Public_option

This morning Organizing for America sent an email to supporters with a link to vote on each of the 20 video ad finalists out of thousands who submitted 30-second health care reform messages. The winner will air on national television.

Many of the videos cleverly and humorously make a general case for Obama's health reform plan or point out the absurdity of insurance denials based on pre-existing conditions, such as "Serve and Protect," submitted by Jeremy Beiler, in which a  police officer doesn't stop a burglar from stealing a woman's property because her house has a pre-existing condition.

There are also more serious videos such as "I Deserve Health Care" by Eric Hurt which features children at a playground predicting ailments they will have in the future that their parents won't be able to pay for. One child even says that two years from now she will be diagnosed with leukemia and will die because her parents won't be able to afford health care.

But the two videos that stand out the most deal with the hotly debated public option. It will be interesting to see if either these explicitly pro-public option messages are chosen given the turmoil in the Senate regarding inclusion of a government-run program in the health reform bill.

Just today, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) announced he will join a Republican filibuster unless the public option is removed. This comes on the heels of Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) making a bold move by including a public option in the final bill. 

With Reid firmly behind the public option, pressure is mounting on the White House to take a strong stand in support of the public option. Progressives have been dismayed that President Obama has not pushed the government-run program enough.

But what if one of the pro-public option videos is chosen for the national TV spot? Will it force Obama's hand?

In addition to the American public, a panel of celebrities and politicos will also vote on the submissions. Panelists include musician will.I.am, animator Seth MacFarlane, actress Kate Walsh, Obama for America campaign manager David Plouffe and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine.

Josh Marks

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