MEDINA, Ohio -- During President Obama’s address Thursday, he mentioned the name of a local woman who became his inspiration for health care reform. Hours later, Mr. Obama called her directly.
Natoma Canfield, of Medina, has been a symbol of uninsured Americans for the president during his health care battle.
She says she was honored to receive a call from President Obama around 7:00 p.m. Thursday.
“First of all, he said to say hello to my sister, who introduced him in Strongsville, and she got the signing of the bill in Washington, D.C. She was there, and he asked how I was, and he also invited me to come anytime to the Oval Office to see my letter hanging on his wall.”
Canfield’s story made national headlines two years ago after she wrote the president about what she called her worst fear.
She had leukemia and survived. But the cancer came back, and at the time, she did not have health insurance. President Obama says it was because of her letter that he created the health care bill.
“I carried Natoma’s story with me every day in the fight to pass this law,” the president said during his Thursday afternoon national address.
“I’m very happy. I think it’s a very positive step towards something that will be very good for our country. So, many people have called me and said, 'Thank you for speaking up,' and, you know, I didn’t do anything. I wrote a letter to the president,” Canfield said.
Canfield said she eventually got help through Medicaid and Medicare and was cured with a bone marrow transplant.
She was too ill to meet President Obama or speak with him when he signed the bill into law, so this was her first time getting a chance to talk to him.
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