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Beer Offensive: The Koch Brothers Try to Bribe College Students Not to Sign Up for Obamacare with Brewskies

October 17, 2013 in Blogs

By Sadhbh Walshe, The Guardian

Oddly, it doesn't seem to be working.

What's a family values conservative to do when every effort to protect millions of Americans from the scourge of affordable healthcare fails?

Break out the beer, of course. The latest campaign to kill off Obamacare in its infancy is now playing out on college campuses where a conservative group known as Generation Opportunity (GO), who are funded in part by the billionaire Koch brothers, is using the lure of free beer and “opt out” beer koozies to persuade young students not to buy health insurance – or, at least, not to buy it from the Obamacare exchanges.

Traditionally, one might expect God-fearing conservatives to be warning youth about the dangers of alcohol consumption, rather than plying them with free liquor, but these are desperate times. The determined Koch brothers have already spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to derail the president's healthcare law. So far, though, despite their best efforts, Obamacare has proved as “invincible” as the young people it needs to enroll. While it's unlikely that the beer exchanges, shall we call them, will be the game-changer, the Kochs may well end up driving many of us to drink with their relentless and futile vendetta to undo the law – not just the college students.

Nearly every movement to “educate the public” about the “dangers” of Obamacare can be linked in some way to the Koch brothers, and this latest college campus effort is no different. Last month, Politico revealedthat GO has received $5.04m from the Koch-funded entity known as Freedom Works. This “grassroots” movement is now about to embark on an “Opt Out” tour of 20 college towns across the country as part of its effort to steer young people away from the Obamacare exchanges. As GO's 29-year-old president, Evan Feinberg, put it:

What we're trying to communicate is, 'No, you're not actually required to buy health insurance' … you might have to pay a fine, but that's going to be cheaper for you, and better for you.

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