Here’s an excerpt from an email I just received from President Obama on passing his health-care bill:
During moments like this, I believe it’s important to remember why we have worked so hard for so long. That’s why I spoke to the country Monday at a gathering in Ohio and said it plainly: I’m here for Natoma.
Natoma Canfield is like most of us: She works hard, and tries to do what’s right. Years ago, she had battled back from cancer, so she always maintained health insurance in case she ever really needed it again. But because of her medical history, the insurance company kept raising her deductible and her premiums.
Last year alone, Natoma paid over $10,000 in monthly premiums and co-pays, while her insurance company chipped in just $900. And then they hiked up her rates another 40%. She simply couldn’t afford it — she had to cancel her policy. That’s when she wrote to me. I read her letter, and shared her story with insurance company CEOs as another reason why the system has to change.
That was two weeks ago. Then, just last week, the unthinkable happened: Natoma collapsed, and was rushed to a hospital. It’s leukemia — the cancer has returned. Now she’s in the hospital, worried sick not just about her condition, but how she’ll financially survive.
How she’ll financially survive? The Cleveland Clinic already told us how: She qualifies for aid, and the hospital has no intention of going after her house. Comment over at The Feed on the Cleveland Clinic story.