Seems like “Hope and Change” and “Yes We Can” isn’t working to sell Obamacare. From Bloomberg, Obama’s Volunteers Find Health Plan Harder Sell Than Candidate
June 17 (Bloomberg) — When Patricia McArdle volunteered for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, her duties and goals were clear. Now she’s devoting her time to his health-care plan and says she’s confused and frustrated.
Obama, who enlisted a 13 million-member grassroots army to help him win the White House, is trying to remobilize those people to build support for his proposed overhaul.
That goal may prove elusive. The constituencies that joined forces to back Obama the candidate disagree over the scope of the health-care overhaul, particularly whether it should create a so-called single-payer system that reimburses providers through a government-run fund.
And turning out the vote is far simpler than influencing legislation to remake an industry that accounts for 17 percent of the economy, said McArdle, 62, a retired diplomat. “The election was easy because it was telling you to do one thing: vote for Obama,” she said. Working on health care is “kind of frustrating.”
They plan to flood Congress with horror stories:
The campaign organization that harnessed the Internet through Facebook, e-mails and online fundraising to get Obama elected says it will send lawmakers thousands of stories from Americans struggling under the current system. Those campaign- style tactics may not prove as effective when it comes to driving policy.
A lot of organizations and a lot of money are behind the plan:
The president has lined up some help for his health-care push. Health Care for America NOW, a Washington-based coalition of 1,030 groups with 30 million members, has announced plans to spend $82 million on the issue. The House of Representatives wants to hammer out legislation before a recess that begins Aug. 3, and Health Care for America is planning to hold 250 meetings with lawmakers this month.
… Obama also has some allies Clinton didn’t have. Companies including Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Minneapolis-based General Mills Inc. have joined coalitions pushing an overhaul in response to rising costs.
One group that opposed Clinton’s plan, the Nashville, Tennessee-based National Federation of Independent Business, has joined with the Washington-based Service Employees International Union, which represents service-industry workers, to back Obama’s proposal.
So, why isn’t Obamacare a slam dunk, with all this support?
Still, the Organizing for America meeting pointed to a potential problem for Obama: an alliance that may have become too broad.
“There are many strange-bedfellow alliances,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, which is running television ads with Phrma, the Washington pharmaceutical lobby it was at odds with in 2003 over legislation to provide a drug benefit under Medicare.
Chris Jennings, a Clinton health-care policy adviser in 1994, said the coalition would come under stress when lawmakers begin crafting the legislation. That will be the “real test,” he said.