The Koch Conspiracy To Cut Off Millions Of Americans’ Access To Healthcare

It’s Medicaid’s 50th birthday, and the Koch brothers planned something special: a death panel.

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Medicaid, Bridge Project today released a new report, “The Koch-Backed Effort to Kill Medicaid,” highlighting the Koch brothers ongoing assault on Medicaid, which they would give just about anything — hundreds of millions of dollars, anyway — to destroy.

And unlike some of their other, more subversive campaigns of destruction that prioritize their profit margins over the interests of the American public, the Kochs haven’t been too subtle on this one: the Kochs and Koch-funded groups have explicitly spoken out against Medicaid, advocated Medicaid-crippling budgets, and even attacked Republicans (!) for not supporting their Medicaid-destroying agenda.

This time, the Kochs are all-in. All-in to block state-level Medicaid expansions that would extend healthcare access to millions of Americans. All-in to strip healthcare from the millions who already benefit from the program […]

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Kochs Still Preventing 600,000 From Getting Medicaid in North Carolina

The Kochs took a hit with the announcement of an Obamacare win in the King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision, but don’t expect that to stop them from doing their damnedest to prevent more people from getting covered. In response to the decision, the Kochs’ political strong arm, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has already released a new ad against Obamacare. AFP and the Kochs are also campaigning hard to prevent the expansion of Medicaid around the country. The latest ACA news has brought back that fight into focus, with North Carolina as one of the key decision states.
 
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory already rejected the expansion back in 2013, but now the state has a second chance to help cover its nearly 600,000 uninsured residents. The latest calls for change have been met by AFP-North Carolina with dismissal. In a December post on their website, AFP-North Carolina Director Donald Bryson said that “refusing Medicaid […]

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Rubio Left Thirsting For New Ideas On Poverty

Following a disastrous 2012 election cycle in which Mitt Romney infamously described 47 percent of voters as “dependent upon the government,” Republican leaders set out to make their party more appealing – or at least less insulting – to middle-class and working Americans.

Just weeks after the election, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave a speech on “middle-class opportunity” that was hailed as a sign of shifting conservative priorities and a more compassionate Republican Party. However, Rubio’s message did not translate into action, as he and his party spent the next year opposing middle-class tax cuts, pushing massive cuts to the safety net, and even shutting down the government in a futile attempt to undermine access to affordable health insurance.

Meanwhile, Rubio endorsed comprehensive immigration reform but failed to sell conservatives on a bipartisan bill and, after damaging his standing on the right, eventually dialed back his support. That failed leadership led one major Florida newspaper to dub Rubio the “political loser” of 2013, so it’s no surprise to see the senator delivering yet another highly publicized speech to give his image a boost.

It is almost unfathomable that Rubio is giving a speech on poverty just a day after voting against unemployment benefits. But his refusal to help the unemployed is actually emblematic of conservatives’ empty rhetoric on poverty. Until Rubio and the Republicans come up with any actual ideas beyond their endless calls for more tax cuts and repealing Obamacare, the real war on poverty in America remains their endless attacks on the middle and working class.

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Ending Spending: “Spending Our Future Away”

Ending Spending claims that Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is “spending our future away,” connecting his support for the health care law and the Recovery Act to the rising debt. However, the Affordable Care Act actually reduces the deficit, while the stimulus bill created jobs and helped rescue the economy from a deeper recession. In reality, Bush administration policies and the recession itself caused deficits to explode in recent years.

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Independence Virginia PAC: “A Kick In The Teeth”

Independence Virginia PAC hits former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) over a set of cuts to public education he proposed during his tenure, paraphrasing a local supervisor to call the cuts “a kick in the teeth.” But the ad glosses over the devastating recession that cut short state revenues, forcing Kaine to propose tough cuts in virtually every sector, and the fact that Kaine’s successor approved a budget with even larger education cuts in order to avoid tax increases.

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Super PAC For America: “Obamacare Hurts Seniors: Here’s How!”

Dick Morris’ literally named “Super PAC for America” a flagrantly dishonest ad against President Obama’s health care law, forgoing all the nuance and subtlety usually used by other conservative groups to skirt the truth in favor of blunt falsehoods. Far from weakening Medicare, the law extents the program’s solvency by eight years, and rather than ending Medicare Advantage, the Affordable Care Act shores up traditional Medicare by decreasing overpayments to the private alternative that end up driving up the traditional program’s premiums. Virtually every word of the ad’s claims about the Independent Payment Advisory Board is also false: the “unaccountable” board is actually Senate-confirmed, the board is specifically prohibited from cutting Medicare benefits, and Congress can override the board’s recommendations by finding alternate savings or rejecting them with a supermajority.

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U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “PA Senate – Bob Casey”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce accuses Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) of “voting against western Pennsylvania” by supporting the health care law, a cap-and-trade bill, and EPA regulations designed to cut down on toxic air pollution. But the Affordable Care Act doesn’t, as the ad suggests, cut any money out of Medicare’s current budget. The estimate of job losses the ad cites for the cap-and-trade law comes from the right-wing Heritage Foundation, and the EPA’s air toxics regulations would prevent an estimated 11,000 premature deaths per year.

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American Crossroads: “Consequences”

American Crossroads hits Nebraska Senate candidate Bob Kerrey (D) for opposing a balanced budget amendment and supporting health care reform and cap-and-trade. But current debt levels are due to the recession and Bush-era policies, not to the absence of a constitutional balanced budget amendment, which would make it harder for the government to respond to economic downturns. Kerrey’s position on health care is that the law must be amended rather than fully repealed, which would have negative consequences that include kicking millions of people off insurance and forcing seniors to pay more for care. In context, the former senator’s remarks on cap-and-trade legislation make it clear that Kerrey views climate change as a moral issue without dismissing its impact on jobs and the economy.

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American Crossroads: “Four Years”

American Crossroads accuses Senate candidate Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) of “voting for Barack Obama’s agenda,” pointing to the health care reform law and a 2009 budget vote. Contrary to the ad’s claims, however, the Affordable Care Act doesn’t “cut” Medicare, and while the budget Donnelly supported letting Bush tax cuts expire for top earners, few of those in the top brackets are actual small businesses.

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Americans for Tax Reform: “Wrong Prescription for New York”

Americans for Tax Reform attacks Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) for supporting the Affordable Care Act, relying on a series of distortions about the law’s impact. In reality, the ACA does not raise taxes on most Americans, and it actually reduces the burden on many middle-class families. Moreover, the law reduces future Medicare spending without cutting seniors’ benefits, and the Senate-confirmed board responsible for finding additional savings is forbidden from cutting benefits or rationing care.

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