March 20th, 2010
By MEGHAN BARR, AP
Obama tells a sob story built on a lie
A woman championed as the Obama administration’s emblem for health care reform does not have to choose between her home and her health, according to officials at the Ohio hospital where she is being treated.
With a self-reported annual income of about $6,000, Natoma Canfield is a prime candidate for financial aid in the form of Medicaid – the federal health care program for low-income and disabled people – or charitable assistance.
And the Cleveland Clinic said it has no intention of putting out a lien on Canfield’s house – or letting the billing process interfere with her treatment.
“It appears that I think she’ll be fine,” said Lyman Sornberger, the hospital’s executive director of patient financial services. “By nature of the fact that she was not early on rejected by either program, that’s a key indicator that she will most likely be eligible.”
Canfield was stunned last month when she unsealed a handwritten letter from none other than the president himself. She had written to Obama before the holidays to request that he count her as a “statistic,” as she put it, among the scores of Americans unable to afford health insurance – but she never expected to get a response.