Wanted: Health Data For The Masses

magnifying glass lokoing through paper folders

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It seems that turning Obama volunteers into lobbyists takes more than a name change.

I took a very unscientific look for All Things Considered yesterday at one of the many meetings sponsored around the nation this weekend by Organizing for America — formerly Obama for America.

One thing was clear: Volunteers need more information if they are going to press Obama's health care overhaul plan.

"Can you say something about the timeline for the legislation? It's got to be passed by November, right?" asked one participant at the meeting held at the Mayorga Coffee House in Silver Spring, MD on Sunday.

"I personally don't know that much about the timeline," said John Randall, OFA's liaison for Maryland's 8th Congressional District. "I know [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi said she wants to pass something by the August recess. But I don't know where it is in the Senate," he said.

What about the names of the specific members of Congress who will be pushing the bills for President Obama? Randall couldn't answer that question, either.

The lack of specifics left several people in the room frustrated. Grumbled one FDA employee in attendance: "It's a lot easier to pitch a plan if it's already spelled out than it is to just say we're for health care reform."

Hmmm. Note to organizers: At least print out the White House talking points before holding the next meeting.



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