Monday, July 10, 2017

Media Boosts Trumpcare Promoter Without Asking Who’s Writing His Checks @alternet

Media Boosts Trumpcare Promoter Without Asking Who’s Writing His Checks @alternet:

"Avik Roy’s primary function is to be the Reasonable Conservative and lobby centrists and liberals in their own media spaces that their worries about smoke-filled backroom Republican health care plans are unwarranted. This is done with a mix of “aw, shucks” nuance trolling and warmed-over discredited claims that health care coverage does not, in fact, affect mortality. This isn’t a post about the substance of Avik Roy’s argument. Lots of other writers have written about his claims and sought to debunk them. This post is about whether the source of his funding and his sudden rise as the face of the otherwise faceless, secret GOP plan is worth an ounce of scrutiny. Given his enthusiastic and unqualified spin (even before anyone knew what was in the legislation), some, such as MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid, have understandably begun to question Roy's motives. Avik Roy and others involved with his generically named Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity have ties to far-right billionaires through the Manhattan Institute and other organizations. FREOPP itself is associated with the Koch-backed State Policy Network, but FREOPP’s website does not reveal any of its donors, nor does it share its tax number, as most nonprofits do.  This could be because FREOPP is a new corporation (it was founded in May 2016), but neither the firm nor Roy responded to multiple questions via email and Twitter about who funds the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity.  Others are noticing the sudden importance of the heretofore obscure think tank. FREOPP is "a very official-sounding think tank that popped up in 2016 seemingly just to orchestrate a repeal of the Affordable Care Act," The New Republic's Cilo Chang wrote.  The online address for Roy’s “think tank" is for a P.O. Box inside a UPS store in Austin. The physical address on record for the state of Texas for FREOPP is Roy’s personal home in Austin."