‘Kochtopus’ astroturf campaign against Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid (AHCCCS) restoration plan


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

I have said it before, and I will say it again: how long are Arizonans going to tolerate the billionaire bastard Koch brothers dictating public policy in Arizona? It's time to tear up the "Kochtopus" network of astroturf far-right organizations in this state by the roots and salt the ground to make sure that they never grow back again.

The opposition to Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid (AHCCCS) restoration plan does not come from rank and file voters in this state, but rather an astroturf campaign by the "Kochtopus" far-right organizations, incuding the Tea Party groups. The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) calls them out. AFP, anti-Obamacare docs denounce Medicaid expansion:

A small group of conservative doctors gathered at the Capitol in opposition to Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion proposal, arguing that it will damage health care in Arizona and cause a host of problems at the federal level.

At a Tuesday afternoon press conference organized by the Arizona chapter of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, three doctors urged the state to reject Brewer’s plan, which would expand Medicaid to cover anyone earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. The doctors have been vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act.

“There’s no guarantee that any of these patients will get the treatment that they want. Doctors spend a lot of time fighting the system to get the patients the things that they basically need,” said Dr. Jane Orient, a member of the conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons who practices internal medicine in Tucson.

The doctors even argued that patients are often better off with no insurance than with Medicaid due to what they deemed inadequate care, delays in care caused by shortages of doctors and a system that does not allow patients to pay any costs out of their own pockets, if needed. Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a general surgeon in the north Valley, said he’s had cancer patients who didn’t see him until it was too late to treat them because it took so long to

“I can’t in good conscience advocate putting more people onto a system that denies care. Just because you have access to a waiting list doesn’t mean you have access to health care,” said Singer, an adjunct fellow at the conservative Cato Institute. “I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen patients get to me with advanced cancers, and I could’ve taken care of it at a much earlier time.”

Many of the arguments put forth by the doctors focused on the broader conservative arguments against the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” They said a federal government that is $17 trillion in debt won’t be able to keep the promises its making.

Dr. John Ammon, of the conservative health care organization Docs 4 Patient Care, said Medicaid expansion and health insurance exchanges are the two “anchors” of Obamacare, and that the federal health care law is likely a precursor to a single-payer health care system in the United States.

“Now we are headed, like a tsunami coming at us, at a single-payer system,” Ammon said.

* * *

The press conference was extremely small, populated mostly by a handful of doctors and reporters, as well as one lawmaker, [teabagger] Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff. It stood in stark contrast to recent pro-expansion events held at the Capitol by Brewer, which featured scores of health care professionals standing with the governor and hundreds of supporters in the crowd.

But who has the ear of the Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature? The billionaire bastard Koch brothers through their network of astroturf far-right organizations in this state, including the Tea Party groups.

Note: I want to thank the Arizona Capitol Times for making an effort to identify with whom the speakers are associated. Far too often the media does not disclose for whom the players are playing. The failure to disclose this information is misleading.


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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.