Dear Rep. Roy: TX-21 taxpayers can’t afford cancer drugs, but they helped pay for yours

October 23, 2019

Dear Rep. Roy,

I urge you to support H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. House Democratic leadership released H.R. 3 on September 19, but it still needs amendments to increase the number of drugs eligible for negotiation and the number of drugs negotiated each year. The bill should also protect all patients from high launch prices and price spikes.

Will you commit to improving H.R. 3? Or are you still committed to the stance you took last May, when you said in a meeting of the House Oversight Committee, “To sit here and attack the capitalistic system that produces and distributes medicine that is saving lives around the world? I mean it is just offensive.” Do you find H.R. 3 “offensive” because it would prioritize the lives of AIDS patients over the $30 million bonuses of drug company CEOs? Do you think that laws preventing price-gouging on life-saving drugs are “an attack on the capitalistic system”? Do you know that two-thirds of Americans who file for bankruptcy do so because of medical debt? Do you care?

Can you explain how one of your “Healthcare Freedom Accounts“—the only actual policy you seem to feel is needed to solve our healthcare crisis—would help a diabetic whose insulin has increased in price 1200% over the last decade? Over 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Some of them live in your district. Are you unwilling to put their lives and solvency ahead of the interests of wealthy drug company CEOs?

The drug you’ve said you took when you had lymphoma, Brentuximab Vedotin, costs $4,500 per vial, over $100,000 for a course of treatment. When you were diagnosed with lymphoma, did you have $100,000 put away in a savings account for your healthcare? I assume you did not, which is why you were careful to keep your taxpayer-funded health coverage with the Texas Attorney General’s Office when you went to work for Ted Cruz. Most residents of your district don’t have state jobs, and can’t afford cancer drugs. But they helped pay for yours. If you want to square that account, you need to support H.R. 3. If you don’t, you’ll be telling the voters of TX-21 loud and clear that your health and wealth are more important than theirs.

Letters from August-September 2019: Impeachment, Faith, Gun Control, Partisanship, and Racism

On Impeachment:

The image is of a postcard, with a reply address of TX 21 Indivisible. The handwritten text reads "Representative Roy, As the Democrats announce an Impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, I would like to hear a statement from you and your position. Regards, Bryan." The postcard is addressed to Chip Roy, 5900 S.W. Parkway, Suite 201a, Austin TX 78735

On Faith and Action:

Representative Roy, enough is enough! You claim to be a Christian. Act like one! The Bible says that faith without action is worthless. Likewise, thoughts and prayers without action are equally meaningless. Believe me, if Jesus were here today he’d be siding with Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence, not a terrorist enabling organization like the NRA.

And while the NRA started out as a legitimate gun magazine for gun safety, for hunters and for those who wanted firearms for protection and for recreational use – long ago it devolved into an unrecognizable, grotesque and dangerous version of its former self. In fact, just to show how far out of touch the NRA has become, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre once said that the deaths of children through gun violence or gun accidents represented the price we have to pay for the right to keep and bear arms. I reject that notion, and so should you!

Representative Roy, the place for military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines is on the battlefield not in the civilian world, and universal background checks must be made mandatory! But rather than leading that effort, all you do is offer condolences before moving on. That’s not satisfactory!

In a second posting you said that the problem of mass killings is due to “cultural rot.” You’re so right Representative Roy, and examples of it are a President who routinely spews hatred, rightwing Christianity that either condones that racism or turns a blind eye to it and a twisted gun culture that refuses to reform itself. Look in the mirror Representative Roy; you are part of that rot!

Representative Roy, I too am a Christian, but my faith is more than just a “Come to Jesus Moment.” It demands action to root out evil and injustice – whether that be achieving affordable healthcare, having compassion for immigrants and the less fortunate, treating others as we would treat ourselves, preservation of our God given earth and reining in an out of control gun culture!

On Partisan Blame Games:

The image is a screenshot of an email. The text reads, "Honorable Representative Chip Roy, I listened to your Sunday Fox interview that was replayed Monday morning on KLBJ 590 AM radio. You stated that the Democrats have done nothing in Congress. Here's a list of bills the House has passed since January. [2.5-page list follows; link is https://www.vox.com/2019/5/24/18637163/trump-pelosi-democrats-bills-congress]"

On Gun Reform Laws:

Honorable Representative Chip Roy,

Today, the 18th anniversary of the infamous attack on the World Trade Center in New York City where thousands of people perished and where more thousands of those who survived now suffer the health aftereffects of injuries incurred on that occasion, I, and thousands, perhaps millions of citizens ask if our state and federal lawmakers have lost their respect for life. What precipitates this question is the inability and/or political will to pass sensible gun reform laws. There is no question that the public cries out for this action and has for years now. One is left numb and speechless in the reality that it is no longer safe for our children and young adults to go to school and to higher learning institutions without the fear of possibly dying and not returning home. Longtime church and synagogue goers have their memories seared with the knowledge they, too, may not return home alive. Normal activities such as going shopping at the mall, going to see a movie at the movie theater, going to a nightclub to dance are no longer safe.

Lawmakers twist and turn with unreasonable rationale about the Second Amendment and what it dictates in the face of such carnage. One is left to wonder if you and they are slow walking into a national death wish…taking us all with them. One also wonders and may conclude that the terrorists have indeed won.

On Inciting Racist Violence:

August 7, 2019

Dear Rep. Roy,

This weekend, in the wake of some of the worst mass violence in our state’s history, you somehow felt it was appropriate to go the border and tag along after Customs and Border Patrol while they did their jobs. You tweeted a photo straight out of a video game, breathlessly reporting that CBP had “just apprehended some folks from India.”

You followed that up with a tweet lamenting the CBP policy of “Catch & Release.”

My first question to you is this: Why did you think it was appropriate, before the victims of racist hatred in El Paso were even buried, to go to the border and talk about the people already risking their lives to cross it and reach America as if they were animals to be hunted?

My second question is whether you agree with your Twitter fan “scalptrader1,” who responded to your border escapade by tweeting “sneaking in not folks who give a damn about U.S. Assimilation. no wonder why, after 100,000s of thess [sic] types, month after month, a kid snaps. sorry but he sees his home country under invasion.”

As of 6:56 this morning, that reply was still up on Twitter, and you had still not responded to disagree with its hateful and dangerous racism. Will you do so?

Or do you also feel “sorry” for the terrorist from Dallas who murdered 22 innocent people while they were shopping?

Two questions. I know you have answers to them, or you wouldn’t have made the choice to do the things you did, and say the things you’ve said. You owe your constituents—especially those whose lives and families are at risk from racist hatred—some answers.