DNC Targets Democratic Senators on Health Care

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: The Democratic National Committee is launching a new television advertisement today to press Congress to support President Obama’s health care plan -- and is targeting moderate Democrats to come on board.

Pressuring Democrats to follow the president on health care reform marks a strategic shift by the DNC -- and represents the biggest gamble yet by the president’s old campaign apparatus to turn the campaign’s 13-million-person-plus army into legislative action.

The ad -- placed by the DNC’s Organizing for America arm, the offshoot of the Obama campaign’s lists of supporters -- uses the voices and images of five people who shared their stories with the DNC in the hopes of pressuring Congress to act.

“It's time,” the individuals say, one after the other.

More interesting than the message is who it’s being aimed at. One version of the ad will be placed in Washington, DC, and on news and information Websites -- a typical strategy to reach opinion leaders.

A slightly different version -- ending with a request for viewers to “call your senators” -- will air in Florida, Nebraska, Indiana, Louisiana, North Dakota, Arkansas, Maine, and Ohio, according to a Democratic Party official.

With the exception of Maine and Ohio, each of those states is home to at least one moderate Democratic senator whose vote on health care is in question. Maine is represented by two moderate Republicans who top the list of potential GOP votes on health care reform; Ohio has one such Republican senator, in addition to a liberal Democrat.

While Democrats now control 60 Senate seats -- enough to break a Republican filibuster -- not all Democrats are backing Obama’s plan. Conservatives are continuing to balk at the price tag, as well as the proposal to establish a “public option” to compete with private health insurers.

The script of the ad follows:

Woman 1: “My son has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. He's four.”

Man 1: “When I lost my job, I lost my health insurance too.”

Woman 2: “My health insurance wouldn't fully cover me when I got sick.”

Man 2: “My father in-law walks with a limp because he didn't have health care.”

Woman 3: “My husband's job covered us, until he was laid off.”

Man 1: “It's time.”

Woman 2: “It's time.”

Man 2: “It's time.”

Woman 1: “It's time for health care reform.”

Voice-over: “The Democratic National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”

TEXT ON SCREEN: “It's time for health care reform. Join the fight: healthcare.barackobama.com.”

“It's time for health care reform. Call your Senators: (202) 224-3121”

“Paid for by the Democratic National Committee. Democrats.org. Not authorized by any candidate of candidate's committee. The DNC is responsible for the content of this advertising.”

Watch the national version of the ad HERE.

Watch the version of the ad airing in states HERE.

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