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Obama meets Natoma Canfield, Ohio woman whose letter inspired him on health care

PARMA, Ohio – After the Supreme Court upheld his health care law last week, President Obama thanked Natoma Canfield in a televised address to the nation. On Thursday, he thanked her in person.

Canfield, a cancer survivor, wrote a plaintive letter to Obama in December 2009 after losing her health insurance, a note the president hung on the wall of the Oval Office.

“I carried Natoma’s story with me every day of the fight to pass this law,” Obama said last week.

At a campaign rally here on the first day of Obama’s bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania, Canfield and her sister, Connie Anderson, were invited to meet the president after he made remarks at James Day Park.

Standing next to Ground Force One, Obama’s custom-made bus, they chatted for a few minutes. Obama recognized Anderson, who had introduced him at a 2010 town hall appearance in Strongville, Ohio, at which Canfield was too sick to appear.

“It was amazing to get to meet him,” Canfield said. “I told him what a good president I thought he was. And he invited me again to come see my letter on his wall in the Oval Office.”

The 52-year-old Medina, Ohio, resident, who had watched Obama mention her last week on a closed-caption television feed at a local restaurant, said she intends to take the president up on his offer.

“I’m going to as soon as I can,” she pledged.

When might that be?

“I don’t know,” she said. “I have a few more doctor appointments to get out of the way.”

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