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Progressive Groups To Spend $82M Backing Obama's Health Care Plan

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
A coalition of progressive groups today announced that they would spend $82 million this year in support of President Obama's health care reform effort.

Speaking at the "America's Future Now" conference, backers of the effort suggested it was the ideal time to push a government-run national health care option.

"Over the past few years, we have worked together to build a progressive infrastructure and a movement that helped to elect President Obama and begin to undo the damage of the last eight years. But it was just the beginning," said former presidential candidate, Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean. "As the health care reform debate makes clear, America needs a strong progressive movement, now is not the time to become complacent."

Behind the campaign are a laundry list of powerful left-leaning groups, among them the AFL-CIO, Change To Win,, Democracy for America and the other members of the Health Care for America Now coalition, which claims 30 million members overall.

"We have the momentum for real change, and with the commitment of the president and Democratic leadership in Congress, we know we can be stronger and louder than the special interests who make money off the status quo and would have any reform continue to put their profits before people's health," said Health Care for America Now national campaign manager Richard Kirsch.

The announcement comes as progressive groups looked to showcase a united front in advance of the coming battle over health care.

In a press release, the groups lauded the effort as "the largest national progressive issue campaign in history, one that was lacking when President Clinton's health care proposals were defeated by the health care industry and conservative groups more than a decade ago."

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