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Mr. Stewart sent volunteers who helped Mr. Obama knock on doors and make phone calls during the election to a donation page that asks for more.

OFA2 says the money also will be used to host “local educational events” and to “bring constituent voices straight to Congress, and make sure real life stories are heard louder than the lobbyists’ spin.”

Mr. Stewart said in the e-mail that the fight that Organizing for America “was designed for” is now “here,” adding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s goal of getting a bill to the floor by July 31 is “only 79 short days away.”

“For every deceptive pamphlet they send in the mail, we must have a volunteer going door to door, ready to have a real conversation and break through the spin,” he said, adding the campaign is necessary to push back against “every lobbyist cutting deals in the back rooms of D.C.”

As some Democrats push for a more progressive plan with elements the president has rejected such as single-payer or at least a public option, Mr. Obama has said he’ll sign what Congress approves. As details are hashed out, that may put him in the tough spot of embracing a policy of taxing health care benefits which he attacked during the campaign.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, suggested the tax is one way to pay for health care reform, even though Mr. Obama portrayed the idea as unthinkable last year when attacking Republican rival Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

“It’s a multitrillion-dollar tax hike, the largest middle class tax increase in history,” a narrator accused in an Obama ad. “You won’t find one word about it on his Web site, but the McCain tax could cost your family thousands. Can you afford it?”

Another Obama ad said Mr. McCain’s plan amounted to “taxing health care instead of fixing it.”

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was Mr. McCain’s director of domestic and economic policy during the campaign, told The Washington Times the Obama attacks distorted the McCain positions to begin with, but now place him in a bind.

“In contrast to the McCain plan, this really is a tax increase, and he should watch his own ads,” Mr. Holtz-Eakin said. “It’s hard to come to any other conclusion than it was just a cynical partisan maneuver.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs pushed back on a Tuesday ABC News report suggesting the campaign was advised not to run the ads for that very reason, saying he doesn’t recall such a debate during the election season.

“The message that the president communicated in the commercials represents his opinion on this,” Mr. Gibbs said.

Policy aides have said at various health care events that Mr. Obama remains skeptical about the taxing benefits idea, and Mr. Baucus has not committed to eliminating the provision that forbids taxing benefits but has said it must be on the table as Congress considers the bill.

Ralph Neas of the National Coalition on Health Care umbrella group said he’s noticed Mr. Obama ratcheting up his efforts to make sure 2009 is the year. “Time is our most formidable foe,” he said.

Mr. Neas added he wasn’t worried Mr. Obama is taking a back seat to Congress, saying that his top policy aides are “very busy” working behind the scenes on the plan even though they aren’t “running the show.”

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