Koch Brothers use Halloween “tricks” to scare Florida seniors from ACA, activists claim

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Florida healthcare advocates say the high-profile conservative Koch brothers are choosing “tricks” this Halloween to scare Florida seniors away from the Affordable Care Act.

Organize Now, the state partner of Health Care for America Now, is condemning “ObamaCare 101” sessions hosted by the Americans for Prosperity (AFP), as well as a video recently released by the AFP-linked MyGenOpportunity. The video, called “Halloween Horror 2013,” is part of a program designed to scare Florida seniors with “misinformation and lies” about the ACA, the group says. 

The activists refer to the informational meetings, which targets seniors, as part of the larger effort to defund and repeal the ACA, created by the “extremist front-group” sponsored by Charles and David Koch. Organize Now leaders insist defunding the law will restrict access to health care for millions of Americans. AFP has also spent millions of dollars opposing the ACA, including a $2 million ad buy in October against two Democratic senators supporting the legislation.

“There is nothing scarier than being sick and knowing you can’t afford to go to the doctor because politicians and their lobbyist friends would rather play partisan games than take care of their constituents,” said Paul Heroux, a member of Organize Now.

Organize Now is now releasing its own video of videotaped AFP sessions in central Florida. Speakers are shown misinforming seniors with “blatant lies” about the tax impact of the law. 

The group’s video is on YouTube here.

“This is the behavior we’ve come to expect from Americans from Prosperity in Florida and around the country,” said of Organize Now executive director Stephanie Porta. “For the last three years, AFP has tried to mislead people about the law with outright lies about the ACA despite the fact that millions of Americans are already benefiting from the law’s no-cost preventive care and discounts on prescription drugs.”

The video attempts to expose AFP’s deceptions and presents documented facts to correct the lies. Organize Now jointly produced the video with the Health Care for America Now, the nation’s largest grassroots healthcare reform advocacy group.

“AFP should be ashamed of using these scare tactics when hundreds of thousands of Floridians can’t get health care because the Florida legislature refuses to expand Medicaid coverage,” Porta added. 

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.