11/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Progressives: Take Back Talk Radio to Save Health Care Reform

With the economy tanking and the federal government likely to spend nearly $4 trillion to save Wall Street and banks, the prospects for comprehensive health care reform in the next Administration are increasingly in peril.

That's why Families USA's new initiative to help keep health care reform at the top of the nation's agenda through an outpouring of progressive call-ins to talk radio is so important. They've compiled a one-stop-shopping guide to influencing national and local call-in radio shows, complete with contact phone numbers, strategic pointers and talking points. They've crafted essentially a roadmap for a progressive "noise machine," alongside the Web and the handful of progressive broadcasters, to raise the visibility of a common-sense approach to health care and related issues in a time of budgetary limits. As the non-partisan group points out:

Conservatives have amplified their power by making effective use of the megaphone of talk radio. Those of us who want progressive solutions to the health care crisis need to do the same.

Talk radio is one way we can reach our fellow Americans. We can remind them of all the problems -- costs going up, too many people with no coverage or inadequate coverage, people denied policies due to pre-existing conditions, and so on. And we can urge them to get involved, to speak up, to vote -- in short, to do everything they can to make sure health care is a top priority for the next President and the next Congress.

To help you do that, we've compiled a list of nationally syndicated radio shows. And we've started a list of local radio shows that includes the name of the show, the station, and the time and number to call. Because we're just in the process of building this list, most of the information comes from 12 states (see below). We'll be adding information for other states as we have time to pull it together -- or as YOU send it to us.

They also offer some media-savvy pointers to make your phone calls to these shows more effective, but they can be applied to other issues as well. At the same time, you can keep yourself informed about the two candidates' health care plans, the latest activist initiatives and news about health care reform at the organization's interactive web site and blog, Stand Up for Health Care.

Knowledge is power, of course, but acting on that knowledge through such mediums as talk radio, citizen lobbying and the Web is vital so that long-delayed health care reform becomes a reality -- and our voices, not those of well-paid lobbyists, ultimately influence those in power.