OFA rallying troops behind HCR

The Obama mega-list is tapped to help push health care across finish line

Published December 16, 2009 11:50PM (EST)

Organizing for America, the post-campaign version of the Obama for America campaign's juggernaut website/mailing list/organizing tool that compiled and rallied more than 3 million supporters during Obama's 2008 presidential run, is asking its supporters to help rally their home-state senators on the health care reform package with calls to Washington. Obviously, many of these emails or phone calls are unnecessary or wasteful because some senators will be on board no matter what, others not; so it's really about wavering senators (that means you, Ben.)

A version of the script found here has gone out by direct email, and those who go to the OFA site are immediately greeted by an appeal to take action. That script reads in part:

If we don't pass health reform, millions of Americans will be trapped in a broken status quo, unable to pay their bills or see a doctor when they need one.

More and more employers will drop coverage for employees. And Medicare and Medicaid will blow a hole through our budget.

There's too much at stake not to get this done. That's why, as of this morning, OFA supporters have made 849,856 calls to Congress in support of health reform since August.

And that's why today, with the Senate locked in last-minute negotiations, our goal is to hit one million calls.

Of course, many of the names on the OFA mailing lists are supporters who were hoping that the health care bill would include some of the provisions now negotiated away--public option, Medicare buy-in and the prescription drug importation I wrote about earlier today.

So I'm just wondering aloud whether and to what degree there will be pushback from OFA members about getting these emails, if at all? OFA says it's approaching a million calls, which is impressive. Might it lose some disgruntled supporters along the way? I doubt Mitch Stewart would say so, and the list is propriety so we will likely never know....

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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