New Koch Ad, Same Tired Obamacare Spin

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Pro-Obamacare group Protect Your Care responds:

"Coloradans won’t be fooled by these deceptive ads. Obamacare opponents like the Koch Brothers and their allies have no plan to help Coloradans get health care, so they keep repeating the same lies that have been debunked over and over," said Laura Chapin, Colorado state director of the pro-Affordable Care Act group Protect Your Care. "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Coloradans with pre-existing conditions now have health insurance. Mental health care is covered, which is critical in a state like ours where suicide is the leading cause of death for young people.  Colorado women can get mammograms and birth control with little or no out of pocket costs.

Affordable Care Act opponents like the Koch Brothers and their allies have no alternative for the 277,000 Coloradans and 7 million Americans who have signed up for health insurance, which is 7 million more people than they care about. And running ads can’t cover up that fact.”


The Washington Post reports on a new ad from another arm of the Koch brothers family of conservative attack groups, now running in Colorado against Sen. Mark Udall on a reported $650,000 buy:

A Virginia-based nonprofit that served as the main funding arm of a political network backed by the conservative Koch brothers in 2012 is running attack ads directly for the first time, launching television commercials Tuesday against two Democratic Senatorial candidates.

The spots by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce attempt to link campaign donations from the health care industry to Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley and Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, suggesting they gave “special favors” to insurance companies by backing Obamacare.

“The hypocrisy is shocking,” says a female narrator in the Udall ad…

In this year’s midterms, Freedom Partners is bringing in-house many of the functions it financed through other groups in the last campaign. The organization’s elevated role speaks to how the Kochs are exerting more control over the political activity they fund, a strategy that provides more accountability to fellow conservative donors who want to know how their money is being spent.

The Sunlight Foundation's Jacob Fenton adds a little more detail about this group at the Colorado Independent.

For an organization that supposedly is more directly accountable to the Koch brothers than others, we can't say the content of this ad is any more defensible than other anti-Obamacare ads that have been exposed as factually misleading. The vague allegation that Sen. Udall "worked with health insurance companies to pass Obamacare" doesn't fit with the usual anti-Obamacare attacks, but seems even more ripe for blowback. According to Open Secrets, Udall's opponent Cory Gardner has taken piles of money from health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and other health industry sources. But here's another question: why would health insurance companies be donating to Udall if Obamacare is destroying the health care system? It seems contradictory to the whole case against Obamacare Republicans are trying to make.

The ad concludes with a reference, once again, to the supposed "335,000 Coloradans facing health insurance cancellations," a talking point that has been debunked so many times it's…well, not surprising to see it again in a new ad, but for anybody who knows the facts, it's more than a little frustrating. At this point, everyone with more than a casual involvement in this debate knows that statistic is grossly misleading. There's no plausible way to claim ignorance when this has been so exhaustively explored and repudiated.

But here's another $650,000 invested in that bogus message nonetheless.

28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    "Never apologize, never explain. It's a sign of weakness."

    -John Wayne

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    In truth, this ad is worded quite accurately. It doesn't say, for example, that "millions have lost their health care." As Jo Donlin at the CDPHE said in response to Mark Udall's bullying, 335,000 people were affected by health insurance cancellation notices. Many of them were able to find new insurance through other channels or even the same insurer, but the fact remains their policies, the policies they chose and both Obama and Udall said they could keep, were cancelled.

    That's what our own nonpartisan state employees said, not a career politician with much to lose. I trust Marguerite Salazar and her staff over Udall's political hacks any day.

  3. Lots of PPP polls out today from various battleground races. One of them, from Michigan, shows Koch's ads being, if anything, a net negative for the Republican challenger. Koch-affiliated groups have poured massive amounts of money into this open competitive Senate race, and the result appears to be a 17 point drop in Independent voter preference for Republican Terri Lynn Land since they last polled the race in December.

    Land and Peters haven't done anything on their own that would account for the huge swing; the obvious action in the race has been the Koch ads.

    • Here's to hoping that Americans are tired of the same old lies. Obamacare is fully in effect and most people haven't even noticed that it's there aside from the news about it; those who have been affected by it are largely positively impacted. Going forward, the only drag on ACA approval will be (or, more accurately, will remain) the vocal opposition and lying coming from Republicans and other conservatives.

      • Early WormEarly Worm says:

        I disagree as to the drag on ACA approval. I think there will be an additional drag based on the fact that the healthcare (and health insurance) system in our country sucks. ACA will be blamed by some for many of the broader problems becuase even though it is not the cause of those problems, it just does not fix them. People will continue to be frustrated with costs, access, and the health insurance bureaucracy. Some will blame those frustrations on ACA.  

        • Miss Jane says:

          Medicare and Medicaid will have to be better funded, and we need more providers.  Primary care doctors need to be better paid, and medical care models more like the Mayo Clinics and the western slope medical community around Grand Junction need to be created.  To the gop and their supporters these changes are insurmountable and unsupportable.  But we really don't have any other choice.  And the the ACA has put us in that position.  I look at it as long term therapy for a very ill patient who has an excellent prognosis, and who may respond faster than we think. 

          • gertie97 says:

            I beg to differ about Grand Junction. Our insurance prices are much higher than they are on the Front Range, not as high as the ski towns but well above the metro areas. For the low-paid people, of which Mesa County has an abundance, good ACA subsidies and Medicaid are life-savers. For those on Medicare, the model works very well. For people caught in the middle, not great at all.

        • BlueCatBlueCat says:

          Unfortunately some of that is probably true. Especially if Dems run from ACA instead of aggressively putting out all the positives. We'll see. 

          One of these days scared Dems are going to figure out that they don't have to let the GOTP spin machine have a field day while they hide and beg to be liked for anything other than whatever the GOTP has been working overtime to make unpopular. The truth is always on the Dems side. Use it. Call out the SOBs instead of begging to be liked because you're really more like them than people think. Rs never ask to be liked for being more like Dems. Shouldn't Dems have learned something from that by now?  

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        Like Hell, Americans haven't noticed Obamacare!  Obamacare goes into effect and Russia seized Crimea, which it actually seized first in 1783 but we didn't notice because CNN didn't exist yet.   The Malaysian airliner went down and nobody found it because CNN broadcast so much misinformation everybody went crazy looking everywhere.  

        A coincidence?   I think not.

        On the otherhand, my beloved  Uconn huskies won the NCAA bubble-bouncing tournament, to the joy of my son and his partner, who now teach at connecticutt universies.  (though not uconn, Trinity College and Fairfield University.)  And if the uconn women win their own championship tonight, we'll ignore the fact that if the male team is called the huskies then a female husky is a , well, anyway, all's right with the world.   

  4. BlueCatBlueCat says:

    I thought righties liked private for profit companies to be making billions. 

  5. Miss Jane says:

    You have very poor grammar.  Your punctuation isn't much better.  The comments you put forth add little of substance to the discussion.  I hope you can do better.  That still remains to be seen.

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