- The Washington Times - Monday, March 15, 2010

President Obama resumed his final push Monday to reform U.S. health care by returning to his recent attack on insurance companies and telling personal stories about the uninsured.

Mr. Obama told hundreds of people at a town-hall meeting in Strongsville, Ohio, about a woman named Natoma Canfield, a cancer survivor who no longer could afford her rising health-insurance premiums, then was diagnosed with leukemia.

“I don’t think that right,” the president said, in a strained, outraged tone. “That’s why we need health care insurance reform right now.”

Mr. Obama said Miss Canfield was supposed to introduce him today but was too sick in a hospital. Instead, Connie Anderson, Miss Canfield’s sister, made the introduction.

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The president followed the story by retelling the familiar one about his mother, who spent the last six months of her life in a hospital fighting cancer while arguing with insurers about her coverage.

“We cannot have a system that works better for the insurance companies that it does for the American people,” he said.

Mr. Obama spoke as Congress in poised this week to vote on health care reform.

Leaders of the Democrat-controlled Congress are expected to use a procedure know as “reconciliation” that will help them pass the legislation without Republican support. It remains unclear whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, has enough votes to pass the legislation that the Senate already has passed.

“We need an up-or-down vote,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s time to vote… . It’s about a woman in a hospital bed.”