Organizing For America, Barack Obama's campaign arm, is making a renewed grassroots push for health care reform, rolling out an online tool set to harness the collective power of its 13 million members and insisting that a public insurance option be part of any final proposal.
Following up on its health care reform meet-ups that occurred over this past weekend, OFA will debut a set of Internet and media functions designed to sustain pressure on members of Congress to pass a comprehensive overhaul.
Among those tools is a health care pledge that demands that, "Every American must have the freedom to choose their plan and doctor -- including the choice of a public insurance option."
The language is an affirmation that the president, and the Democratic institutions that he controls, is invested in making a public option for health care coverage a component for any systemic overhaul. Whether Democrats in Congress are able to follow suit -- and the extent to which the White House will compromise on this principle -- remain the most key questions in the upcoming debate.
In addition to the pledge, the new OFA tool set will include, according to an official with knowledge of the plans:
-- a letter to the editor tool to help people advocate reform through outside media
-- a call Congress tool to help people advocate to their representatives directly and report the results back to OFA
-- a event-organizing tool to help activists mobilize people for reform
-- a place where people can share their own health-care stories w/ other OFA activists
-- badges and graphics people can use to show their support in social media
-- an OFA health-care blog
"Using our simple online tools, you can find the latest info about the health care debate, declare your support for the President's principles, ensure that your representatives know exactly where you stand, and help educate and organize folks in your area," reads an accompanying email announcing the new tools. "We know how fierce the opposition will be -- we've seen it all before. But our opponents are about to face something new: The power of ordinary Americans who know firsthand that if we come together, we can achieve the extraordinary."