Rep. Johnson returns to North Texas after health care campaign



Posted on April 2, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 13 at 9:27 AM

DALLAS - The top congressional Democrat in North Texas was back home Friday evening.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson joined the nationwide effort by the President Barack Obama and other Democrats to persuade people the controversial new health care law is good for them. But, for Johnson, it's been an uphill fight in Dallas.

The health care law approved by Obama and congressional Democrats has been called historic, far reaching and to Johnson, flawed.

"It is not a perfect bill," she said. "It will be something we'll be working on a long time."

On a taping of Inside Texas Politics, Johnson predicted Texans will change their minds about the health care law.

"Once people know what's in this plan and not continue to hear all the falsehoods they will appreciate it," she said.

But Johnson and the Democrats have their work cut out to win over more Texans on health care. A Rasmussen poll released last month found six of 10 Texas voters opposed the bill as it moved through Congress.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott claims the law is unconstitutional since the federal government is forcing Texans to buy a service.

Johnson defends the mandate.

"It is time for people to take the responsibility for their health care, as well as providing themselves with food," she said.

The state raised its forecast again for the cost to taxpayers for covering more people through Medicaid and children's health insurance under the law to $27 billion over ten years. Johnson dismissed the figure.

"I think they are political numbers in order to be against this bill," she said.

Johnson called the law flawed because it didn't go far enough to crack down on insurance companies, and that will be part of her pitch to voters.

"Tell them the truth," she said.

You can hear more on the push to sell health care reform in the 9 a.m. half hour of Daybreak on WFAA Sunday.