ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports:
President Obama's campaign arm sent an email to its full
list of supporters tonight confronting the insurance industry over its new
report and ad campaign.
Mitch Stewart, the director of Organizing for America,
tells millions of Obama supporters that the insurance lobby's goal is to kill
reform and protect their bottom lines.
OFA is asking the president's supporters to fight back
against the health insurance industry by signing a petition and sending a message to Congress
to ignore the insurance lobby's "scare tactics."
The insurance lobby issued a report earlier this week
warning that premiums would rise $4,000 more than they otherwise would if the
Finance bill is enacted. (Insurers turned against the reform effort because the
Finance Committee weakened the requirement that all Americans purchase
insurance by postponing and reducing the penalty for noncompliance).
The accounting firm which prepared the report for the
insurance industry, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, issued a statement earlier today
which acknowledged that its analysis did not look at the totality of the reform
package when calculating its estimate.
The million dollar ad campaign referred to in the OFA
email is a new ad from the insurance industry which warns seniors about
proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage.
The ad, which began running on Sunday, is airing in six
See below for the text of the email which was sent to
Despite increasingly desperate attacks from the insurance
lobby, the Senate Finance Committee took the historic step of voting reform
legislation out of committee with bipartisan support. They're the final
committee to do so — and the negotiations over the final bill will now move to
the full House and Senate.
Soon, every senator and representative must decide where
they stand. Lobbyists will be racing to each office, trying every trick in the
book to derail the President's plan. In fact, just this week, the insurance
lobby released a self-serving report falsely claiming that reform would
increase costs. Journalists called it "deceptive" and said
"something doesn't smell right here." A prominent M.I.T. economist
described the study as "deeply flawed."
It's a blatant scare tactic designed to frighten voters
and bully Congress — and it's just the beginning. We need to speak out right
away to show Congress that their constituents are watching closely, and we're
counting on them to say "no" to the lobbyists and "yes" to
It's becoming clear that the insurance companies will do
whatever it takes to stop progress: The New York Times is reporting that
special interests are spending $1.4 million every day to kill reform — and
even commissioned their own slanted analysis of the Finance Committee's
legislation in an effort to defeat it. But today, after widespread criticism,
the company that produced the report issued a statement saying that it analyzed
only part of the bill because that's exactly what the insurance industry paid
them to do!
And we just got word that insurance companies are
spending $1 million on a misleading ad to scare seniors out of supporting
reform. The ad falsely declares that reform will cause cuts in Medicare, even
though reform is crucial to ensuring the long-term survival of the program and
preserving the care that millions of seniors depend on.
Now that all five congressional committees have passed
reform legislation, we're sure to see attacks that are even more extreme. It's
up to us to make sure that ordinary Americans continue to be heard louder than
the Washington lobbyists.
The next few weeks are absolutely crucial to our success
– we'll be organizing events, running ads, and doing everything possible to
make sure Congress passes real reform. But right now, the most important thing
we can do is make our voices heard immediately. Please speak out now.
Organizing for America