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President Barack Obama told thousands of supporters last week that healthcare reform has to take place this year.

“If we don’t get it done this year, we’re not going to get it done,” the president said on a conference call with members of Organizing for America, a political organization dedicated to his legislative agenda. David Plouffe, a senior Obama aide, said the group’s grassroots efforts could put decisive pressure on Congress.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), a longtime advocate for healthcare reform, has begun circulating an outline of his own reform proposal. Said to closely resemble the Massachusetts health insurance law of 2006, the bill calls for a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers, and expanded Medicaid eligibility. Officials expect the senator will officially release his plan today.

Despite near constant talk of healthcare reform in the media, little has been said on the subject of long-term care reform. To ensure that long-term care services and supports are included in any healthcare reform legislation, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging is sponsoring another Congressional Call-in Day on Thursday, June 4. AAHSA encourages all members of the public to call their elected officials and insist “long-term services and supports in health reform are a must.” For more info, visit