The Koch brothers, via their conservative donor network, have vowed to set up a fund for the 2018 reelection race for GOP politicians that vote against the new American Health Care Act.
The fund, which is rumored to be seven-figures is designed to both protect bill opponents from political harm and act as a threat to those that vote for the new health care bill.
The Koch brothers believe that the bill does not do enough to roll back the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which they were huge opponents of. They spent millions of dollars back in 2013 for an Obamacare misinformation campaign.
The Koch-funded groups behind the fund are Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners. They will spend money on paid media, direct mail and grass-roots canvassing.
Freedom Partners is calling the new GOP health care bill “Obamacare 2.0.” James Davis, executive vice president of the group stated, “Republicans have been promising to fully repeal Obamacare since it became law. This bill doesn’t do that. 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.”
Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips says, “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 two groups believe that the new bill’s refundable tax credits are a new entitlement and that the legislation needs to get rid of “Cadillac tax” on high-end employer-sponsored health plans. They also want a quicker repeal of Medicaid expansion.
Although the two groups will still grant resources and money to Republicans that do not vote how they want them, those that vote against the bill will have access to significantly more resources.
The vote for the new health care bill is expected to take place in the House on Thursday. If the more than 20 Republicans that promised to vote against the bill on Wednesday follow through with their pledge, the bill will be defeated.
It seems the Koch brothers and their network are getting even bolder when it comes to showing their influence in politics. According to Davis, the group of donors plans to spend nearly $400 million on political projects over the 2018 cycle. This is much more than the rumored $250 million the Koch network spend on the 2016 election.