The health care reform debate may be dying down in Congress, but the ad wars continue.
On Wednesday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee unveiled a new spot in which it all but accuses the president of abandoning the principles of his health care reform agenda. Tackling the two provisions that rankle liberals the most, the PCCC highlights footage of Obama himself rejecting the efficacy of an individual mandate and insisting that a public option for insurance be part of the final legislative package.
Using Obama's words against him is particularly effective a day after he told the Washington Post that he didn't campaign on a public plan and challenged his critics to identify any "gap" between what he campaigned on last year and the health care legislation Congress is on the verge of passing.
The group is airing the ad in Wisconsin -- in addition to Washington D.C. -- in hopes of persuading Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) to drop his support for a bill without an additional element of government-run insurance. The goal is not necessarily to kill the Senate's legislation, but to use political leverage to make changes once it goes to conference committee with the House.
The initial ad purchase is a modest $40,000. But, as is their usual formula, PCCC will raise money online for more airtime.
"President Obama should frankly feel ashamed that he promised Americans a public option, got people to believe real change was possible, and then never truly fought for it -- instead, pushing a mandate that he specifically campaigned against," said Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee in a statement accompanying the ad's release. "Hopefully, our ad inspires one brave senator to represent the will of the people and insist that a public option be in any final bill."
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