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Reyes’ take on Saturday’s health talk at the Pearson Forum; more public appearances to come

News release from the office of U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, followed by a news release from the office of city Rep. Susie Byrd:


Forum extended to allow questions and comments from all who wished to speak
Reyes to continue public meetings with El Pasoans on health insurance reform legislation

El Paso, Texas – Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), today discussed health insurance reform legislation with El Pasoans for over two hours at a special edition of the Ray Pearson Forum at Bowie High School. Congressman Reyes extended the forum to ensure that every person who wished to ask a question or provide a comment had the opportunity to do so. Congressman Reyes will continue to meet with local residents to discuss health insurance reform at public meetings throughout the city.

Congressman Reyes will discuss health insurance reform at several community meetings with City Representatives in the coming days. On Monday, August 31, Congressman Reyes will be the guest speaker at City Representative Beto O’Rourke’s community breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Village Inn (2929 N. Mesa Street). He will also speak at City Representative Susie Byrd’s community breakfast on Thursday, September 3, from 7:30 a.m to 9:00 a.m. at Tierra del Sol Restaurant (4201 Alabama) and at Mayor Pro Tempore Emma Acosta’s community meeting on Saturday, September 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Burges High School.

With over 230,000 people without health insurance in our community, health insurance reform is vital for El Paso. In 2008, El Paso-area hospitals spent over $190 million in uncompensated care on patients who could not pay for treatment. Last year, according to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, over 1,000 El Paso families declared bankruptcy due to medical costs.

“Under the current broken health care system, El Paso property tax payers are subsidizing the care and treatment for the thousands of uninsured patients that wind up in the emergency room at University Medical Center,” Congressman Reyes said. “Without reform, the problem will only get worse. El Paso has among the highest rates of people without health insurance in the entire country, and we simply cannot afford the status quo.”


Rep. Reyes to Address Healthcare Bill at Rep. Byrd’s Breakfast Meeting

U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes will speak on the proposed healthcare reform bill at city Rep. Susie Byrd’s breakfast meeting on Thursday Sep. 3, 2009.

Constituents and residents throughout the city are invited to attend the meeting to gain information on the specifics on the bill’s provisions.

“The meeting will be a casual and comfortable discussion so that everyone can hear Rep. Reyes’s stance on this important issue,” Rep. Byrd said. “I’d like for everyone to be able to understand what this bill means for El Paso,” she added.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 a.m. inside Tierra Del Sol Restaurant, located at 4201 Alabama. For more information, please contact Rene Leon at (915) 541-4996.


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

August 22, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

11 Responses

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  1. To call the meeting at Bowie a discussion is really misleading. President Obama’s video presentation was longer than everything Congreeman Reyes had to say.

    He answered only those questions he chose, and ignored many many more.

    For his next performance someone should tell him to begin by outlining his position, his role is crafting the final document, and his core beliefs on the issue before taking questions. Right now all we know is he supports this bill.

    Too Tired To Care

    August 23, 2009 at 8:16 am

  2. It’s hard to discuss a Bill that has not been passed. Rep. Reyes stated that he would opt for the ‘Public Option’ which is very ill-defined. Reyes will soon qualify for Medicare and he also qualifies for VA care for himself.

    How many of the 280,000 uninsured El Pasoans are undocumented and therefore not eligible under the proposed bill? How many of these 280K are eligible for Medicaid or CHIPS but choose not to sign up? All of these 280K are eligible for medical at the taxpayer supported UMC.

    The taxpayers already subsidize medical care for non-empoyee dependents at the City, County and school districts.

    Ken G

    August 23, 2009 at 8:41 am

  3. Ken G
    The time to discuss a bill is BEFORE it is passed. The most publicly available “bill” is H.R. 3200. This is the foundation upon which the actual bill presented or a vote will be built. So there is no difficulty here.

    More relevent than what Health Care Plan Congressman Reyes qualifies for, is what role will he play in the formation of the final bill put to a vote. I asked him yesterday something along the lines of “given your long tenure in the House, and having just been introduced as one of the most powerful members of Congress, what, if any, specific role have you played in crafting this proposal or in offering alternatives?

    His reply was that he had held many discussions with health care providers about the issues. I assume from that reply that he had no hand in drafting any of the language under discussion and was simply meeting with stakeholders and “experts” on the topic. That is a disappointment to me. Given El Paso’s current state regarding wage level, un/underinsured population, and the large proportion of people who utilize current government programs – I would expect someoen of his stature in The House to have taken on a leadership role in this important effort. Not doing so shows the Congressman lacks leadership, and has accepted the role of party supporter. He should have demanded a place at the table on such an issue.

    Tim Collins

    August 23, 2009 at 11:56 am

  4. Regardless of whether you are for or against or willing to compronise on the Heathcare Bill, ask yourself why would someone sell sell a program, with much vigor, they themselves are not willing to buy.

    Ask Congress and the Senate to commit to terminating their special heath and medical benefits for this new program. Then I would say they have creditability and the program must be as good as say.


