Angry Letter to My Blue Dog CongressCritter

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Sometime last week we (or “current resident”) received a slick 4-color 6×10 card stock mailer that looks at first glance to have come from our NC-11 congressional rep, Heath Shuler. At the top the reverse-on-blue header reads:

“Congressman Shuler Is Fighting To Make Medicare Prescription Coverage Even Better”

and on the bottom reverse-on-red the italicized message reads:

“Call Congressman Health Shuler today at 202-224-3121. Tell him thanks for fighting to improve Medicare without making seniors pay more, and ask him to keep on fighting until we get the job done.”

The wording struck me a little odd as I read the mailer along with my morning Cheerios. Why would Heath tell me to call him and tell him thanks for his notably atrocious Blue Dog position on health care reform? I mean, it’s not like he cares what Democrats in his district have to say about the issue. He made that perfectly clear during the August recess by meeting personally only with Teabaggers, not with his Democratic constituents (whom he pointedly ignored). So I flipped it over and read on the bottom of the address/postage space:

“Paid for by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.”

Whoa. These corporate shills are actually BRAGGING about having bought our Congressman? That’s incredibly nervy!!!

This slick, costly bit of propaganda was produced by the very people whose lobbyists actually WROTE the Medicare-D legislation in the first place to ensure American seniors would pay more – and more directly – for necessary drugs than anybody else in the entire world! Heath is helping them screw Americans yet again in the health reform battle, and they want me – as an actual constituent of Shuler’s – to thank him personally on behalf of Big Pharma? Ha!

Big Pharma can kiss my shiny white ass, and so can Heath Shuler. Below is the letter I have written in response to this blatant insult from the Drug Pusher’s Union Propaganda Squad…

Dear Congressman Shuler;

The four registered voters in our NC-11 household were appalled by a slick mailer we received last week from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America urging us to thank you for working for them instead of us in the matter of health care reform. This letter is to lodge formal complaint and explain once again why we do NOT want either the insurers or the drug companies writing this necessary legislation.

Our formal complaint is to the information provided in this mailer that you work for Big Pharma and not for us, the constituents you were elected to represent. This group makes no bones about the fact that you have chosen to represent these corporate interests, and expects us to congratulate you for shamefully unethical behavior. We most certainly do not congratulate you for succumbing to rampant D.C. corruption in record time.

The mailer talks about how Big Pharma’s contribution to the reform effort will “help close” the Medicare Part D “donut hole” they themselves wrote into the original bill to ensure obscene profits and force American seniors on fixed incomes to pay more for necessary drugs than anyone else in the world. As well as prevent Medicare by law from negotiating lower drug prices, as all other first world nations (with universal, single-payer health care) do and have done so successfully for so long.

In fact, according to an analysis of the proposed Part D changes under HR 3200 (the specific subject of this propaganda mailer) by the Wall Street Journal Health Blog, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that any decrease in average spending on prescriptions by drug-dependent seniors will more than be made up for by an increase in premiums seniors must pay for Part D. According to CBS News seniors will be paying 20% more for coverage by 2019. 20% is very significant to a great many seniors in your district, Mr. Shuler.

Two of the voters in this household – myself and my husband – will be 68 years old in 2019. Thanks to the recent destruction of the nation’s economy by greedy bankers and insurers (whom we and our children and grandchildren were forced to bail out to the tune of trillions in completely unaccountable dollars), our only income will be Social Security, and our only access to health care will be Medicare. So you are going to deliberately rob us further on orders from your corporate masters. That is completely unacceptable.

As proud long-time residents of WNC, registered Democratic voters and active participants in Democratic politics, we will be lobbying hard and very publicly beginning immediately in favor of a primary challenge to you next year from a candidate more committed to both the people of this district and the Democratic Party. You brought this on yourself, as we were all delighted when you were willing to run against Chainsaw Charlie. We would have supported you for a very long career in politics if you’d just been less corruptible and less willing to sell us out in favor of corporations who do NOT vote in this district and cannot keep you in power.

