Supporters of President Barack Obama’s health care agenda are ramping up their efforts with rallies and bus tours starting this week, aiming to counter increasing public skepticism leading up to Congress’ post-Labor Day return to Washington.
“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 Health Care for America Now, an umbrella organization of groups pushing for a comprehensive health care overhaul.
“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.
Health Care for America Now 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.
Organizing for America plans a bus tour with kickoffs beginning Wednesday in cities including Phoenix, Albuquerque and Denver. Some 500 events are planned around the country through Labor Day, Schechner said.