Strange Bedfellows Form Advocacy Group to Push Health Care Reforms

Forty-seven million Americans are uninsured.

Among them is Judy Linn — one of millions who can't afford to purchase health insurance. She said when her money ran out, her priority was food.

While the presidential candidates are bombarded with messages that America's health care system must be fixed, Linn said she feels her plight is being ignored.

To the rescue are special interest groups, which are spending an estimated $60 million to take up Linn's and others' causes. Trade groups, lobbyists and unions are banding together to form a coalition urging Washington to act.

The AARP, along with the Business Roundtable, the Service Employees International Union and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, have formed Divided We Fail, which aims to see Social Security strengthened; make affordable, quality health care available to anyone who wants it; make prescription drugs more affordable; create incentives to get people to save for retirement and expand job opportunities so people can keep working as they get older.

"We came together around a set of principals that we believe should be part of any kind of health care, financial security reformand we are willing to say that we will deal with the details later," said Nancy LeaMond, head of government relations and advocacy at AARP.

Divided We Fail has just launched a commercial aimed to stir policy makers, business leaders and politicians, especially the 2008 presidential candidates.

But critics argue that because the devil is in the details, and the broad-based coalition will never be able to agree on a specific health care solution. The best it can hope to do is draw attention to the subject.

"The problem is that these groups are focused on the 'mom and apple pie' aspects of it. They are trying to avoid the hard core philosophical debate over how to fix the system," said Michael Tanner, director of health and welfare studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.

One group offering specific health care policy is the American Medical Association. Not burdened by a broad coalition, it is spending millions on a campaign called the "Voice for the Uninsured."

"The problem is that our insurance is tied to our employer, right now. The AMA would like to see individual owned portable health insurance," said AMA president Dr. Nancy Nielsen.

Despite demands for change from all sides, many uninsured, including Linn, say they little hope their situation will improve.

"I think the future will bring more of the same. I think it is going to get worse," she said.

FOX News' David Lee Miller contributed to this report.