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NEA launches new, multipronged communication blitz in 10 battleground states

Blitz includes new Web site, email and latest mailer on McCain's health care tax on working families


WASHINGTON - October 02, 2008 -

The National Education Association today launched a new, multipronged communication blitz in 10 battleground states.

The blitz is aimed at reaching NEA members and their families-who live and vote in every state, every city, and every congressional district. It includes a mailer to undecided voters about Sen. McCain's wrongheaded prescription plan for what ails America's health care system and a link to a new Web site, http://www.mccainhealthcaretax.com/, that enables members and their families to check the facts about McCain's plan and lobby him to change his position.

Emails to undecided members, phone calls, and personal visits with members and their families will follow the mailer and unveiling of the Web site. To date, NEA and its affiliates have distributed more than 4.2 million pieces of mail, made more than 2.1 million phone calls, and sent more than 1.3 million emails to members in battleground states about the presidential election as part of its Education Votes 2008 campaign. The 10 targeted battleground states are: Colo., Mich., Mo., N.C., N.H., N.M., Nev., Ohio, Pa., and Va.

This blitz comes on the heels of Gov. Palin's references to her family benefiting from health care coverage due to "good union jobs" to highlight her "working class roots" and just weeks before voters go to the polls.

"In light of Gov. Sarah Palin's comments portraying herself as 'an everyday working class American,' one would think that she would improve Sen. McCain's disastrous plan to fix what ails America's health care system," said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. "In reality, had Gov. Palin turned to Sen. McCain during those unfortunate hard times she and her husband faced to ask for help, it seems like Sen. McCain would have said: 'Thanks, but, no thanks.'"

According to most independent health care experts, McCain's health care fix amounts to a new tax on working families; leaves 20 million Americans out of employer-sponsored coverage; and increases out-of-pocket costs across-the-board.

"Sen. McCain's plan is further evidence that he still doesn't understand the needs of working Americans," said Van Roekel. "In the midst of the worst economic crisis America has seen since the Great Depression, he fails to grasp the urgency with which we need to provide more health care coverage for the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance. To top it all off, his plan would pull the rug out from under employers that try to do right by their employees by paying some or all of their health care premiums."

The health care tax plan proposed by McCain comes as more and more Americans-including our 3.2 million members who are on the front lines along with students, parents and school districts-increasingly are facing the shortcomings of our strained health care system and economy. School districts are reporting more homeless students and more students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823