MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now released the following statements about tonight’s Americans for Prosperity health care opposition event, the ‘Republican Rally for Failure,’ hosted by corporate-accountability foe, ABC’s John Stossel:
“Tonight’s ‘Republican Rally for Failure’ is central in the Republican strategy, bankrolled by Republican interests, to defeat the Democratic President at any cost. They don’t care about lying to us. They don’t care if our health care costs keep skyrocketing. They don’t care if Americans die due to lack of health care coverage – they just want President Obama to fail.”
Below are facts about GOP interests financing anti-health care efforts
McClatchy Newspapers ran an investigative report on the health insurance-funded front groups organizing alleged “grass roots” opposition to President Obama’s health care reform. Below are excerpts from the McClatchy article:
“WASHINGTON — Much of the money and strategy behind the so-called grassroots groups organizing opposition to the Democrats’ health care plans comes from conservative political consultants, professional organizers and millionaires, some of whom hold financial stakes in the outcome. …
“The opposition groups’ names sound catchy and populist: Patients First. Patients United. Americans for Prosperity. Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. FreedomWorks. 60 Plus. Club for Growth.
“Here’s who’s behind them:
“Conservatives for Patients’ Rights is led by health care entrepreneur Rick Scott….Scott left his job as CEO of the Columbia/HCA hospitals during a federal Medicare fraud probe in 1997 that led to a historic $1.7 billion settlement. He wasn’t prosecuted and got a golden parachute.
“FreedomWorks, which has been advocating against the overhaul but has not launched TV ads, is chaired by Dick Armey, the former Republican majority leader of the House of Representatives from Texas. But also noteworthy are the group’s other backers and board members. They include billionaire flat-tax proponent and former GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes; Richard J. Stephenson, who founded Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which offers alternative as well as standard therapies, sometimes not covered by insurance; and Frank M. Sands, Sr., chief executive officer of an investment management firm whose offerings include a Healthcare Leaders portfolio.
“Patients First and Patients United are creations of a larger group called Americans for Prosperity. …It was started by billionaire David Koch, of the Koch Industries oil family, one of the country’s top donors to conservative, free-market causes. …Tim Phillips, AFP’s president, is a former Republican congressional staffer who helped former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed start up the consulting firm Century Strategies in the 1990s. Clients paid the firm to build Christian grassroots support for various business causes. That included work for since-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The group, along with FreedomWorks, was involved in promoting the anti-tax ‘tea parties’ earlier this year. AFP also is organizing a campaign “exposing the ballooning costs of global warming hysteria.’”