I thought this was interesting. It appears that two different healthcare lobby groups are using a strategy of grassroots and media campaigns in early primary states. I have copied the ad for the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. The Hill runs a story about AARP and a bunch of patients groups running media and grassroots campaigns in early primary states:
The senior citizens’ lobbying group AARP and a handful of patient-advocacy groups have joined together to stage events in key presidential primary states to sway the debate on healthcare, a key emerging campaign issue.
This morning, the chief executives of the AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association will hold press conferences, rallies, training seminars and visits to campaign offices in early-primary states to promote healthcare coverage and access, particularly for people with chronic diseases. …
The AARP will hold its event in Concord, N.H., while the diabetes and cancer groups will hold a combined event in Des Moines, Iowa. The heart association will gather supporters in Columbia, S.C., and the Alzheimer’s group will meet in Reno, Nev. Each event is expected to draw somewhere between 100 and 200 people. …
Apparently, AARP had been doing this already:
The AARP has been positioning itself to play a major role in influencing the presidential candidates’ stances on healthcare and financial security for older Americans. The organization has been carrying out its “Divided We Fail” campaign in early-primary states and plans to expand the effort nationwide using its network of state offices as November 2008 approaches.
This is a good strategy for moving the debate. It will be interesting to see how the various candidates handle this.