By Sandy Fitzgerald
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, while calling “horror stories” about Obamacare lies, “attacked the character and integrity” of Americans who are not afraid to show how Obamacare is hurting them, Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips says.
On Wednesday, Reid said on the Senate floor that there are “plenty of horror stories” being told about Obamacare that are untrue.
Later in the day, the Nevada Democrat amended his statement, saying he wasn’t referring to stories told by everyday Americans, but the “vast majority” of advertising financed by the conservative Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, Fox News reported.
He also continued to criticize the Koch brothers, calling them “un-American,” after earlier in the day accusing them of “trying to buy Americans.”
Phillips, in a response posted on the Americans for Prosperity website, said some of the people sharing horror stories are “battling serious, life-threatening illnesses,” and accused Democrats like Reid of trying to divert attention from Obamacare’s failures by “declaring war on its victims.”
“Instead of admitting that the health care law is a bad deal for Americans, Senator Reid has chosen to attack the brave men and women who are sharing their personal stories about Obamacare,” Phillips said.
In particular, Reid and other critics have focused attention on one Americans for Prosperity ad featuring Julie Boonstra of Michigan, who says she has leukemia and her healthcare has become unaffordable under Obamacare.
She and the conservative group are standing behind the ad despite the criticism.
“The president’s allies are perfectly fine with brushing these horror stories under the rug — but that’s not so easy for people like Julie Boonstra in Michigan and Emilie Lamb in Tennessee, who are being forced by people like Senator Reid to live out the consequences of Obamacare every single day,” Phillips said.
The Koches also responded to Reid, chastising him for using an ad featuring a woman suffering from leukemia for his attack on Republicans.
“While Charles Koch and David Koch were not responsible for the advertisement in question, we believe it is disgraceful that Senator Reid and his fellow Democrats are attacking a cancer victim as part of their campaign against Charles Koch and David Koch,” said Koch spokesman Philip Ellender.
Republicans are also slamming Reid’s original remarks, with Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., calling them “astounding and offensive.”
South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune is demanding an apology from Reid to all those who have felt they are harmed by Obamacare.
“The majority leader, and any Democrat who agrees with him, owes an apology to all Americans who are suffering under this disastrous law and whose personal stories he has dismissed as ‘untrue,'” Thune said.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has read personal stories on the Senate floor several times about Obamacare’s negative impact on his state’s constituents, his spokeswoman Amber Marchand said in a press release.
“A fair question for the majority leader’s office today: Does Harry Reid believe Missourians are making this up?” Marchand said.
- Peter Morici: Reid’s Dismissal of ACA ‘Horror Stories’ Is ‘Nonsense’
- Washington Examiner’s Ferrechio: Reid’s ACA Defense Just Politics
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