Updated at 10:50 am EST
Americans for Prosperity, the nonprofit partially funded by billionaire energy executives Charles and David Koch, announced today that it would spend $4 milion targeting six vulnerable congressional Democrats for their support of President Barack Obama’s health-care law.
The law was designed to extend health insurance to millions of Americans without coverage. Enrollment efforts have been stymied by a malfunctioning website. In addition, Obama has been criticized for promising that Americans can keep their insurance even though some with individual coverage have been told that their policies will not be renewed.
“People are hurting,” said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity. “They’re losing their doctor, seeing the plan they liked stripped away from them, seeing prices go up and their options dwindle. Political games won’t fix this. We want to make sure this is the No. 1 issue on everyone’s mind.”
AFP’s ads will target Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, Florida Reps. Patrick Murphy and Joe Garcia, and Arizona Rep. Ron Barber.
The group spent $36.4 million during the 2012 elections on behalf of Republican candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Justin Barasky, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement today:
“The Koch brothers are already spending millions of dollars on TV ads in key states to elect Tea Party Republicans to the U.S. Senate who will rubber stamp their dangerous agenda in Washington. Corporate special interest groups like Americans for Prosperity want to replace Democratic senators who fight for their constituents with Tea Party Republicans who will privatize Social Security and Medicare in order to pay for bigger tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations. It’s that simple.”
The Koch brothers are the sixth and seventh richest people in the world, together worth a combined $92 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — a figure that surpasses the sole holdings of No. 1 billlionaire Bill Gates.