Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guess who got Obamacare money? Of course it's the Kochs!

Here's a fun question, posed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"If the Affordable Care Act is so awful," Reid asked, "why did Koch Industries use it to their advantage?"

That's a rhetorical question, by the way. The answer is because they could get a big ol' chunk of money from the federal government, that's why. Congress created a $5 billion temporary reinsurance fund in the Affordable Care Act, to subsidize the cost to employers for providing ongoing coverage for people who retire before Medicare eligibility. The Kochs, of course, took a chunk of that.

The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, Reid said, "helped the company pay health insurance costs for its retirees who are not covered by Medicare." Reid asked sarcastically: "So it's OK for Koch Industries to save money through Obamacare" even as Koch-related groups seek the law's repeal. […]

Federal records show that Koch Industries received $1.4 million in early retiree subsidies. That's considerably less than the sums many other employers received. A Koch Industries spokesman said he had no comment on Reid's latest criticisms.

Other companies did receive a lot more: UPS got $37 million; Union Pacific $9.7 million; Altria Client Services nearly $11 million; and AT&T $213 million. All of those companies donate more heavily to Republicans, but none of these companies have made it their mission to kill Obamacare. That makes the Kochs a special case. But very typically Republican.

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