KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Seeks To Mobilize Grass Roots To Help Advance Health Law

Presdient Barack Obama spoke to the group Organizing for Action and said the role of these volunteers in terms of putting the new health care plan in place and advancing other second-term initiatives is critical -- especially as the August congressional recess approaches.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama, Democratic Leaders To Urge Supporters To Speak Up As Lawmakers Prep For August Recess
Lawmakers in barely a week will fan out across the country, returning to their home districts for the annual summer break. At town hall meetings and picnics and public events, they’ll hear firsthand from constituents — most of whom, polls show, have had it with Washington and incessant partisan fighting. With a tough path ahead for Obama’s major goals — including an immigration overhaul, the economy and the rollout of his health care law — his supporters want to ensure that lawmakers of both parties return to Washington with a mandate to work with Obama. So, OFA, with a presidential assist, is seeking to get activists energized and ready to speak up (7/22).

USA Today: Obama Urges Volunteers To Help Him Pass Agenda
Speaking Monday night to Organizing For Action, a group of volunteers created from the remnants of his 2008 and 2012 campaigns, Obama said he needs them to stay active and pressure Congress into helping him deliver on his agenda. Among the items he cited: Getting an immigration bill through the Republican-run House, putting the new health care plan in place later this year, and pursuing climate change legislation. Obama told OFA members they have already been working as hard now as they did during his successful presidential campaigns (Jackson, 7/22).

Politico: OFA Embraces Tea Party Blueprint For August Push
OFA’s preparing a range of under-the-national-radar tactics in conjunction with heading for town halls. Rallies, flyering and district office demonstrations will be aimed at drawing the same sort of local attention that tea party groups managed four years ago, hoping to spook members of Congress worried about the 2014 midterms. … They’ll begin August 4, marking the president’s birthday with a day of events organized to promote the benefits of Obamacare. That kickoff will be followed by weeks of events across the country, each centered around designated “national days of action” pushing for federal and state moves on climate change, gay marriage, gun control, immigration reform — and, in targeted states like Texas, reproductive and women’s rights (Dovere, 7/23).

The Washington Post’s Post Politics: OFA's Effectiveness Contingent On 'Action August'
As Organizing For Action (OFA) meets in Washington, D.C. Monday night, the non-profit tied to President Obama is gearing up for a major advocacy push in August aimed at marshaling support for both the president’s health-care law and immigration reform initiative (Tam and Eilperin, 7/22).

The Hill: Enroll America Chief Urges Texans To Embrace Obamacare
The head of a major Obamacare enrollment group urged Texans to embrace their new benefits under healthcare reform as a means to stay "healthy and financially secure." Enroll America President Anne Filipic noted in an op-ed piece that Dallas County has one of the highest concentrations of uninsured patients in the United States, which leads to higher costs for all residents (Viebeck, 7/22).

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