Groups to rally for health care reform

Labor and Democrat-backed groups plan large rallies in nine Washington cities including Olympia today.

The events are sponsored by Health Care for America Now, Organizing for America and the Healthy Washington Coalition. The Olympia event will be from noon to 1 p.m. at Sylvester Park downtown and could draw at least 200 people, organizer Jill Lynch said.

The goal is to raise pressure for passage of a federal health-reform bill out of the Senate before Christmas. The U.S. House passed its bill last month, and activists want to see a bill that includes a public-run option, coverage for all citizens and no denials of pre-existing medical conditions, Lynch said.

Remarks are planned from Rep. Brendan Williams, D-Olympia, and others.