A first shot, of sorts, is being fired in the Obama-era battle for health care reform.
Organizing for America, President Obama's political arm, is blasting out an email to its massive list of supporters urging them to join an "Organizing for Health Care" campaign.
The message emphasizes Obama's "three bedrock principles" for reform -- reduce costs, guarantee choice, and "ensure affordable care for all" -- and presses the president's "hard goal" of getting a health overhaul passed into law by the end of this year.
Read the full email below, authored by Mitch Stewart, the executive director of OFA.
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Monday morning, an unlikely gathering of health care industry and union leaders emerged from the White House, announcing a historic agreement to lower medical costs and save the average family up to $2,500. This kind of broad coalition would have been unthinkable in the past, when the old politics of division and short-term self interest held sway. But this is a new day.
Yesterday afternoon, President Obama announced the three bedrock principles that any comprehensive health care reform must achieve: (1) reduce costs, (2) guarantee choice, and (3) ensure all Americans have quality, affordable health care. And he set a hard goal for getting it done by the end of this year.
For those determined to oppose reform, the President's announcement means lobbyists are already scrambling across D.C. For the rest of us, it means there's no time to lose. As we speak, Congress is negotiating the details for health care reform, so the first step is showing where the American people stand.
Please click below to sign a declaration of support urging Congress to follow President Obama's three core principles for health care reform -- and to enact them before the end of this year:
(The more signatures we have, the more powerful our message will be, so please add your name and then forward this note on to family and friends.)
The health care crisis is not new, but it's getting worse. For decades, real health care reform has been blocked by special interest lobbying and political point-scoring. We simply cannot go any further down this dangerous road of delay and denial. But we don't have to.
Yesterday's agreement marks only the beginning of the broad coalition we need. The most important reason this round of health care reform will be different is you. Last fall millions of regular people came together and did the impossible. Now, we've got to roll up our sleeves, join hands with those new to our movement, and do it again.
Congress is already hammering out the details of the health care package, and it could still go any number of ways. Our representatives need to understand that when the President lays out these three bedrock principles, Americans of every stripe are standing with him. Yesterday's diverse gathering was a powerful start -- and now it's up to us.
It's time to stand up. Please sign the declaration of support today:
Reducing costs, guaranteeing choice, and ensuring care for all are ambitious goals, but they are nothing less than what the American people deserve. And passing real health care reform this year is nothing less than what the American people need.
Organizing for America
P.S. -- Here are some excerpts from the President's announcement yesterday that lay out the three principles for health care reform and why we need it this year. Please forward this note to people who want to know where the President stands.
"In the coming weeks and months, Congress will be engaged in the difficult issue of how best to reform health care in America. I'm committed to building a transparent process where all views are welcome. But I'm also committed to ensuring that whatever plan we design upholds three basic principles: First, the rising cost of health care must be brought down; second, Americans must have the freedom to keep whatever doctor and health care plan they have, or to choose a new doctor or health care plan if they want it; and third, all Americans must have quality, affordable health care.
"These are principles that I expect to see upheld in any comprehensive health care reform bill that's sent to my desk -- I mentioned it to the groups that were here today. It's reform that is an imperative for America's economic future, and reform that is a pillar of the new foundation we seek to build for our economy; reform that we can, must, and will achieve by the end of this year.
"Ultimately, the debate about reducing costs -- and the larger debate about health care reform itself -- is not just about numbers; it's not just about forms or systems; it's about our own lives and the lives of our loved ones. And I understand that. As I've mentioned before during the course of the campaign, my mother passed away from ovarian cancer a little over a decade ago. And in the last weeks of her life, when she was coming to grips with her own mortality and showing extraordinary courage just to get through each day, she was spending too much time worrying about whether her health insurance would cover her bills. So I know what it's like to see a loved one who is suffering, but also having to deal with a broken health care system. I know that pain is shared by millions of Americans all across this country.
"And that's why I was committed to health care reform as a presidential candidate; that's why health care reform is a key priority to this presidency; that's why I will not rest until the dream of health care reform is finally achieved in the United States of America."