Press Play

HCAN’s making news again today. A little retreat press courtesy of TPM:

I’m told that dozens of the heaviest hitters from the health care reform world met for a private retreat in Virginia last week and spent two days girding for a major battle with the insurance industry, hashing out specific messaging, discussing organizing goals and planning a major fundraising drive to blanket the airwaves with ads next year.

And we pop up twice on Politico. First here:

Democrats, meanwhile, are moving forward. Earlier this month, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) released an 89-page proposal detailing his ideas. And Senate Health Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) has organized working groups to examine issues key to universal health care.

There is also active grass-roots organizing and advertising by outside groups such as Health Care for America Now, which has committed $25 million next year to pushing for a public insurance plan and tighter regulation of private insurers.

Then here:

The group Health Care for America Now, which advocates affordable health care for all, achieved its main success in winning support from fiscally conservative Democrats such as Warner during the campaign season, pushing Democratic candidates to back a health care plan that is universal but not

But the biggest fault lines on health care come from the left in this Democratic fight.

Richard Kirsch, the national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now, foresees trouble from a group of 90 more-liberal House Democrats who want a European-style, single-payer health care system that is part of a bill advocated by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.).

“The 90 on the left who have signed on to the single-payer Conyers bill — that’s a very active, single-payer group, and we do need to unite them,” Kirsch said.

Health care advocates such as Kirsch also worry that there’s a cautious mindset among Democrats in Congress who have always feared the label “socialized medicine” and have never really envisioned a muscular majority that could actually take a serious crack at health care reform.

“The real challenge is whether Democratic members and staff — who have spent many years only being able to think small — will be able to understand this election is about change in a real way,” Kirsch said. “Some have talked about a very incremental approach. This is not an incremental moment.”

We were also CMAG’s Ad of the Week.

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