Obama Says Health Reform Must Be Done This Year
The opportunity to enact health care reform legislation could be missed unless Congress passes it this year, President Obama on Thursday said to thousands of supporters in a phone call made from Air Force One, the AP/USA Today reports. In a call to members of his political organization, Organizing for America, Obama said, "If we don't get it done this year, we're not going to get it done," adding, "I think the status quo is unacceptable and that we've got to get it done this year."
Obama also said that any action on overhaul legislation could be delayed unless volunteers pressure lawmakers to support the administration's goals for health care reform (AP/USA Today, 5/28). Obama said, "Some of you are in states and districts where politicians are resistant to bringing about change, so we need you to get involved" (Zeleny, "The Caucus," New York Times, 5/28). Obama told volunteers that it was time to "remobilize" after their successful campaign to get him elected, adding that "we have gotten a lot of things done during our first four months. But health care, that's a big push" (AP/USA Today, 5/28).
David Plouffe, Obama's presidential campaign manager and head of Organizing for America, during the call said, "If the country stands with the president and if the country is demanding health care reform, [then] we'll get it done," adding, "Washington will not have any option but to follow us." He added, "You need to take ownership of this" ("The Caucus," New York Times, 5/28).
Organizing for America Campaign
The conference call was in preparation for the launch of Organizing for America's health care campaign, the AP/USA Today reports (AP/USA Today, 5/28). Organizing for America has scheduled grassroots organizing events beginning June 6, when Obama will release a video message about his principal goals for reform. The ideas generated at the events will be used to plan public service events that will be held on June 27. Mitch Stewart, executive director of Organizing for America, said, "Reforming [our] health care system is going to require each and every one [of] us to get involved" (Davis, "Washington Wire," Wall Street Journal, 5/28).