Obama invokes mother’s battles against cancer, insurers

August 12, 2009

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“She was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known,” Obama wrote, “and that what is best in me I owe to her.” – I know exactly how he feels…love you Mom!
– FlashAddict

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WASHINGTON (AFP) – Among the heartrending tales invoked by President Barack Obama as he stumps for healthcare reform, none is more poignant than that of his own mother’s losing fight against cancer.

As he presses for an overhaul of the healthcare system, Obama often recounts the crises faced by Americans who with their jobs have lost their medical coverage, or who file for bankruptcy when faced with a health calamity.

But Exhibit A among the tragic examples is that of his own mother, Ann Dunham, who lost her fight to cancer nearly a decade and a half ago as she battled insurance companies.

“It’s… personal for me,” Obama told a crowd at a high-profile forum on Tuesday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“I will never forget my own mother as she fought cancer in her final months, having to worry about whether her insurance would refuse to pay for her treatment,” he told the crowd.

He was reprising a story he told frequently on the campaign trail, and more recently on the road, while drumming up support for his health industry reform agenda.

“The insurance company was arguing that somehow she should have known that she had cancer when she took her new job, even though it hadn’t been diagnosed yet,” Obama told the New Hampshire audience Tuesday.

“If it could happen to her, it could happen to any one of us. And I’ve heard from so many Americans who have the same worries.”

In the preface to his first book, “Dreams From My Father,” an elegy to his absentee dad, Obama also eulogizes the mother “whom we lost, with a brutal swiftness, to cancer a few months after this book was originally published.”

According to some news accounts, Ann Dunham’s cancer at first had been misdiagnosed in Indonesia as indigestion.

It was later determined by experts at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to be a fast-moving uterine cancer that had spread to her ovaries.

In remarks that seem informed by his mother’s ordeal, Obama added that his goal now with healthcare reform is to set up a system “that gives a little bit of help to people who currently are working hard every day but they don’t have healthcare insurance on the job.”

He also hopes to ensure that patients already insured “are not going to be dropped because of a pre-existing conditions or because you lose your job or because you change your job — that you’re actually going to get what you pay for, that you’re not going to find out when you’re sick that you got cheated.”

“If we can set up a system that gives you some security, that’s worth a lot,” he said.

His mother, who held a doctorate degree in anthropology, forged a career in international economic development, working for a while with the Ford Foundation in Jakarta and later with the US Agency for International Development and the World Bank, and helping to guide micro-enterprise projects to aid poor women.

Her mother’s frustrating odyssey as a cancer patient also figured into his historic presidential campaign, when he vowed to remake the medical coverage system.

“In (her) last painful months, she was more worried about paying her medical bills than getting well,” Obama said in one campaign advertisement that aired in 2008.

“I hear stories like hers everyday. For 20 years Washington has talked about healthcare reform and reformed nothing. Unless we stop the bickering and the lobbyists we will be in the same place 20 years from now,” he said.

Ann Dunham returned to her home state of Hawaii where she lived out the final months of her life, and died at the age of 53 on November 7, 1995, before Obama — who by then was living in Chicago — could get to her bedside to say goodbye.

Obama has said that his greatest regret is not being at his mother’s side when she died, and has called her the most influential person in his life.

“I think sometimes that had I known she would not survive her illness, I might have written a different book — less a meditation on the absent parent, more a celebration of the one who was the single constant in my life,” he wrote in “Dreams From My Father.”

“She was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known,” Obama wrote, “and that what is best in me I owe to her.”

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090812/usa/us_politics_obama_health_mother


Bushisms: U.S. leader sets standard for mangled phrases during presidency

January 8, 2009

– It’s hard to believe that this dumb $hithead has been the leader of the free world for the past 8 years…

By The Associated Press, The Associated Press

President George W. Bush will leave behind a legacy of Bushisms, the label stamped on the U.S. leaders original speaking style. Some of the president’s more notable malapropisms and mangled statements:

-“I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” – September 2000, explaining his energy policies at an event in Michigan.

-“Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?” – January 2000, during a campaign event in South Carolina.

-“They misunderestimated the compassion of our country. I think they misunderestimated the will and determination of the commander-in-chief, too.” – Sept. 26, 2001, in Langley, Va. Bush was referring to the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.

-“There’s no doubt in my mind, not one doubt in my mind, that we will fail.” – Oct. 4, 2001, in Washington. Bush was remarking on a back-to-work plan after the terrorist attacks.

– “It would be a mistake for the United States Senate to allow any kind of human cloning to come out of that chamber.” – April 10, 2002, at the White House, as Bush urged Senate passage of a broad ban on cloning.

– “I want to thank the dozens of welfare-to-work stories, the actual examples of people who made the firm and solemn commitment to work hard to embetter themselves.” – April 18, 2002, at the White House.

-“There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.” – Sept. 17, 2002, in Nashville, Tenn.

-“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” – Aug. 5, 2004, at the signing ceremony for a defence spending bill.

-“Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” – Sept. 6, 2004, at a rally in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

– “Our most abundant energy source is coal. We have enough coal to last for 250 years, yet coal also prevents an environmental challenge.” – April 20, 2005, in Washington.

– “We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job.” – Sept. 20, 2005, in Gulfport, Miss.

-“I can’t wait to join you in the joy of welcoming neighbours back into neighbourhoods, and small businesses up and running, and cutting those ribbons that somebody is creating new jobs.” – Sept. 5, 2005, when Bush met with residents of Poplarville, Miss., in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

-“It was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship. After all, 60 years we were at war 60 years ago we were at war.” – June 29, 2006, at the White House, where Bush met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

-“Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die.” – Dec. 7, 2006, in a joint appearance with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

– “These are big achievements for this country, and the people of Bulgaria ought to be proud of the achievements that they have achieved.” – June 11, 2007, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

– “Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit.” – September 2007, in Sydney, Australia, where Bush was attending an APEC summit.

-“Thank you, Your Holiness. Awesome speech.” April 16, 2008, at a ceremony welcoming Pope Benedict to the White House.

-“The fact that they purchased the machine meant somebody had to make the machine. And when somebody makes a machine, it means there’s jobs at the machine-making place.” – May 27, 2008, in Mesa, Ariz.

-“And they have no disregard for human life.” – July 15, 2008, at the White House. Bush was referring to enemy fighters in Afghanistan.

– “I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office.” – June 26, 2008, during a Rose Garden news briefing.

-“Throughout our history, the words of the Declaration have inspired immigrants from around the world to set sail to our shores. These immigrants have helped transform 13 small colonies into a great and growing nation of more than 300 people.” – July 4, 2008 in Virginia.

– “This thaw – took a while to thaw, it’s going to take a while to unthaw.” Oct. 20, 2008, in Alexandria, La., as he discussed the economy and frozen credit markets.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090103/world/distinctly_bushisms