Friday, October 02, 2009

One percenters: Day one

I'm still mad and upset about the health care vote the Senate Finance Committee (Motto: Selling our souls to insurance companies since 1971) took the other day.

And I'm mad that President Obama has basically abandoned health care reform in favor of getting a big Olympic party for Chicago. Simply put, Mr. President, it is far more important that people get access to health care as a basic right than that you hobnob with Oprah for a few days. You should be here having town hall meetings and giving speeches and meeting with Senators and representatives to get universal health care, not off in Europe eating crumpets with talk show hosts and corrupt IOC chairs.

And I'm going to do something about it. Health care is the single most important issue facing Americans right now, and I'm tired of sitting idly by while politicians take cash from insurance companies and screw us over.

There is no reason that convicted murderers should get free health care while Mateo and McHale Shaw should not.

So I am going to continue the fight by continuing to build on an idea I came up with the other day, when I mentioned that fifteen senators took insurance money bribes to get them to vote in favor of letting children die.

I'm starting One Percenters, which is my name for anyone who, like me is willing to have their federal taxes increased by one percent of their income in order to fund Universal Health Care. And not just willing to have that done, but willing to tell people they'll have it done -- most notably, tell the U.S. Congress (Motto: The devil can have my own kids if he'll put $250 into my re-election campaign) that they'll do that.

Periodically, I'm going to feature both a Senator and a Representative, and I'm going to urge you to call, write, and email them and tell them this:

I will pay an extra one percent of my gross income if it means that everyone has access to health care.

And, if you do that and send me proof that you did it -- via email, even -- I will periodically pick one of those people out and give them a free copy of one of my books, or a free t-shirt from my store. Here's how easy it is: Email the Senator or representative, and CC me in at "thetroublewithroy[at]" and I'll have proof that you did it.

First up:

Senator Daniel Akaka, Hawaii, and Congressman Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama.

Senator Daniel Akaka says, vaguely, that he is

"committed to achieving comprehensive reform that makes health care more accessible and affordable to all Americans. He supports efforts to eliminate barriers to obtaining care, reduce costs and delivery system inefficiencies, and meet the needs of the health care professional workforce. Senator Akaka believes reform should also protect existing health care coverage, ensure continued investment in biomedical research, and place greater emphasis on wellness, prevention, and early detection services."

Over the course of his career, Senator Akaka has taken in $240,000 from health professionals and insurers. Despite that, there's still hope that Senator Akaka isn't beholden to insurance companies and will vote to implement my simple two-step plan of (1) require all insurers to cover pre-existing conditions, but allow them to charge for it, and (2) allow anyone to buy into the Congressional health care plan, paying a premium based on their income.

To contact Senator Akaka, call his office in Washington at (202) 224-6361, and tell him I will pay an extra one percent of my gross income if it means that everyone has access to health care. Or click this link to send him an email statement. (Then take a screen shot of that and send it to me.)

Congressman Robert Aderholt says: "It's important that everyone has access to good medical care that's reliable and affordable." And he supported the expansion of Medicare to the prescription drug benefit. So either Robert Aderholt is wholeheartedly in favor of government helping people afford medical care, or he's a cynical hypocrite who panders to senior citizens to get their vote.

Which is it, Robert?
I can probably tell you which it is: Aderholt, over his career, has taken in $271,887 in campaign contributions from health professionals, and $34,000 alone from a company called "HealthSouth." Let's hope that Healthsouth, whose stock prices have fallen from $23 in 2004 to $10.96 in 2009, contributed all that money in hopes of getting Congressman Aderholt to vote for the public option preferred by 2/3 of Americans.

You can email Congressman Aderholt by clicking this link -- but he won't reply to you if you live outside his district (unless you work for HealthSouth?) or you can call Congressman Aderholt at (202) 225-4876, or, this being 2009 and Congressman Aderholt being hip, you can contact him via his Facebook page!

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