Teague says he has concerns about health care bill

August 12, 2009

LAS CRUCES – U.S. Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M., said Tuesday he has serious concerns about the health-care reform bill being considered in the House, and wants to hear from his constituents before making a final decision as to how he will vote.

Teague, who was in Las Cruces on Monday and Tuesday, told members of the Sun-News editorial board that he was one of 22 freshmen House members to ask that a final vote be pushed back until after the August recess, and to warn Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they would not support a bill if it was “paid for on the backs of small businesses.”

He said he has posted a link to the House bill, HR 3200, on his Web site, and hopes that constituents take time to read it and let him know of their concerns.

“We were part of the group that said let’s wait, let’s don’t vote on this, let’s go back to our district and talk to our constituents and get some input into it,” Teague said.

He said he expected many constituents to participate in a telephone town hall meeting Tuesday night, and noted that during his visit this week he met with a number of different business groups. To this point, however, Teague has yet to schedule the kind of open town hall meeting that has produced angry confrontations in some other states. He said for the past eight months he has been holding meetings throughout the district, and denied that the rancor at other town hall meetings is dissuading him now.

“We’re doing things the same way now as we were doing them in February,” Teague said. “It’s understandable that you’re going to have people who are passionate about their position.”

Teague said that, while he has a lot of events already planned for the August recess, he has not ruled out a health-care town hall. If that happens, Teague said he will not be there to advocate for one side or the other.

“The way it stands right now, I still have a lot of questions about it before we can move forward with it,” Teague said. “That’s what I tell people at the meetings, I’m not trying to kill the bill and I’m not trying to sell the bill. I want you to see the bill and have some input into it. I need some answers before I can vote on the bill.”

Click here to read the full story.