Organizing for America ramps up healthcare efforts

WASHINGTON: Organizing for America, a group founded by the Democratic National Committee that plans to build on the grassroots efforts of President Barack Obama's election campaign, will launch a grassroots healthcare campaign on June 6.

WASHINGTON: Organizing for America, a Democratic National Committee group that plans to build on the grassroots efforts of President Barack Obama's election campaign, will launch a grassroots healthcare campaign on June 6.

The organization has reached out to Obama's membership database and encouraged members of the public to host or attend home events on the launch date to start a dialogue about healthcare reform, said Adam Elkington, assistant press secretary for Organizing for America. Obama pre-recorded a video that will be shown at the events.

Visitors to the group's Web site can also sign an online petition saying they support Obama's healthcare reform principles.

Democrats hope to get healthcare legislation to the floor of the US House of Representatives by July, which would allow lawmakers to conduct final negotiations in September. Interest groups, ranging from healthcare trade associations to unions, ramped up efforts this spring to prepare for legislation.

Elkington said that, as of June 4, more than 2,000 events have been planned. Organizing for America is also planning a second day of events, called the Healthcare Day of Service, on June 27 that will encourage members to host or attend events that support healthcare, such as blood drives.

"It's about getting a conversation going," he said.

Since the group's inception in February, its main efforts for healthcare have included listening tours in US cities. Organization for America is also working on education and energy issues.

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