Reading Erik Paulsen's hate mail

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Erik Paulsen's vote for the AHCA, aka Trumpcare, has pissed off a few of his suburban constituents. Star Tribune, Glen Stubbe

Last week GOP U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen picked up a Democratic challenger: Dean Phillips, heir to the Phillips liquor brand and grandson to the nationally syndicated advice columnist Dear Abby. Not unlike Dear Abby, Paulsen’s been getting a lot of questions by mail lately.

Dear Congressman Paulsen,
We don’t see you around here much anymore, but I know how busy the people’s work must keep you! I write because I think you made a mistake when you voted in support of the American Health Care Act. I myself am a physician — with “one foot firmly on the golf course,” my wife says — and I worry about the effect this plan will have on my lower-income patients, facing less-certain retirements than mine. Won’t you reconsider?

Sincerely, Uneasy in Eden Prairie

Dear Uneasy,
It is so wonderful to hear from a constituent. Your thoughtful letter is a reminder of the people I came to Washington to serve. Minnesotans deserve access to the world’s best health care, at affordable rates, without exceptions, and I promise you, personally, I will not rest until they get it.

Sincerely, Congressman Erik Paulsen

Dear Rep. Paulsen,
I teach high school math. Most of my students have already grasped that if I say, “multiply x by y to find z,” they can’t solve for z if they don’t know either of the other two variables. You guys voted this health care bill through before the Congressional Budget Office could calculate how many Americans will lose health insurance — 10 million? 14 million? — and how much it will cost the rest of us to keep them alive. (Assuming that’s the plan.) If you were my students turning in homework, you’d all get an ‘I’ for ‘incomplete.’ Show your work, representative.

Sincerely, Asking Why in Wayzata

Dear Asking Why,
What a wonderful reminder of the people I came to Washington to serve. I will not rest until Minnesotans have greater access to the world’s best health care, at affordable rates, without exceptions. I promise.

Sincerely, Congressman Erik Paulsen

Dear Mr. Paulsen,
This is the first time I’ve ever written one of my elected officials. Usually, I don’t trust any politician farther than I can throw him. Your vote for Trumpcare reminded me why. I work as an independent contractor in your district. I make just enough money to make ends meet and afford cheap-o insurance through MNsure. If my back gives out again, my yearly deductible’s going to be three times as high. My mom, she’s worried sick, which sucks because she can’t afford to get sick. And for what? So some rich guys could get a little tax break on their investments? You’d better have some answers.

Sincerely, Broke in Brooklyn Park

Dear Broke,
I promise to you, I will not rest until Minnesotans have access to the world’s best health care, at affordable rates. I came to Washington to serve people like you.

Sincerely, Congressman Erik Paulsen

Dear Erik,
I love how guys like you, in a state like Minnesota, assume you can get away with voting for a disaster because we’ve got people covered. Guess what? If we have a Republican governor, they’ll shred MinnesotaCare like Trump’s tax files, flush MNsure down the toilet, and make poor, sick people buy insurance from one of those “high-risk pools.” I’m already saving up money to donate to Dean Phillips. I’ll donate to Wilson Phillips if it means getting rid of you. How about I hold your head underwater in a high-risk pool?

Sincerely, Motivated in Minnetonka

Dear Motivated,
I personally will not rest until the greatest, most affordable access to the world’s best health care is available for the wonderful people I came to Washington to serve.

Sincerely, Congressman Erik Paulsen

Hey You Piece of Shit,
I saw that letter you sent to my son, “Broke.” He’s nicer than I am. I’m 55, been working for the same company 30 years, and have a chronic condition (none of your goddamn business, that’s what). I like my job fine. I’m really good at it. But why should I trust the company owner any more than I trust thieves like you? Your bill means he can shift more of the burden on me, maybe set up a “lifetime maximum” for my expenses. Or he’ll get rid of our insurance altogether. Wheee! If that happens I’ll be broke in a couple years, and dead in a few more. My only comfort is picturing you reading this sitting on the shiniest, sharpest medical device you can find. See you in hell, hopefully soon.

Sincerely, Pissed in Plymouth

Dear Pissed,
It is so great to hear from a constituent.

Sincerely, Congressman Erik Paulsen

Dear My Pal Erik,
Good day, old sport! What a time to be alive! The wife and I are pleased as punch with these latest developments you and Donald have seen to. High time we stopped paying so much in taxes for those investment gains we work ever so hard to realize. Just one problem: I am having trouble spending all this money. I’ve replaced my golf clubs, got a new boat, another cabin, a new Cadillac, put all three kids through private colleges. The wife is on her third face. What am I supposed to do with the rest?

Sincerely, Tormented in Orono

Dear Tormented,
Oh thank God, I thought all these letters were going to be the same. For starters, let’s get you maxed out on my re-election campaign. There’s $5,200 gone. And there are 217 of us Republicans who took that vote; try spreading it around. (Folks say a lot of us are going to have tough elections next year.) Anyway, now that I know you’ve got money, let me know if there’s anything I can do for your bank account.

Sincerely, Your New Best Friend

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