MoveOn Holding Emergency Rally At White House Over Health Care

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011 is once again battling President Obama -- this time over health care reform.

The progressive advocacy organization recently clashed with Obama on Afghanistan, calling his troop strategy "wrong," urging its five million members to call the White House to voice their displeasure.

Now the group is holding an "emergency rally" outside the White House to express unhappiness over Obama and Senate Democrats' capitulation to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on health care reform.

The press release:

Today, members will hold an emergency rally outside of the White House telling President Obama to not allow Senator Joe Lieberman to hold health care reform hostage, and to urge the President to fight for real reform with the public health insurance option. MoveOn members want to remind the President that the country elected him, not Joe Lieberman, to fix our nation's broken health care system.

The rally will take place at 1:00 pm in Lafayette Park. The rally at the White House is part of a day of action calling for health care reform including a public option, featuring "Roadblock Rallies" in over 24 communities across the country.

In the last 48 hours, Senator Lieberman has almost single-handedly attempted to halt health care reform by forcing Senate leaders to gut the Senate bill in exchange for his promise not to side with the Republicans in a filibuster. After successfully getting the public option removed from the bill, Sen. Lieberman then insisted on removing a Medicare expansion provision that he himself had advocated three months ago. These are the exact provisions that would create competition and bring down costs for working American families. Robert Gibbs said in a press conference yesterday that the President had not yet called Senator Lieberman directly. News reports indicate that the Senate has agreed to drop the Medicare expansion at Lieberman's insistence. will also send an email to their members, asking them to call the White House and tell Obama to stand up to Senator Lieberman and push for real health care reform.

"Last year, this nation went to the polls and elected Barack Obama -- not Joe Lieberman -- to solve our health care crisis," said Justin Ruben, Executive Director of

"It is absolutely absurd that after months of work, President Obama and the Democrats are letting one Senator, Joe Lieberman, gut the health care bill. It is time for the President to stand up to Joe Lieberman and fight for the health care reform principles he campaigned on."

In addition to the rally at the White House, MoveOn members from coast to coast will host rallies in support of health care reform including the public option. The twenty-four rallies will feature actual roadblocks to symbolize Big Insurance, and their enablers in the Senate, like Joe Lieberman, who are trying to block real reform.

The rallies are being held in the states of key Senators who have refused to commit to giving health care reform legislation with a public option a final up-or-down vote. This refusal has led to talks of a watered-down version of the Senate bill that will not solve our healthcare crisis. At these rallies, MoveOn members will call on their Senators to stand up to Big Insurance, and the conservative Democrats doing their bidding in the Senate, and pass real health care reform including a public option.

Rallies will also be held in the states of Senators who have been champions of a public option, where MoveOn members will encourage their Senators to continue to tell Majority Leader Harry Reid that they will not support a health care reform bill that does not include a public option.

Health care reform with a public option would help cut costs and expand access to affordable, quality health care to millions of Americans. While over 70% of Americans, and 86% of Democrats, support a public option, big insurance and HMOs are spending nearly $5 million per week to defeat health care reform, with a special focus on killing the public option to protect their profits. Political Action is a political action committee powered by 5 million progressive Americans. We believe in the power of small donors and grassroots action to elect progressive leaders to office and to advance a progressive agenda. We do not accept any donations over $5,000, and the average donation to Political Action is under $100.

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