Monday, November 9, 2009

Obama Political Arm Says GOP House Members Caved to Insurance Lobby Pressure

health insurance

President Obama's message to supporters on the "Organizing for America" email list may have been positive (if financially solicitous), but the director of his political arm was under no such apparent guidance.‬‪ ‬‪

Today OFA supporters in congressional districts represented by Republican Members of Congress who voted "No" last night received an email from OFA director Mitch Stewart lauding the "220 courageous representatives voted in favor of reform, moving it forward."‬‪ ‬‪

"Unfortunately, your representative," Stewart says in the email, which names the Member of Congress, "caved to intense pressure from insurance industry lobbyists and voted against health reform."‬‪ ‬‪

A Democratic official says the email is not being sent to constituents of the 39 Democratic Members of Congress who voted against the measure Saturday night.

"It's our belief that all Democrats want reform and we believe some if not many more Democrats will support a final bill," said DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse. "We believe that Republican opposition is political - intended to curry favor with the insurance industry and to break the President politically."

Stewart in his email says that "After this major decision," Republican Members of Congress will "be watching their district very closely to see how constituents react. Before health reform can become law, it must pass one more time through the House of Representatives, which means" the congressman in question "will have one more opportunity to reverse course and support reform. So we must publicly show that the voters in your district support reform and are counting on" the congressman "to deliver."‬‪ ‬‪

The OFA email then asks supporters to "write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper telling" the congressman "to stop standing in the way of reform."‬‪ ‬‪

The OFA website connects supporters to local newspapers, providing them with "helpful information about the House bill and health reform," though it asks for the "best content" to come from their own "personal story about why health reform matters to you, your family, and your community. You can write about how important it is that our representatives stand with their constituents and not the special interests. What matters the most is that you write from the heart and speak out as a concerned citizen at this crucial time."