Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said today that despite all the good news on Obamacare, "There's plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue, but they're being told all over America."
It's a pretty bold claim that all the stories about cancelled policies are false - but Reid goes a step farther, and blames the Koch brothers in a halting speech from the Senate floor.
"The leukemia patient whose insurance policy was canceled [who] would die without her medication, Mr. President, that's an ad being paid for by two billionaire brothers. It's absolutely false."
"Or the woman whose insurance policy went up $700 a month," Reid continued. "Ads paid for around America by the multibillionaire Koch brothers, and the ad is false."
"We heard about the evils of Obamacare, about the lives it's ruining in Republicans' stump speeches and in ads paid for by oil magnates, the Koch brothers. But in those tales, turned out to be just that: tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies distorted by the Republicans to grab headlines or make political advertisements.
"Mr. President, these two brothers are trying to buy America. They not only funnel money through their Americans for Prosperity, they funnel money into all kinds of organizations to do the same thing that they're doing. They're trying to buy America. I don't believe America is for sale. We'll see, Mr. President."
"They're all lying?" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) office responded to Reid's remarks, producing dozens of local media clips featuring people whose premiums increased or had other problems related to Obamacare.
Koch responded to the controversy by issuing a statement that says:
"Senator Reid's attack today - his third against Koch since January 30th - is particularly troubling because he appears to reference a television advertisement produced by Americans for Prosperity in which a Michigan woman suffering from leukemia shared her experiences under Obamacare. 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."
The ad referred to was reported on by CNSNews.com. It was paid for by Americans for Prosperity and features Julie Boonstra, who has a 20% chance of surviving leukemia. Boonstra had her insurance cancelled by Obamacare.
Instead of retracting his statement that "all" Obamacare horror stories "are untrue," Reid tweeted a tiny backpedal, claiming it's just the "vast majority" of Koch ads are deceptive.
I can't say that all of the Koch ads on Obamacare are deceptive, but the vast majority are. http://t.co/hCbWIBVND6— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) February 26, 2014
Reid repeated the modified claim this afternoon, when he said from the Senate floor, "I can't say that every one of the Koch brothers' ads are a lie, but I'll say this: Mr. President, the vast, vast majority of them are."
Because, when you publicly accuse a leukemia patient of lying, the best topic to pivot to are the evil, evil, Koch brothers.
Editor's Update: A new Rassmussen poll shows that a third of Americans say they've been hurt by Obamacare.