Obama Evokes His Dying Mother in Health Care Reform Push

By Melanie Hunter-Omar | March 17, 2010 | 5:16 PM EDT

President Barack Obama walks to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 17, 2010, after returning from Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – In an email message to supporters, President Barack Obama used his dying mother’s experience with insurance companies as an example of why lawmakers should pass the health care reform plan in Congress.
“She died of cancer, and in the last six months of her life, I saw her on the phone in her hospital room arguing with insurance companies instead of focusing on getting well and spending time with her family,” Obama wrote in the email.

The president also told supporters about Natoma Canfield, who was battling cancer, but had to cancel her insurance policy after her insurance company kept raising her deductible and premiums.
Canfield has “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,” Obama wrote.
“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. So why am I still in this fight? Simple. I’m here for Natoma … and I'm here for my mother,” Obama added.
Meanwhile, the health care bill gained the support Wednesday of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), the first liberal lawmaker to change his mind about opposing the bill. Democrats are hoping to vote on the bill this weekend.