his district alone.

His district covers one third of McAllen, all of Laredo and counties between the border and northeast San Antonio. he is the only Blue Dog Democrat in the Texas delegation and his stance of putting the good of his constituents ahead of ideological posturing is unique and highly commendable. It is what should be expected of all politicians.

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