The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) released the following statement today after President Barack Obama rallied Congress for support of his government-run health care proposal.

"President Obama's plan for a federal takeover of America's health care industry will be especially harming to ranching families, many of whom depend on TSCRA's insurance services for their health care," said TSCRA President and rancher Dave Scott.

TSCRA began to offer insurance services to its members in 1977 to meet the growing need for affordable health care for independent businessmen and women. TSCRA currently insures more than 5,000 people through their insurance services.

"TSCRA is unlike most associations because we offer our members, many of whom run small ranching businesses with a small number of employees, health care insurance similar to what would be offered to employees at a large company. Our members are able to get full health care benefits, including dental and vision, at a lower price because they are part of the larger TSCRA insurance system," said Jerri McDonald, TSCRA executive director of insurance services.

"Our fear is that Obama's plan will drive private insurance premiums so high that it will become nearly impossible for our members to afford TSCRA insurance, eventually putting us, and other private insurance companies, completely out of business.

"There is no doubt that our health care system needs reform, but that reform should not take away the fundamental freedom of choice and the ability to choose quality health care like what is offered at TSCRA and other private insurance companies across the country."

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 132-year-old trade organization and is the largest livestock association in Texas. TSCRA has more than 15,000 members who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 51.5 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement services, livestock inspection, legislative and regulatory advocacy, insurance services and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.