Harry Reid Torches Koch-Fueled ‘Lies’ About Obamacare

AP

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Wednesday excoriated the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, for an ad by their organization aimed at undercutting Obamacare.

“The leukemia patient whose insurance policy was canceled who could die without her medication — that’s an ad being paid for by two billionaire brothers. It’s absolutely false,” he said on the Senate floor. “We heard about the evils of Obamacare, about the lives it’s ruining. … But those tales turned out to be just that: tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies distorted by the Republicans to grab headlines [by] forming political advertisements.”

The ad he’s referring to, by the Koch-backed Americans For Prosperity, features a leukemia patient named Julie Boonstra who says she lost her insurance due to Obamacare and is facing soaring out-of-pocket costs. As fact-checkers have pointed out, her claim doesn’t quite add up. Obamacare has lowered Boonstra’s premiums, as she admits, and it caps patients’ out-of-pocket expenses in a way that makes her likelier to save money.

“The Koch brothers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars telling Americans that obamacare is bad for them,” Reid said. “It’s easy to do if you have no conscience and are willing to lie, like they are, through the ads that they’re promoting. But the Kochs should stick to what they know: the oil business.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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