The Koch brothers are prepared to put their considerable influence and monetary backing behind those Republican lawmakers who say “NO” to the GOP version of an Obamacare replacement.
The move comes after President Trump made not-so-veiled threats that those who opposed the bill would be primaried in the 2018 midterm elections.
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.
“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.”
This serves to benefit the conservative wing of the GOP, the House Freedom Caucus, who have, thus far, refused to be moved by the president’s appeals in favor of the bill.
The House Freedom Caucus members, led by North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, insist the bill does not go far enough to lower premium costs, among other issues.
Digital ads for the purpose of thanking those lawmakers who are standing against the bill have already been released by Americans for Prosperity.
“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.”
Of those issues that make the bill particular troublesome for the Koch groups, they count the refundable tax credits as a new entitlement. They feel the “Cadillac tax,” or insurance mandates on high-end employer-sponsored health plans should be repealed, as should Medicaid expansions.
As of this writing, it is doubtful if the vote will go forward as planned, because it just doesn’t have the necessary votes to pass. It is very likely that we don’t see a vote this week, at all.