Koch network pledges to defend Republicans who vote against GOP health bill

May 5, 2017 in News by RBN Staff


Source: Politico

Two Koch groups are starting a ‘seven-figure’ reserve fund to protect bill opponents from political harm.

Freedom Partners, the Koch network’s big budget grass roots activism and advertising groups, called the GOP bill “Obamacare 2.0” and said it falls short of truly repealing the 2010 law. | AP Photo

The Koch brothers’ network of well-funded outside groups says it will spend millions to protect Republicans who oppose the party’s health care bill from political fallout.

Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners, the Koch network’s big budget grass-roots activism and advertising groups, are teaming up to create a “seven-figure” reserve fund to support lawmakers who buck President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan on the health care vote, as the threat of primaries looms over some opponents of the bill. The Koch groups will spend the money on paid media, direct mail and grass-roots canvassing.

Freedom Partners called the GOP bill “Obamacare 2.0″ and said it falls short of truly repealing the 2010 law.

“Republicans have been promising to fully repeal Obamacare since it became law. This bill doesn’t do that,” said James Davis, executive vice president of Freedom Partners. “We will stand with lawmakers who keep their promise and oppose this legislation — and work toward a solution that reduces costs and provides Americans with the relief they need and deserve.”

The move provides political cover for members of the House Freedom Caucus and other conservatives who want to vote against the bill. Trump allies have threatened to try and unseat Republicans who vote against the president’s agenda, and Trump himself said he was “coming after” House Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows during a meeting on Tuesday.

Americans for Prosperity has already begun a digital ad campaign thanking House members who have said they plan on voting against the bill.

“In seven years, we have never wavered in our commitment to a full repeal of this disastrous law,” AFP president Tim Phillips said in a statement. “We want to make certain that lawmakers understand the policy consequences of voting for a law that keeps Obamacare intact. We have a history of following up and holding politicians accountable, but we will also be there to support and thank the champions who stand strong and keep their promise.”

The Koch groups argue that the GOP’s bills refundable tax credits to make health coverage more affordable are a new entitlement, that the legislation doesn’t go far enough to repeal insurance mandates or the so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-end employer-sponsored health plans, and that it fails to repeal Medicaid expansion quickly enough.