Progressive Coalition Mobilizes for Healthcare Reform
Progressive groups gathered in Washington D.C. Monday at the “America’s Future Now” conference and announced they will spend $82 million in 2009 to promote President Obama’s healthcare agenda.
Coalition members include Health Care for America Now, AFL-CIO, Change to Win, MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, and mobilization groups representing young people, women, and people of color.
The coalition involves over 1,000 organizations that are part of Health Care for America Now, which represents over 30 million members committed to quality affordable healthcare for every American in 2009.
“As the health care reform debate makes clear, America needs a strong progressive movement, now is not the time to be complacent,” Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said.
Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now, said his group launched last year with the idea that 2009 would be the year for true healthcare change.
“We knew we couldn’t win health care reform in 2008, but we knew we could lose it if we didn’t lay the groundwork for the very moment we’re in right now,” Kirsch said. “We have the momentum for real change, and with the commitment of the president and Democratic leadership in Congress, we know we can be stronger and louder than the special interests who make money off the status quo and would have any reform continue to put their profits before people’s health.”
A recent study from the Pew Research Center shows Americans have come to hold progressive positions on a variety of key issues, including healthcare. A poll conducted for Change to Win shows more working people want the government to invest money in healthcare, good jobs, and educational opportunity.
“Working Americans are looking for economic security, including jobs that pay a living wage, a secure retirement, and opportunity for the next generation to succeed,” Anna Burger, chair of Change to Win, said. ”Comprehensive health care reform lies at the heart of the American Dream, and without it, the Dream is unobtainable. We’re organizing on all fronts to make this a dream a reality for all of America’s workers.”