Texas Rep Laubenberg Letter

Texas Rep Laubenberg Letter

Postby Brenda on Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:59 pm

On Christmas Eve, the Senate passed its own version of the health insurance overhaul. Currently, House and Senate leadership are working to combine each chamber's version of the bill into one final piece of legislation. Some have speculated that this process could take until February, but the final passage of this bill into law now seems a certainty.
I have openly opposed this legislation, and promoted other practical steps that would better ensure access to health care for all Americans. None of these options involve the U.S. government taking control of one-third of the country's economy, and none of them include depriving citizens of the freedom to choose how they spend their hard-earned money.
While it seems certain that this insurance overhaul will be signed into law, what is less certain is the constitutionality of the legislation. Questions have already arisen about the power of Congress to require you or me to buy insurance. The bill also essentially treats state governments as an extension of the federal government, ignoring each state's sovereign decision-making authority. While states rights have been encroached on for years, requiring states to increase their health care budget by as much as $6 Billion in the first three years of the bill's implementation goes above and beyond anything we have seen in a long time.
Finally, scrutiny of the deals cut to pass this bill has led to questions of constitutionality. Case in point is the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback." A provision in the Senate Bill actually says that Nebraska never has to pay into Medicaid again. Every other state in the Union has to pay into Medicaid - to the tune of a third of each state's budget. Fortunately for Texas, our Attorney General has joined a dozen others to challenge the constitutionality of this provision, and is analyzing the language to file a lawsuit.
Here in the Legislature, we must work to assert Texas' sovereignty. The Health Insurance Overhaul threatens our economy and prosperity like never before. The so-called Cap and Trade Bill is also looming on the horizon, and equally threatens our state's livelihood. We go back into session for the 82nd Legislature next winter. By then, a final health insurance bill will likely be signed into law. At that point, we will have something concrete to act on at the State level. I will be working with my like-minded colleagues in the coming months, because we must take this head on and we must have a unified strategy for the session. We must not let the 82nd Session go by without an answer to this infringement on our rights; to do so would be to fail ourselves and our future generations.
We are fortunate that our district Congressmen, Sam Johnson and Ralph Hall, have been vigorously fighting on our behalf. I encourage you to contact them to thank them. And of course, please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about this or other issues. I will be pleased to assist you as we work together for the benefit of our great state.
Jodie Laubenberg

State Representative, District 89
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:28 pm

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