Though they probably can make you rich, so you may wish to go ahead and apply for that post-Congress Big Pharma lobbying job now.

In Sincerely Sad Disappointment,

[the four of us registered voters, address in NC-11]


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  1. Joy B.

    …of leftover junk mail to read at breakfast on my 40th wedding anniversary, nursing a nasty cough and new fever indicating I just might have developed pneumonia from that Unicorn flu and will have to spend $500 I don’t have to see a doctor and get a prescription next week. Heath deserves this angry missive, which now goes to the A-ville newspaper, the weeklies across the entire district, and to all local and state Dem political blogs/websites.

  2. Joy B.

    According to figures from the Center for Responsive Politics Shuler has received the following contributions from shady players:

    $195,262 from the health sector employees and PACs.

    $13,750 from health insurance companies.

    $74,800 from Big Pharma.

    $77,062 from health professionals.

    $27,900 from hospitals.

    $10,500 from the nursing home industry.

    $399,274 in total. Now, these figures are what the Blue Dogs (individually) have received since 1989 from the PACs and pools of various health related industries, but Shuler’s only been in office since 2007. So that’s quite the hefty haul over less than three years!

    Time for him to retire.

  3. jamess

    way to connect those Big Pharma dots!

    thanks for taking action,

    and giving you Congressman a piece of your mind!

  4. asqv

     I received the same damn postcard from Anne Kirkpatrick! (word for word) I read it and muttered to myself as I headed for the recycle bin, “I’m supposed to thank you for what again?”


  5. Joy B.

    …it was too slick to just go out to Heath’s constituents. They no doubt printed some up for every single one of the Blue Dog turncoats on their graft payroll. What gets me most is how they seem to be so darned PROUD of their blatant subversion of democratic process! …They want us to know clearly and unambiguously who really calls the shots, and actually expect us to say ‘thanks’ for getting shafted yet again.

    And this just after Pfizer was slammed with the biggest corporate fine ever – 2.3 billion dollars – for proud violations of regulatory law. I think these organized criminal outfits should be made to provide drugs through Medicare for free.

  6. Joy B.

    It’s all part of a new $150 million PhRMA ad campaign. These mailers are going out all over the country, and will soon be backed with television ads.

  7. randgrithr

    Stilton, Roquefort… if you like the taste and aren’t allergic to penecillin, get some of that cheese and nom it and try to save yourself that money.

    Big Pharma can kiss my shiny white ass, and so can Heath Shuler.

    You totally rock, Joy B. :)

  8. randgrithr

    They piss on our backs and then tell us to thank them for the rain and to keep buying them water.

  9. Joy B.

    …ads for the Club for Growth and Joe Wilson’s campaign over on GOS. Actually quite humorous (if you’ve got a sense of humor), and a complete waste of the advertising budget. Some people have way more money than they need. They might as well waste it on me.

    But I did send that letter to Heath, he has not replied. It would be nice if all these Blue Dogs got outraged letters from their constituents about this, so they’d finally realize that making friends with PhRMA is LOSING them support, maybe even leading to primary challenges they might not win. It’s also up at a local political blog (with link here!) and has been forwarded to the paper of record.

  10. Joy B.

    Well, according to my Merck Manual, any bronchitis or pneumonia I’ve got at this point is bacterial, not viral. For which the recommended treatment is amoxicillin 40 mg/kg orally tid for 6 days. Alternatives (and doses) include ampicillin and tetracycline. I can get amoxicillin at the pet store if I have to, but I’m better today. May have it beat with Irish cheese and fresh muscadine grape juice (thick)!

  11. randgrithr

    Anything with penicillin roqueforti does just fine as a substitute for amoxycillin in my book. Tastes a lot better (at least to me) and is a WHOLE lot cheaper.

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