Is the message of the Health-Care Reform Express, organized by the Obama campaign:
President Obama’s supporters hope to recapture the energy of last year’s triumphant election campaign in a bid to regain control of the health-care debate, planning more than 2,000 house parties, rallies and town hall meetings across the country over the next two weeks.
The initiative began Wednesday with a rally at a labor hall in Phoenix that featured the Obama sunrise logo and placards that became fixtures of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Organizing for America, a nationwide group of Obama supporters run by the Democratic National Committee, also brought along a colorful bus featuring the slogan, “Health Insurance Reform Now: Let’s Get it Done.” The vehicle is on an 11-city tour advocating for health-care reform.
“We think that change happens with neighbors talking to neighbors, and these rallies reflect that,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan. “That’s how we won the campaign in the fall, with grass-roots organizing, and that’s what we will see in these events going forward.”
But the effort also underscores the unexpected difficulties faced by Obama and his allies in trying to push a health reform plan through Congress in the face of concerted Republican opposition and growing voter unease. Conservative activists have dominated the public debate in recent weeks with dire warnings and noisy disruptions at town hall meetings, while national polls show declining support for Obama’s ambitious plan to widen health insurance coverage.