The Washington Times - July 7, 2009, 07:29PM

That’s not a typo — the liberal group MoveOn, which helped President Obama win the election last fall, is now targeting the White House.

Keying off the furor over chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s Wall Street Journal remarks on health care that I blogged about earlier, MoveOn is activating its 3.2 million membership list.


Specifically the group is asking for members to express “disappointment” in Emanuel. Similar complaints have erupted all over the Internet today.

Here’s the note in full, sent this afternoon:

Subject: No “trigger” on health care reform


Dear MoveOn member,

President Obama has been speaking out for weeks about the heart of health care reform: a public health insurance option that will lower costs and help cover everyone. 

But yesterday, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel signaled support for a “trigger” provision—a proposal that would undermine the public option, and put off real reform for years.

This morning the president reaffirmed his support for a public health insurance option. But according to The Huffington Post, Emanuel has been floating the idea of a trigger since January.

Right now, when key committees are finalizing health care legislation, Emanuel’s remarks will only embolden conservative opponents of reform. He should be standing with the majority of Americans for a strong public health insurance option—not disastrous half-measures like the “trigger.”

Can you call the White House switchboard and tell them you’re disappointed in Chief of Staff Emanuel’s comments supporting the “trigger”? Tell them voters want a strong public health insurance option—not half-measures like the “trigger.” 

Here’s where to call:

The White House 

Phone: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414

Then, please report your call by clicking here.

The “trigger” is a trap to kill health care reform. It would delay the public health insurance option for years, even though we’re facing a health care crisis now.4 Without a strong public health insurance option to compete with private insurance companies, health care costs will continue to skyrocket and millions will remain uninsured. And a decision to delay is really a decision to deny: even if the trigger conditions are met years from now, big insurance companies will start the fight all over again to stop the public option from going into effect. 

To do the job, we need a strong public health insurance option now, one that is: 

Available to all of us: A strong public health insurance option should be available to anyone who chooses to participate. If you like your current plan, you can keep it; if you want to participate in the public health insurance plan, you can choose to do so.

A national plan with real bargaining clout: In order to truly control costs and compete with private health insurance plans, a strong public health insurance option must be available nationwide.

Ready on day one: Every day we wait on real reform, health care costs continue to rise. A strong public health insurance option right out of the gate is key to building a competitive program that will help control costs.

A truly public plan: To ensure it’s held to the highest standards of accountability, a public health insurance option must be truly publicly run—accountable and transparent to Congress and to voters. 

Can you call the White House today and let them know you’re disappointed with Chief of Staff Emanuel’s comments?



— Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent, The Washington Times

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