Care for American Now, an umbrella organization of groups supporting Obama’s plan, and Organizing for America, the Obama campaign organization which reputedly has an e-mail list of up to 13 million names, plan 1,000 events before the congressional recess ends September 8.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Supporters of President Obama’s plan to overhaul the health system, in an acknowledged attempt to reverse growing opposition to the plan, are planning a fusillade of rallies and bus tours starting this week.
Health Care for America Now, an umbrella organization of groups supporting Obama’s plan, is coordinating its efforts with Organizing for America, the Obama campaign organization now melded into the national Democratic Party, which reputedly has an e-mail list of up to 13 million names.
Together, they plan 1,000 events before the congressional recess ends September 8. The title for the blitz: “Health insurance reform now, let’s get it done.”
“We want to send members of Congress back to D.C. with the real message, which is that the majority of the public want comprehensive health care reform and we want it now,” said Jacki Schechner, spokeswoman for HCAN.
“We want to make sure members of Congress understand the last couple of weeks is not where the majority of the public is,” said Schechner, referring to rowdy town hall meetings dominated by critics of the Democrats’ plans.
As conservative groups have organized against Democrats’ health care legislation and cast it as a government takeover of health care, polls have shown fading public support for sweeping changes and skepticism over Obama’s handling of the issue.
The events will mostly be large rallies, speeches and press conferences where the public will be invited to cheer or listen — though not express the kind of opposition or ask the kinds of questions that have contributed to increased opposition to health care reform in many polls.
A nationwide DNC bus tour to spread the word starts Wednesday in Phoenix and continues through 10 more cities.
Each city will include a big rally organized with the help of unions. DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said there will also be numerous large press conferences “in big public spaces” with lawmakers and people with individual health care stories the nation should hear.
Democrats say they held more than 500 town hall meetings in the first half of the congressional recess. Town halls will not be the main focus of the second half of the break, though they will continue and be organized nationally.
This would seem to be directly at odds with the general complaint among Democrats that some opposition to health care reform at town halls this summer has appeared to be organized. The attempted smear is they are not grassroots but “astroturf” — a term that suggests that it was manufactured.
In fact the opposition has been organized at the grassroots level outside Washington, which is exactly what Democrats in Washington are now doing, with the help of labor unions, to push the pro-reform agenda.
FOX News’ Carl Cameron and The Associated Press contributed to this report.