"Incredibly, I have been notified that my premium for the next year, 2010, has been increased over 40 percent, to $8,496.24. This is the same insurance company I've been with for 11 cancer-free years. I need your health reform bill to help me. I simply can no longer afford to pay for my health-care costs," Canfield wrote Dec. 29, 2009.
"Thanks to this incredible premium increase demanded by my insurance company, January will be my last month of insurance. I live in the house my mother and father built in 1958, and I am so afraid of the possibility I might lose this family heirloom as a result of being forced to drop my health-care insurance," she wrote.
Anthem told ABC News in a statement that its rising premiums are a result of increased costs and risks in the health care industry.
"We understand and strongly share our members' concerns over the rising cost of health care services and the corresponding adverse impact on insurance premiums. Unfortunately, the individual market premiums are merely the symptoms of a larger underlying problem in Ohio's individual market -- rising health care costs," the insurer said in a statement.
"It is important to note that premiums are expensive because the underlying health care costs are expensive. Anthem offers a variety of health benefit plans, and we are dedicated to working with our members to find health coverage plans that are the most appropriate, and affordable for their needs. We are more than happy to take a look at a member's health benefit plan and review possible options to more closely meet the member's current needs. This may include moving to a lower-priced plan."
Obama reiterated his argument that the debate over health care is "about far more than the politics" and dismissed talk about what it will mean for both parties in the November elections.
"In the end, this debate is about far more than the politics. It's about what kind of country we want to be," Obama said. "It's about the millions of lives that would be touched and, in some cases, saved by making private health insurance more secure and more affordable. It's about a woman, lying in a hospital bed, who wants nothing more than to be able to pay for the care she needs."
Speaking at a senior center, Obama sought to ease concerns for Medicare recipients and argued that health care reform will not hurt or change the government health care program.
"Every senior should know there is no cutting of your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Period. No 'ifs,' 'ands,' or 'buts,' he said. "This proposal makes Medicare stronger, it makes the coverage better, and it makes the finances more secure. And anybody who says otherwise is either misinformed -- or they're trying to misinform you. Don't let them hoodwink you. They're trying to hoodwink you.
Obama said that the Democrats' proposal "adds almost a decade of solvency to Medicare."
The president once again argued that the debate over health care is "about far more than the politics" and dismissed talk about what it will mean for both parties in the November elections.
"It comes down to, what kind of country do we want to be?," Obama asked. "It's about the millions of lives that would be touched and in some cases saved by making health insurance more secure and more affordable. It's about a woman who was lying in a hospital bed who just wants to be able to pay for the care she needs."