Progressive group takes aim at president on healthcare

A leading progressive group on Wednesday took aim at the Obama administration, charging it had abandoned its original healthcare principles as Republican opposition stiffened.

Just a day after the president stressed the White House had yielded little ground in the debate, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee released a compilation of video clips in which the president defends the public option and disputes the effectiveness of insurance mandates.

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The Senate's bill is without a government plan, but it does require consumers to purchase insurance or face a hefty fine, the ad reminds viewers.

"A bill without a public option is not change we can believe in," concludes the 30-second spot, a play on the president's 2008 campaign slogan.

PCCC leaders later cited Obama more directly for abandoning his original campaign promises.

"President Obama should frankly feel ashamed that he promised Americans a public option, got people to believe real change was possible, and then never truly fought for it -- instead, pushing a mandate that he specifically campaigned against," said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, in a statement on Wednesday.

"Hopefully, our ad inspires one brave senator to represent the will of the people and insist that a public option be in any final bill," he added.

The PCCC has one lawmaker in mind: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), a fervent supporter of the public option throughout this year's healthcare debate. The advertisement released Wednesday -- a $40,000 buy -- will air initially in both D.C. and Feingold's home state.

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