Faced with a souring public mood on health care reform, Democrats and their supporters are launching a national grassroots push Wednesday to show lawmakers that the majority of Americans still support overhauling the system.
Reform supporters are planning to hold more than 500 events between Wednesday and when lawmakers return to Washington Sept. 8, ranging from neighborhood organized phone banks to professionally staffed rallies with hundreds of people.
“We want members of Congress to get back to work and pass reform that means something. We need affordable care. We need real insurance regulation. And we need a strong public health insurance option,” said HCAN spokeswoman Jacki Schechner. “It’s doable and we expect it to get done now.”
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.