Opinion: Wanted: Obama healthcare reform volunteers willing to be paid $15 an hour


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It seems that, despite all the media attention lavished on e-mail appeals to his supporters, not everyone pushing for President Obama’s embattled healthcare reform plan these warm August days is an idealistic volunteer in it for the sake of helping move the country forward and gaining medical attention for millions of uninsured Americans.

The website’s large-type headline announces: ‘Work to Pass Obama’s Healthcare Plan and Get Paid to Do it! $10-15 hr!’


It’s a web ad on Craigslist: ‘You can work for change. Join motivated staff around the country working to make change happen. You can make great friends and money along the way. Earn $400-$600 a week.’

So both sides appear to have paid lobbyists in this colossal summertime struggle for public opinion and control of the multi-billions flowing into the nation’s burdened healthcare system.

The ad links to the Boston-based Fund for the Public Interest, an umbrella organization that rounds up people to round up support, money and signatures for all kinds of campaigns, including healthcare reform and the environment.

It’s hiring and assigning canvassers to work in at least 28 states, including California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Oregon, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey.

‘Now is our chance to make health care work,’ says the ad to recruit recruiters in support for the president’s proposals. ‘America’s health care system is broken. Health care costs are spiraling out of control, throwing families, businesses and government into financial crisis.

‘Families are worried their health coverage won’t be there when they need it. Our country can’t afford to wait for health reform that keeps costs down and protects consumers’


It sounds much like the president at one of his healthcare town halls; (next stops, Montana and Colorado). ‘We’re fighting for healthcare that will protect families’ financial health, lay out a clear path for all Americans to afford healthcare, and improve patient safety and quality care.

‘Help make change happen,’ pleads the advertisement. ‘If you’re good with people and feel passionately about the environment and human rights, you’ll make money working for the Fund.’

Sounds like an ideal kind of idealism, the profitable kind.

Meanwhile, a want ad memory:

-- Andrew Malcolm

Also wanted: Eager volunteers to click here and receive free Twitter alerts on each new Ticket item. No money needed -- or offered. Or follow us @latimestot

Top photo: A Massachusetts Obama supporter outside Obama’s New Hampshire town hall this week discussing healthcare reform with opponents. Credit: Joel Page / Associated Press

Bottom: Obama speaks inside the high school.