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How the Koch Brothers Took Down the Republican Health Care Bill

Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:58
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(Before It's News)

  FreedomWorks, an advocacy group funded by the Koch brothers, held a Washington, D.C. rally to encourage lawmakers to fully repeal Obamacare on March 15, 2017. (Screen shot via YouTube)

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are known to have strong influence in Washington, and they recently wielded this political power to bring down the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

House Republicans killed the AHCA after it failed to gather enough support from GOP representatives. The bill, which was intended to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) struggled to gain support from within the GOP since its introduction by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan earlier this month.

The decision to pull the bill from the House just before a scheduled vote can be traced to the Koch brothers, CNN reports:

In a last-minute effort to sink the Republican health care bill, a powerful network of conservative donors said Wednesday it would create a new fund for Republican 2018 reelection races—but they’ll only open it up to GOPers who vote against the bill.

The advocacy groups helmed by Charles and David Koch have unveiled a new pool of money for advertisements, field programs and mailings that would exclude those who vote for the health care bill they oppose on Thursday. The effort, which they described as worth millions of dollars, is an explicit warning to on-the-fence Republicans from one of the most influential players in electoral politics not to cross them. …

The vote is not a litmus test: Other money and resources would still be available to Republicans who do not vote with the network, formally called the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce. But those who vote with the network will have access to more.

Two of the Koch-funded advocacy groups, Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners, have regularly lobbied Republican lawmakers. A third Koch-funded advocacy group, Club for Growth, and the Koch-nurtured House Freedom Caucus, also opposed the bill.

Shortly after the bill was introduced, leaders of Freedom Partners sent a letter to Ryan and other committee chairmen. “As the bill stands today, it is Obamacare 2.0,” the letter read. “We cannot support it.”

USA Today wrote in early March:

At a Capitol Hill rally Tuesday attended by about 200 Koch-aligned activists, Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips warned that Republicans “will have the shortest-lived majority in the modern era” of they don’t toss the law on “the ash heap of history.” …

Tuesday’s rally on the rooftop of a building in sight of the Capitol Dome kicked off what the Koch groups said will be a sustained advertising and grassroots campaign, dubbed “You Promised,” to demand that Republicans seize on their unified control of Washington to kill the law. …

“We have spent tens and tens of millions to fully repeal Obamacare, and we’ll commit whatever resources” are needed, said Levi Russell, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity. “We plan on seeing it through.”

“This is nothing new for Americans for Prosperity,” the group’s policy director, Akash Chougule, told NPR’s Audie Cornish Thursday. “[T]his is what Americans for Prosperity exists to do.”

The failure of the bill shows a fracture amongst House Republicans. Although many representatives aligned with the Koch brothers’ stance, some GOP centrists opposed the bill because they were struggling to ally with President Trump. And several Republican senators opposed the bill because their states opted to expand Medicaid under the ACA.

Chougule went on to explain that the bill “simply does not go far enough” in dismantling the ACA, a sentiment shared by many Republican representatives.

While Chougule proposed that lawmakers should “freeze [ACA] enrollment now,” Ryan presented a different future during a Friday news conference.

“Obamacare is the law of the land,” Ryan stated. “We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

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Total 6 comments
  • These oh so proud Americans and their democracy which is really an oligarchy . That’s whAT THEY HAVE BEEN EXPORTING ALL OVER THE WORLD. Their special brand of democracy /oligarchy. Mericans go home and keep your bloody Flag sALUTE AND OATH OF ALLEGIANCE ! ( how is that different from the Hitlerjugend Nazi salute and singing of the Horst Wessel song? )Dammit one day you came and said you wanted to save us from the bloody Nazis . How were we to know you were the real Nazis .But now that we do we will just as against Hitler and his gang , organize and fight you bastards.

  • Man

    man, the Koch brothers don’t care for workers rights and the environment. They only care about making money. They are worse than Goldmansachs

    • Koch Industries is 50 miles from my house. You would be surprised at all the GOOD things Koch does for people.

      • Even Hitler that bad man may his name be cursed forever, did do some very Good things.
        That is the trademark of the Devil . Never be totally bad.

  • Totally agree….the vote should have only been on full repeal of Obamacare and nothing more until a better bill is created because Ryancare is garbage. Those still actively using Obamacare could have temporarily been transferred to Medicaid until a new created bill is GOOD for the people and then vote for the new system. As far as the Kochs are concerned they are saints compared to Soros. This time their intentions were right on target…..full repeal should have happened…..with NO voting on Ryancare.

    • Neither the Koch brothers nor Soros nor any of those shamefull rich should be allowed that kind of influence . Even trying to do a thing like that should bring them behind bars for life!!

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