NEW YORK (CNN)– A group of liberal activists is taking up the health care fight in a new ad and "emergency petition" targeting President Barack Obama for "campaign" promises it says he made regarding a public insurance option.
The minute-long commercial features a former Obama campaign volunteer coordinator for Maine, Ben Katz, reminding the president what he campaigned for in the northeastern state.
"You campaigned on a public health insurance option. We worked hard for it. We worked hard for you,” Katz says in the ad released by The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal political action committee with the express goal of electing progressive candidates to federal office.
"Polls show the people of Maine overwhelmingly want the public option. President Obama, Olympia Snowe isn’t representing Maine on this issue. We need you to fight. Tell Olympia Snowe to represent her constituents, and that anything less than a public option is not change we can believe in," Katz says.
Accompanying the ad is an "emergency petition" for the public option that the campaign plans to deliver to the White House.
"Every day, insurance companies deny care and let people die. Getting one Republican senator's vote is not worth delaying reform - too many real lives are at stake," the petition reads.
Senate Democratic leaders met Thursday night with White House officials to consider including a government-funded public health insurance option in a health care overhaul bill. The bill also has a provision allowing states to opt out of the public option.
Two senior Democratic Senate sources told CNN Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is leaning toward a public option with the state opt-out provision in the Senate bill that will reach the full chamber in coming weeks.
Snowe is the only Republican to support any kind of health care proposal so far. The Obama administration has been wooing the Maine senator in an effort to put a bipartisan face on the final bill. However, Snowe’s spokesman confirmed that she remains opposed to the modified public option, preferring a so-called "trigger" mechanism that would bring the option in the future if thresholds for expanding coverage and lowering costs go unmet in coming years.
Adam Green, co-founder of the PCCC, told CNN the ad will initially air 100 times in Maine on broadcast and cable television, with the potential to expand to Washington. The initial buy will cost about $25,000, Green estimated. Depending on online fundraising, the buy will expand.
"Judging by the fact that 20 ads have been funded within the first hour, I'd estimate our final buy will be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000," Green said.
The group’s prior health care ad targeting Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Max Baucus raised more than $100,000.