Progressive Groups Petition Obama to Demand Public Option in Health Care Speech

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September 3, 2009 10:49 am
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Many liberals may be readying themselves for the worst. But MoveOn and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee are filling the political space between now and President Obama’s big Wednesday health care speech by pressuring him to support or demand a public option.

Both groups have blasted out petitions to their hundreds of thousands of members in the hope that a major public showing in support of the public option will convince Obama that there will be a political price to pay for abandoning it.

The MoveON petition reads: “President Obama, we’re counting on you to fight for bold change on health care–including a strong public health insurance option. It’s the key to breaking the stranglehold that private insurers have over our health care system.”

While PCCC’s is a bit bolder. “We worked so hard for real change. President Obama, please demand a strong public health insurance option in your speech to Congress. Letting the insurance companies win would not be change we can believe in.”

You can read each group’s letter to its members below the fold.

Bob,

We didn’t plan to email you again today. But yesterday, news broke that President Obama will make a big speech to Congress next Wednesday on health care — an issue we know you care about.

And according to news reports, “although House leaders have said their members will demand the inclusion of a public insurance option, Obama has no plans to insist on it himself.” *

In response, we got a truly depressing email from Christian S. in Texas:

“Your recent health care ads are great, they hit home. But Obama has decided to drop the public option and for breaking his campaign promise I am dropping out of political activism for the time being.”

This fight is absolutely not over, but Christian’s feelings are real. If Obama doesn’t stand firm on the public option, millions of people will lose hope.

So today, we’re launching a petition to President Obama signed by those who volunteered, staffed, voted for, or donated to Obama’s campaign in 2008, asking him to please stand firm on the public option.

If that’s you, can you sign this petition today? Click here.

Then, please think hard about others you know who worked for change last year — and forward them this email.

The petition says: “We worked so hard for real change. President Obama, please demand a strong public health insurance option in your speech to Congress. Letting the insurance companies win would not be change we can believe in.”

We’ll make sure the White House gets our message. In addition to delivering the signatures and personal notes from the petition page, we’re planning an ad featuring the voices of those who sign.

Dear MoveOn member,

News just broke that President Obama will give a major speech on health care before Congress on Wednesday where he’ll lay out what he thinks needs to be in the health care bill.

What will he say? This morning, The New York Times reported that the president remains committed to a bold reform plan, including a robust public health insurance option. But the reality is that he is under immense pressure from conservatives in both parties–and some advisers–to drop it.

This is a critical crossroads and our President needs to hear from you right away.

President Obama ran a campaign based on real change–he talked about challenging the status quo, breaking the stranglehold that corporate lobbyists had over our politics, and standing up to special interests.

We know that change does not come easily. But in difficult moments throughout our history we have always looked to our leaders to push beyond politics and do what is right for our country. This is one of those times.

Can you sign this petition and let President Obama know that you’re counting on him to fight hard for a bold health care reform bill which includes a public health insurance option? We need to show him we’ll fight right alongside him if he does. You can send him a personal message at the link below too.

http://pol.moveon.org/hcobama/o.pl?id=&t=3

The petition says: President Obama, we’re counting on you to fight for bold change on health care–including a strong public health insurance option. It’s the key to breaking the stranglehold that private insurers have over our health care system.

Making good on his campaign commitment to bring real change to Washington is the most difficult as well as the most necessary part of reforming our health care system.

HMOs and health insurance companies are fighting to kill the public health insurance option. Republicans have made it clear that they don’t intend to help reform health care. And some conservative Democrats are so afraid of standing up to special interests that they are pushing for the weakest version of reform.

But the worst thing would be to pass a big reform bill that doesn’t really change things. There’s only one thing that’s really going to cut costs, provide real security and peace of mind to the millions of Americans who are suffering, and take on the big insurance companies who have complete control of our system. That is the public health insurance option.

During his campaign, President Obama often said that he believed that change had to come from the bottom up—not from the top down.

So right now, at this critical moment, it is up to all of us to speak out and let President Obama know what millions of Americans across the country want. Click here to tell the President that you’re counting on him to do the right thing:

http://pol.moveon.org/hcobama/o.pl?id=&t=4

The public health insurance option represents the change that Americans everywhere rallied around–it’s our best chance to break the stranglehold of a broken, corporate for-profit system and bring true affordable care to all Americans.

Thanks for all you do.

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