Headline News
Go Back
2017-08-10

Straight from the horse's mouth

by Elliott McFadden

When I was growing up, my grandfather was a giant in my life. He was a country doctor serving a farming community of 2,000 people. He established a pharmacy in his practice because he thought it was wrong to mark up medicine, so he sold prescriptions at cost. My mother remembers patients delivering vegetables to the front door as payment for medical bills.
When my grandfather first started, he took over the practice of a retiring doctor. One day, they went out on a house call together to visit a man with a bad infection. My grandfather reached into his black medical bag and pulled out a brand new medicine called penicillin. They treated the man, who recovered a few days later. As they were leaving, my grandfather noticed the old doc was crying. When he asked him why, the man said, “I am thinking about all my friends and neighbors I have lost over the years who I could have saved if I had had that medicine.”
As the head of the House Science Committee, our Congressman Lamar Smith has pursued a relentless attack on science and the truth to benefit his corporate backers. This is not just politics: Smith’s actions put people’s lives at risk. My grandfather’s generation eradicated polio and smallpox. We could be curing cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, but we cannot do that by attacking legitimate scientific research because special interest donors do not like the results.
My grandfather taught me that I could love Jesus and science at the same time. He also taught me to serve my community without thought of personal profit. As a 25-year resident of Central Texas, this is the approach I have taken to lead on the issues that most challenge our region. I led the effort to establish the Travis County Healthcare District to expand access to healthcare for the uninsured, and I oversaw the campaign to invest $65 million in affordable housing, creating homes for thousands of families who are struggling to afford a decent place to live.
Lamar Smith is a career politician who exemplifies all that is wrong with Washington today. He has refused to hold town hall meetings and voted to cut 23 million people off healthcare. The special interests have rigged the system and the rest of us need to take control of our own government again.
I am asking for the opportunity to be your champion so we can make our economy fair again. It is wrong that over 4 million Texans cannot afford healthcare, and I will fight to expand access to healthcare with a Medicare for All option that everyone, including our veterans, can enroll in. Going to college has become a debt trap instead of an opportunity for a better life, and I will work to make tuition free at public colleges and universities. Finally, we need a real infrastructure bill to fix our aging roads and bridges as well as modernize our energy grid so we can all take advantage of our plentiful sun and wind to power the 21st Century.
We have an opportunity to retire Smith next year, and I ask for your support and vote.