The 13 GOP Senators Behind Trumpcare 2.0 Got $2.7 Million From Healthcare Companies

That $2.7 million is just the tip of the iceberg. Our nation's callous oligarchs are spending big on taking our health insurance away. Death panels, anyone?

Since Obamacare passed in 2010, the GOP’s been howling about “death panels.” Apparently, that was because they wanted the death panels in.

Republicans will do anything for their wealthy paymasters, no matter how much it hurts their fellow Americans. Maplight, a non-profit that tracks Big Money in politics, sheds some light on the 13 GOP senators handpicked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The small group of senators secretly crafting a bill to eliminate the Affordable Care Act collected an average of $214,000 in campaign contributions from health insurance and pharmaceutical industries between November 2010 and November 2016 – nearly double the amount received by colleagues excluded from the process, according to a MapLight analysis.

This blood money adds up to a total of $2,776,012 for these senators since the ACA passed in 2010. No wonder they’re so set on repealing Obamacare and “replacing’ it with death panels and tax cuts for the rich.

Death Panels: The 13 GOP Senators behind Trumpcare 2.0 received over $2.7 million from pharmaceutical and health insurance companies.
Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) $471,560
Mitch  McConnell (R-Ky.) $433,400
Rob Portman (R-Ohio) $382,100
Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) $354,616
Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) $228,100
John Cornyn (R-Texas) $180,050
Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) $151,850
John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) $149,750
Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) $146,600
John Thune (R-S.D.) $123,400
Mike Lee (R-Utah) $66,750
Ted Cruz (R-Texas) $58,895
Tom Cotton R-Ark.) $28,941
TOTAL: $2,776,012

But wait, there’s more.

It’s not just a matter of Big Pharma wanting to charge top dollar (which they already do) or health insurance companies wanting government off their backs. For all their griping, the health insurers are making record profits since the ACA took effect. And Big Pharma’s making a killing, too.

The fossil fuel billionaires Charles and David Koch — better known as the Koch brothers — want it gone.

In fact, they’ve been doing their damnedest to destroy our government and force their radical libertarian, “free market” principles on us since the 1970s. And thanks to the millions they’ve spent on super PACs, bogus think tanks, non-profits, endowed academic chairs, fellowships, ad campaigns, and more, they’ve had much success. In fact, one could easily argue that the Koch brothers have taken over the Republican party.

Open Secrets reveals Charles and David Koch spent millions to help right-wing candidates in 2016. While they and their various groups didn’t always donate to campaigns directly, they ran ads and funded various PACs.

And they like to give to those who do their bidding.

  • $488,000 to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s leadership PAC, Prosperity Action, and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) from Charles Koch and his wife Elizabeth…And another $160,000 from David Koch to the NRCC.
  • $233,800 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
  • $2.8 million from Freedom Partners and CD from Americans for Prosperity for ads and other help for Sen. Pat Toomey (classified as “spending benefiting candidate”).
  • Another $6,162,091 from Freedom Partners and $1,572,941 from Americans for Prosperity to help Rob Portman in his race.
  • Orrin Hatch wasn’t up for re-election in 2016, but David Koch still gave $5,000 to his OrrinPAC and another $5,00o to his Hatch Victory Committee back in April 2015.

Gee, no wonder these craven, soulless, money-grubbing white walkers keep winning elections despite their cruel, destructive, and repellent agendas. Even death panels clean up nicely when you’ve got beaucoup bucks.

Koch brothers’ death panels oppose Trumpcare because it’s not mean enough.

While some House and Senate Republicans had qualms about their Trumpcare bills because they’d prefer not screw their own constituents, the Koch brothers complain that these brutal bills aren’t harsh enough. If they had their way, they’d boot everyone out of our health care system who can’t afford to pay.

Back in March, CNN reported that a “powerful network of conservative donors” led by Charles and David Koch said they’d create a new $400 million fund for GOP House members’ races in 2018…But they’d only get funding if they voted against the bill.

Now, once again, the Kochs and company oppose the Senate “healthcare” bill because it doesn’t throw enough cancer patients, elderly nursing home residents, disabled children, and mothers who’ve just given birth out on the street and leave them to die.

CNN adds:

As growing opposition imperiled passage of the Senate version of the healthcare bill, leaders of the conservative Koch network voiced sharp criticism of the legislation at their donor retreat here — stating that the bill needed dramatic changes before they would support it.

On Saturday, the Koch brothers’ network announced that they’ll be spending $300-$400 million on forcing their death panels and other vile policy objectives on the American people in 2018. And guess what? Taking away access to health care for millions of Americans and enacting drastic cuts to Medicaid — even though we’ve all paid into it all our working lives — is just the beginning.

They also plan to end social security, public education, and all the other public services and protections we enjoy, and turn our nation into a Dickensian hellscape. And guess what? They’re scarily close to doing it.

As Slate‘s Rebecca Onion writes in “What Is the Far Right’s Endgame? A Society That Suppresses the Majority,” an article about the little-known but influential Libertarian “thinker” James McGill Buchanan:

When the Supreme Court decided, in the 1954 case of Brown vs. Board of Education , that segregated public schools were unconstitutional, Tennessee-born economist James McGill Buchanan was horrified. Over the course of the next few decades, the libertarian thinker found comfortable homes at a series of research universities and spent his time articulating a new grand vision of American society, a country in which government would be close to nonexistent, and would have no obligation to provide education–or health care, or old-age support, or food, or housing–to anyone.

That’s right. And after decades of telling us it’s okay to be cruel and selfish, people are starting to believe it.

Oh, and speaking of death panels, this guy was an adviser to Augusto Pinochet, the much reviled Chilean dictator.

And he went from writing that to advising the Pinochet junta in Chile on how to craft their constitution. This document was later called a “constitution of locks and bolts,” [and was designed] to make it so that the majority couldn’t make its will felt in the political system, unless it was a huge supermajority.

Buchanan and Charles Koch were both members of the Mont Pelerin Society, along with ultra-right economists Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman. In Rebecca Onion’s interview with Nancy MacLean, who wrote a biography on James McGill Buchanan, MacLean explained that Charles Koch is on a mission.

This is not someone who’s just trying to lower his tax bill. He wants to bring in a totally new vision of society and government, that’s different from anything that exists anywhere in the world or has existed because he is so certain that he is right. I think it’s more chilling because it doesn’t correspond to the ideas we have about politics.

Blood money: Sen. Elizabeth Warren furiously tears apart the GOP Senate’s “healthcare” bill.

Featured image, composite by Elisabeth Parker with Public Domain photos: Senators’ official portraits via the U.S. Senate; George Hodan via Public Domain Pictures (Doctor with Mitch McConnell’s head added); and Jhi L. Scott/U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons  ( medical starff performing surgery).

About Elisabeth Parker 193 Articles
Elisabeth Parker is a writer, editor mom, news and politics junkie, and recovering web designer. “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” -- Otto von Bismarck.

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