“I’m Here Because of Natoma,” Obama Pushes for Health Care in Ohio

By Jonathan Blakely

Mar 15, 2010 3:14pm

From Sunlen Miller “I’m here because of Natoma,” President Obama said today making a personal and passionate plea to pass health reform now. The story of Natoma Canfield, who Mr. Obama introduced into the health care dialogue two weeks ago  was brought to a new level today, a presidential visit to her hometown at a time when Mrs. Canfield was too sick to participate in the event. “The reason Natoma is not here today is that she’s lying in a hospital bed, suddenly faced with this emergency, suddenly faced with the fight of her life,” Obama explained to the Cleveland, Ohio crowd of Natoma’s recent diagnosis of leukemia which she is now facing without health insurance, “She expects to face more than a month of aggressive chemotherapy.  She is racked with worry not only about her illness, but about the cost of the tests and the treatment that she’s surely going to need to beat it.” Natoma’s sister introduced the president at today’s event – and the president described Natoma’s story – being hit with a 40% premium hike on her insurance, forcing her to stop coverage even though she had been cancer-free for 11 years. “You want to know why I’m here, Ohio?,” a candidate-like Obama leaning close to the microphone yelled, “I’m here because of Natoma. I’m here because of countless others who have been forced to face the most terrifying challenges in their lives with the added burden of medical bills they can’t pay. I don’t think  that’s right.  Neither do you.  That’s why we need health insurance right now.” More here from ABC’s Jake Tapper and Karen Travers: -Sunlen Miller

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