Congress is elected represent their district and represent their ideas and beliefs in Washington. Right now, some elected members think they know what is best for the people in their district with out ever asking them. DailyKos decided it was time to ask what the people in Henry Cuellar's district actually think.
The Research 2000 poll asked a few key questions about health care, Henry Cuellar, President Barack Obama and the 2010 election.Henry Cuellar has gone as far to The Hill he can't support
any bill with the public option due to current costs structures. A quick break down on the top lines of the poll indicate Cuellar's district does not feel the same way as Cuellar. When asked, “Do you favor or oppose creating a government-administered health insurance option that anyone can purchase to compete with private insurance plans?” 53% favor creating government administered health insurance options, 40% oppose the plan and 7% were not sure. The numbers change slightly when asked about a vague plan and attaching Barack Obama's name. When asked, “Generally speaking, do you favor or oppose Barack Obama's health care plan?” 51% of all respondents still favored the plan, with 42% opposed and 7% still unsure.
It's important to point out again, Cuellar is
opposed to a public option and stand on the fence of health insurance reform as it is now in the House.
Another interesting question asked to the good people in Congressional District 28 was a question on trust. Republican's have been making the case that they are winning the debate on health care and are earning the average American's trust. Again, the top line results challenge this myth. When asked, “Overall who do you trust more on the issue of health care, the Democrats or the Republicans?” 44% favor Democrats and only 35% favor Republicans. Not quite the hearts and minds the Republican Party would have you imagine.
The poll finally shows that 49% of all respondents do not favor Cuellar's positions on health care and 41% do. Keep this number in mind because 22% of respondents also said they would be less likely to vote for Cuellar if he opposed a public health care option.
There is substantial more to this poll, and I encourage you to look at the whole thing, but with 1 in 4 Texans and 1.5 million children without insurance, maybe it is time for our elected officials to listen to their districts and fight for a public option.
Update: Just finished talking with Congressman Cuellar's office. The congressman stands in support of the public option but his staff has indicated he is not a strong supporter of the current House bill as indicated in the Hill article. A public statement is coming soon and we will get that up as soon as we get it.
Update:As promised, the Cuellar office released this statement to clarify the Congressman's position. Ashley Patterson, Cuellar's press secretary, e-mailed me. This is statement is unedited and is the entire statement.
“Congressman Cuellar is an advocate for health care reform and he has gone on the record supporting the public option. In fact, this August one publication in the 28th district referred to Cuellar as “Defending the Public Option”. Another said Congressman Cuellar “maintains” that a vast majority of his uninsured constituents could be covered by the proposed House plan. The Congressman indicated last month that he could not support the bill in its current form, because he wanted to ensure Congress amended H.R. 3200 to ensure the plan's cost-efficiency. President Obama echoed similar cost concerns during his address to Congress earlier this month.
Congressman Cuellar has supported health care since serving in the Texas State Legislature. He coauthored the pilot program for what's now the Children Health Insurance Program in Texas. He hasn't wavered from recognizing the need for reform nor does he plan to in the future. He's asked honest questions about how this plan will affect the nation's deficit, but he hasn't pointed to the public option when asking these questions.”