Obama Endorses Union-Backed Health Reform Group

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has signed on in support of health care reform principles pushed by an anti-insurance-industry advocacy group that is backed by organized labor.

Health Care for America Now, an umbrella group of labor unions such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and liberal activist groups such as MoveOn.org, says it now boasts 76 Democratic members of Congress as supporters, including Sens. Obama (Ill.) and Joe Biden (Del.), the vice presidential nominee.

"Ensuring Americans in Illinois and across the country have access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare coverage is one of my top priorities," Obama said in a statement provided by Health Care for America Now (HCAN). "We must do everything we can to expand healthcare access, lower drug costs and improved quality of care for working families, seniors and children. I am proud to join HCAN's efforts to tackle the tough challenges we face in reforming our nation's healthcare system," he said.

The endorsement of HCAN's activism coincides with a renewed push by the Obama campaign to criticize the healthcare plan of his rival, Republican nominee John McCain. Obama has been speaking about healthcare more on the trail and debuted an ads Monday against Sen. McCain's (Ariz.) plan. Biden raised the issue during last Thursday's vice presidential debate against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate.

Similar to Obama's healthcare platform, HCAN advocates for greater federal involvement in the system. "Our government