Natoma Canfield reacts to House vote to repeal Health Care Reform Act

MEDINA, Ohio - "I was sad," said Natoma Canfield after learning of the vote by the House to repeal the nation's year old Health Care Reform Act.  "It's a good bill."

Canfield became the face of President Barack Obama's push for reform last year after he read a letter to insurance company executives during a White House visit last March.

In the letter Canfield told the president that because she was a cancer survivor and therefore had a preexisting condition, she could no longer afford her health insurance premiums that had skyrocketed the previous year.

She feared getting sick and losing her family home.

A few days after the president read that letter, Natoma collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where she learned she had leukemia.

Within days President Obama came to Ohio and used her story to get support from Americans for reform.

"We can't allow Natoma and the millions like her to go unnoticed," said the president during a March visit to Strongsville.

Ten months later Natoma Canfield is still fighting. 

"I was in bed for 56 straight days and I lost a lot of strength," she said. 

She's still going up to the Cleveland Clinic for follow up visits each week, but a bone marrow test three months ago showed the maximum chemotherapy treatments she had received had removed all traces of the cancer from her body.

Because of Natoma's financial situation she ended up on Medicaid and didn't lose her home but, she worries about the fate of others if the health care reform is repealed.

The matter goes to the U.S. Senate where Senator Rob Portman told Newschannel5 Wednesday it's unclear if the Democratic Senate leadership would allow it to be voted on.  If so, he would vote to repeal and replace.

"My replacement is probably going to be a little different than some other people on both sides of the aisle," said Portman.

"But I think there are enough people, Republicans and Democrats alike who can find the basic elements of a lower cost health care system," he said. "I believe that we ought to replace it with a policy that does deal with people who cannot get their health care because of preexisting conditions that should be handled."

Canfield said she hopes if they start picking apart the bill they keep much of the good points in place.

"I'd like to see a lot of the original pieces put back into it," she said.  "Just as long as it stays there because it's a bill that will help a lot of people."

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