Video: Public Option - Progressive Change Ad Targets Obama

With the president still listless on the public option, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee features Obama campaign organizer demanding action.

Once again, President Obama has publicly stepped back from the fray on heatlh-care reform, offering only lip service on the prospect of a public health-insurance plan. The White House is said to be ready to compromise the public option away in return for the vote of Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who favors a so-called "trigger" plan, which is really no public option at all.

(The trigger would allow for the creation of a public plan only after private health insurers proved their unwillingness to lower rates appreciably enough to meet some benchmark to be determined. In other words -- a big delay, at best, in the implementation of a public plan, or the defeat by legislative attrition of a public plan.)

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is having none of it. They've produced an ad featuring Ben Katz, a former organizer for Obama's presidential campaign in Maine, urging the president to keep his campaign promise of a public health insurance program.

The ad makes the point that Obama won Maine with a 58 percent mandate, and that 58 percent of Mainers favor the public option.

"President Obama," Katz says, "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."

PCCC is also collecting signatures on a petition that reads:

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. We need you to fight and state clearly that anything less than a strong public option is not change we can believe in.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.
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