    August 23, 2009 at 1:03 pm

  5. I had not seen sooooo many white folks at Bowie High School since the last time the KKK was in town looking to lynch a Mexican……

    I wonder what Mexican they were after this time?????


    August 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm

  6. “Rey” is misinformed, and misrepresents what Reyes actually said. Members of Congress have the same health care package that all federal employees have. When S. Reyes was asked if he would give it up for what’s proposed in the bill-in-progress, he said yes.
    That was probably the only unequivocal answer he gave. Overall I thought he did a lousy job. He seemed more interested in grandstanding/campaigning than in transmitting information. The handout prepared by his office was very informative, but from his performance yesterday I’d say he hadn’t read it himself.
    With all the ignorance and right-wing misinformation impeding progress on this issue, we really need someone more effective than Reyes advocating for our interests.

    Aurolyn Luykx

    August 23, 2009 at 4:30 pm

  7. This is how Democrats operate: at the end of saturday’s town hall Rep. Reyes allowed Paul Moreno(former State Representative) to take a mike and speak. What Moreno said is “that we (opponents of this health care reform) were against it because we did not like or want a black man as president.” In a full voice loud and clear, for the City and world to hear, he said we, the opponents, were RACISTS. To be kind, this was very poor form for Rep. Reyes to allow. But the point is, that is how the GAME is played.So the GAME goes on.


    August 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm

  8. Southsider. The focus is on health care and you went to count “white” people? This is why the country is in trouble.


    August 23, 2009 at 11:32 pm

  9. Aurolyn apparently believes believes that Reyes is the only one voting or vote counts.

    What a twist of wording to further an agenda.

    My point is if it is good, they ALL should give up the Federal Healthcare insurance and sign on to this one. Dont let her mislead you, Congress and Senators DO receive care that is a lot DIFFERENT from rank and file employees.


    August 24, 2009 at 7:47 am

  10. Reyes was asked if he had participated in drafting any of the language or provisions in HB3200 and he said he had not, because he was not appointed to that committee. There was no “seat” for him at that table, and he tried to answer the question by saying that he had members of his staff working on this bill. The part of the question he didn’t answer was whether or not he had produced any other possible ideas/options on his own. But if he had, he would still have had to get them to that committee, since he doesn’t sit on it himself.

    There is no reason to label all of the misinformation as coming from one side or the other, it’s coming from all over. At that meeting, there were audience members who made it a point to be rude and to call him and others names. There were times when Reyes couldn’t answer questions because he was interrupted by rude yelling, being called a “liar”, or being told “answer the question!” as he was trying to do just that.

    A group of people behind me kept demanding for him to show them “where” in the bill it said ____ or ____. They said “show us” and this is ridiculous. All they have to do is download the bill and read it. But they wanted their representative to do that for them.
    How are we supposed to keep an eye on our representatives if we don’t bother to read what they are proposing and voting on?

    There were times when Reyes evaded questions, or he didn’t give clear answers. There were other times when he didn’t answer “questions” that were really speeches that went over the time limit. One man demanded to know if he had read the bills, and producing his own copy, he kept asking Reyes what line____, section____ said. Other people stood in line to yell at him, some demanding that he justify the decisions of other representatives in both houses. These kinds of “questions” and lectures from people took time away from others who had as much right to make themselves heard too.

    No, it was not right for Paul Moreno to say what he did. It was wrong. But don’t make it sound like he was speaking for the party because he wasn’t. Paul Moreno has been outspoken his entire political career and his speeches are legendary for the way he would say exactly what was on his mind, right or wrong. Remember that Moreno was very critical of Obama and a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton.

    I believe that anyone who is secure enough in his own beliefs has enough respect for others to let them have their say too. They are people who believe in democracy and in equality. All of those who stood in line to speak had a right to say what they wished, and many got to. But time was taken from some by others who felt they were more important. In this crowd, there were men who told the moderator to “Shut up” many times, other men who yelled out insults at people they disagreed with, and all of this hindered fairness on both sides.

    The most offensive thing I heard came from a man who sat behind me. As a woman described her struggle to survive cancer and her bad experience with her insurance company, this man loudly said: “Well everyone has to die”. And this was a man who said earlier that he was glad there was a prayer at the beginning, because he was a Christian. He laughed when the woman stopped talking because she had started crying.

    Reyes did some things good and some things bad. But he did stay and hear everyone who got up to speak and he did answer many of the questions he was asked. I didn’t like all of his answers, but I did think it was important to let him try and get to everybody who stood for hours to ask. For those people who go to these meetings just to yell and call people names, I wish you would think about what other people are doing to be courteous.

    There were children at that meeting and all of the inappropriate, rude and insulting things they heard came from adults. Many came from senior citizens. We should be more polite to each other, so that everyone has enough time to exercise his right to free speech.


    August 24, 2009 at 10:13 am

  11. We are entitled to complete and truthful answers but that is no excuse for insults or rude behavior just because they have a different opinion.

    The wise thing to do, if he didnt know the answer is to have a staffer explain or get the person’s information and get back to them. NEVER a good move, to wing the answer in a briefing or meeting.


    August 24, 2009 at 12:56 pm

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