October 24th, 2009
03:19 PM ET
12 years ago

New ad targets Obama on public option

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/16/art.obamadnc.gi.jpg caption="President Obama is targeted in a new ad on health care."]
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.

Filed under: Health care • PCCC • President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Include the Public Option!... OR NO BILL.

    October 24, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    Slick bit of politickin' Barack got himself into: if he supports the public option, every one of the 53% who actually pay taxes, Republican and Democrat, and everyone who can balance a check book, will beat him up. If he doesn't support it, all the socialist, let's-go-print-some-more-money, nuts will beat him up.


    October 24, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Carole

    With all the horrible stories of families losing homes and loved ones because the vicious viper Insurance industry is in the 'business' of making money.....how dare they think we are this stupid.

    October 24, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Fred the Moderate

    They can put up all the ad's they want. The American people want a public option to keep the insurance companies honest. Why not? The gov. runs other health care operations. Besides, if a state op's out – all the lawmakers from the city, county, state and federal government of that state should be left uncovered so they can go out and buy their own insurance off our dime. I bet they would be for a public option then!

    October 24, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. annie s

    I agree. I do not understand why the President is willing to accept a weak compromise in order to get one Republican vote. Who cares? One vote does not make it a bipartisan bill; it just makes it a less effective bill.

    October 24, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. coinier

    This reform effort was a failure, on day one, when they took single-payer off the table, and escorted single-payer advocates from the roundtable.....,P.O. is a joke......,

    October 24, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Greg, MN

    Maine legislators were in Iowa recently, talking about there univeral state plan. There advice its a disaster. No wonder people in Maine want a change. Maybe Maine is not the example to use in this fight.

    October 24, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. T Mckinley

    The Presidency is not a dictatorship. It is Congress who writes the laws.

    It is Congress, NOT the President, who is screwing this up. If we are ever going to have REAL health care reform in this country, we are going to have to elect people to Congress who really want health care reform.

    October 24, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Biased

    And can someone verify that two democrats are trying to exclude all members of the government and all their union supporters from having to pay the 40% tax on cadillac health plans leaving the burden to everyone else?

    October 24, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Lisa

    Obama better come out and support the public option!!! This the single reason why I voted for him. Please don't disappoint us!!!

    October 24, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Lisa

    This would be the biggest mistake he has ever made in his entire life. People life depends on his decision right now. He needs to come out and support public option NOW!!!

    October 24, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Kurt

    Here's the problem: Obama is more of a spokesman for the party. He doesn't write the bill, and isn't aware of the all the carve outs, exclusions, and illegal aliens getting free hc.

    People will be forced to drop their employer provided healthcare. I don't think independents voted for this kind of change.

    October 24, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. The Truthteller

    You Lib monkeys have no clue! Look at your medical bills. Wonder why they are so high? How about fixing that before blanket trashing the insurance industry, Fix the source of the problem. Oh yeah, its easier to make a scapegoat instead. Libs are soooo predictable.

    October 24, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. eolufemi

    The president doesn't write the bills. The balls in congress's court right now.

    some of my fellow pro-reformers need to catch up with the conversation...

    October 24, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. just saying

    If they can't manage H1N1 shots why should we expect any government to handle our health care?

    October 24, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Even the Dems are now realizing....

    that Obama is all words and no action.....

    Obama screwed over the gays who voted for him by denying them the right to marraige,.....

    October 24, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Obama=Trickle up poverty

    Credible Polls show the MAJORITY of Americans do NOT want the public option. Quit trying to cram this crap down our throats. The government can't run anything, what makes you think they can handle your health care? Ask your personal doctor what he thinks, not the Democrats.

    October 24, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Michael

    This is ridiculous that we even have this discussion. Any discussion about the Public Option should cover economic principles. When a new play enters the market, regardless of who, companies want to compete with it.

    Keep in mind, the public option was not to be funded by tax payers but rather by its own premiums it collected. It was meant to be the same thing most universities utilize to provide healthcare to uninsured students.

    October 24, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  19. CRob

    Just make the public option only available to those of us that actually pay taxes. Oh wait that wont help cover everyone and the libs cant have that. This used to be the land of opportunity and hard work, its a shame its become about handouts and entitlement.

    October 24, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |

    Newsflash! there isnt enough votes to pass this piece of crap! lol. The real blue dog dems are taking back power from b-ditty, pelosi, and the rest of the Mao lovers.

    October 24, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. inuk of the north

    Here in Canada we have public healthcare and it's awful.

    A mediocre level of medicine applied equally to everyone who has the patience and sufficient health to stand in an endless line.

    Misdiagnoses are common, there are four-month waits to see specialists and people have actually died in emergency rooms without being noticed.

    Stand back from the abyss my friends. Work out a different solution.

    October 24, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Albo58

    The Public Option directly leads to a government take-over of health care, thus rationing and total inefficiency. And, though it doesn't really matter to folks who don't pay taxes, it will cost the American taxpayers $trillions, no matter what the President and his Congressional drones say!

    October 24, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |