If you campaigned to elect Barack Obama last year, on the theory that doing so would deliver health care reform, it is likely that you will get a call next week.
The president himself might even be on the phone.
Obama is throwing his weight — or, in this fit president’s case, the proper word is probably “stature” — behind a grassroots organizing effort to get 100,000 Americans to call Congress in support of health care reform.
When Obama is in New York Tuesday, he will use a Webcast to link up with active supporters of the political arm of his administration, Organizing for America, as part of the group’s “Time to Deliver” push.
At OFA’s “call parties,” the group says: “We’ll call friendly voters whose voices matter in this debate, talk to them about the President’s plan, and ask them to call on their representatives to support reform.”
OFA claims that the calls will “really shake up the debate in Washington.”
But not if people simply say: Support the president’s plan.
The president does not have a plan.
He has some talking points that he has outlined, in vague and frequently shifting ways that have left most Americans confused — and many Americans angry.
Sometimes the president’s talking points are good.
Sometimes they are not.
Sometimes they’re all about taking on the insurance companies and putting them in their place by creating the alternative of a robust public option.
Sometimes they’re all about cutting deals with existing insurers and pharmaceutical companies and, if the Blue Dogs object, maybe getting rid of the public option altogether.
No one, not even members of the administration, seems to know precisely what the president’s plan is.
Maybe the president will outline a plan before the “Time to Deliver” calls go out on Tuesday.
But if he fails to do so, the best response to a request that you call your representative with a message to “support the president’s plan” is to ask: What plan?
If that starts a conversation, here are some suggestions for the president and the OFA team:
1. “Medicare for All” is still the best option.
Obama really was right during the campaign when he said: “If you’re starting from scratch, then a single-payer system (a government-managed ‘Medicare for All’ system like Canada’s, which disconnects health insurance from employment) would probably make sense.”