CHICAGO, Illinois — A family who benefited from President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform was mentioned in his re-election victory speech early Wednesday morning in Chicago.
“I saw it just the other day in Mentor, Ohio where a father told the story of his eight-year-old daughter whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost the family everything,” Obama said.
That father was Kevin Potter. He introduced the President during a campaign stop at Mentor High School on Saturday. His wife, Jeni, and their daughter, Erin, were in the crowd during the introduction. They got to meet the President just before his speech.
“Had it not been for the healthcare reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care,” Obama said during his victory speech. “I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but to meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd, listening to that father’s story, every parent in the crowd had tears in their eyes because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.”
Kevin and Jeni Potter both took to twitter following the mention early Wednesday:
Kevin Potter said he had been encouraged by a friend who was a campaign worker to talk about his family’s ordeal, which began in February 2007, when Erin was diagnosed with Leukemia.
What followed was years of treatment at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and at one point, a belief the Leukemia was gone.
“And really just amazes people what a family like ours goes through and what a child goes through to hopefully get better,” Kevin Potter said.
In February 2011, doctors told the family Erin’s cancer had returned and that she would need a bone marrow transplant. That posed a major hardship for the family because it would put their insurance over the cap.
The family credits healthcare reform for removing lifetime insurance caps for children like Erin.
“So you get rid of that lifetime cap and now my daughter’s insured and now we concentrate on my daughter, we’re not visiting different government agencies, we’re not considering the sale of a home or the loss of a home,” said Kevin Potter.