From the Office of State Senator Glenn Hegar, District 18

For Immediate Release
March 25, 2010
Contact: Lisa Craven
(512) 463-0118

State Senator Glenn Hegar Responds to Passage of Federal Health Care Legislation

Katy Republican disappointed with passage of federal health care bill but remains hopeful that Texas Attorney General will be successful in Constitutional Challenge

Austin, Texas — Texas State Senator Glenn Hegar responded today to Sunday's passage of so called "health care reform" legislation by the United States Congress.

"I am extremely disappointed that so many of our elected officials in Washington, D.C. have chosen to ignore the wishes of their constituents by passing this highly controversial, fiscally unsound, and dangerous bill, stated Senator Hegar. "While I support improving our nation's healthcare system, this bill is a gigantic step in the wrong direction. The legislation raises taxes, increases government spending, and continues to grow an already cumbersome bureaucracy. Perhaps most disturbing, this bill shows the current administration's blatant disregard for the 10th Amendment, the sovereignty of the various states, and the personal freedom of American citizens by requiring Texas and other states to tax their citizens in order to fund federal mandates and forcing individuals to purchase health insurance or face harsh penalties," Hegar added.

Senator Hegar was also critical of the extremely partisan nature of the bill and that fact that Republican lawmakers were left out of negotiations on the bill. Hegar said that he was also dismayed that the White House and Congressional leaders failed to heed the warnings from state leaders about the impact the bill would have on the State of Texas and Texas taxpayers. Hegar said that leaders with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission estimate that the bill will cost Texas taxpayers some $23 billion over the next ten years above and beyond what Texans are already paying to provide Medicaid coverage to millions.

"Despite the best efforts of state and local leaders to engage in the process and express their concerns about the impact of this legislation, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid tuned a deaf ear to Texas leaders and passed a bill that not only harms taxpayers but one that unconstitutional as well," Senator Hegar said. "Now, we Texans must decide how to protect ourselves and our values," added Hegar.

Senator Hegar applauded the action of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in challenging the measure in federal court. He said that he will work to assist Abbott in his efforts by working with my colleagues to pass legislation that will clarify the right of Texans to make their health care decisions without government interference.

"I believe in the Constitution and will follow the law," Senator Hegar said. "I am, however, equally committed to protecting hardworking Texas taxpayers from the negative effects of this overreaching legislation," Hegar said. "The Texas Legislature is not in session. That means we cannot consider any specific legislation to deal with ramifications of this new law until January 2011 unless the Governor orders a Special Session for that purpose," said Hegar. Even so, I will work closely during the interim with General Abbott, Governor Perry, Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst and my legislative colleagues to explore whatever means are available to us defend the individual liberties of our citizens, protect the sovereignty of our state, and preserve the values of our great nation," Senator Hegar concluded.

Senator Hegar previously served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now serves as a Senator for Senate District 18. He is well-known throughout Texas as an advocate for the Tenth Amendment and has authored legislation to preserve our state's sovereignty under that amendment. Hegar is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming rice and corn on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800s. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.