What About Pat?

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Governor Schwarzenegger says
that collecting $27 million from special interest groups over the last
eight months has not affected his resolve to listen to anybody, whether
or not they can afford to pay. "I want to make sure that I sit down
with everyone, but unconditionally," he said, according to today�s San
Jose Mercury News. "If someone has not voted for me, if someone has
never endorsed me for anything . . . I still want to be able to sit
down with that person the same way as someone who gives you money."

What about Pat Parker, whose is still waiting for her phone call from
the Gov? Back in December, an aide to Arnold promised that someone
would get back to Pat when she hand-delivered a letter to the governor
at his $10,000 per sky-box seat fundraiser at a L.A. Laker game. Pat
and Dave Parker of Orange came as our guests because we wanted to test
whether real people with real problems but without ten grand could in
fact get some time with Arnold.

Pat voted for McClintock. Her husband Dave voted for Arnold. They’re
both in their sixties and, since David was laid off by a small
electronics firm in October 2001, the two have struggled to pay for
their health insurance. With little notice, Blue Cross increased their
monthly premium by 38 percent in 2003 – from $673 to $941. Pat and Dave
wanted to talk to their governor about requiring health insurers to
justify premium increases to the state — the way auto insurers now
have to. And as of today . . . no one from the Governor�s staff has
called. That’s right, not even a flunky.

Pat needs a few extra minutes of Arnold’s time now. Since December she
has turned 65 and now receives health coverage through Medicare,
replacing one worry with another. What will Schwarzenegger do to ensure
that prescription drugs are affordable? Dave�s not eligible for
Medicare until December. Until then the Parker�s will have to pay $572
a month and $1500 out-of-pocket just for his health care, not to
mention the prescription drugs that Dave must have. Pat did the math:
for every dollar Blue Cross paid for their prescription drugs last
year, the Parker’s paid two.

We assume that Blue Cross got some of Arnold’s time when they delivered
two separate checks, each for $25,000. Same goes for the other HMOs who
have contributed to Schwarzenegger: Kaiser ($150,000), Health Net
($46,200), and PacifiCare ($25,000). Schwarzenegger has also received
more than $290,000 in reported campaign contributions from
pharmaceutical and biotech companies. When will Pat and Dave have their

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