WASHINGTON (CNN)- As President Obama prepares to deliver his health care message to the American people Wednesday night, the umbrella group Health Care for America Now and union allies launched a weeklong media and grassroots campaign in Maine to pressure the state's GOP senators to back a public health insurance option.
Sen. Olympia Snowe has been in quiet talks with the White House about a "trigger" option, which would threaten the insurance industry with a new public health insurance plan in several years if it did not meet certain coverage standards.
The new $280,000 campaign aimed at Snowe and fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins will include radio, print and television advertising in the state through Saturday, along with mailers and an online petition calling on Snowe to "stand up to the insurance company lobbyists."
In one of the 30-second television ads, "Insured," a cancer survivor relates her fear of losing health insurance if she changes jobs.
"We have to have reform that allows people to keep their health insurance if they like it but that forces the insurance companies to behave themselves," says Maine resident Lee Roberts. "We need Senator Snowe to continue her independence and show us that she cares more about the people of Maine than the insurance lobby."
In "Maine Small Business," a small business owner argues that the proposed overhaul would help his business become more competitive.
The groups said Tuesday they have also sent letters to President Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus emphasizing the need to "regain momentum" and move forward on the bill within the next week.