March 15th, 2010

Inspired by the story of Natoma Canfield, as told by President Obama in Ohio (watch the video below).

Health insurance is great, unless you loose it,

Or if you ever need to really use it.

If you do, they’ll try to stop you.

And if you can, they’ll even drop you.

Sometimes they do that by recission,

Claiming you failed to meet something condition.

Maybe you didn’t reveal something bad

That you didn’t even know you had.

Or maybe they’ll just deny your claim

After your treatment too expensive became.

Or they’ll classify it as not medically necessary,

When in fact it was (very).

Or if they can’t find a reason to deny,

They’ll just raise your rates so high

That you won’t be able to pay any more

And will be show yourself the door.

That’s what happened to Natoma

Who battled a case of lymphoma

She was cancer free for more than a decade,

But still made sure her insurance bills were paid.

The insurance company kept raising her rate,

Financial pressure to create.

For 2009, they raised her rate by over 25 percent.

Her $6K in premiums were much more than the $900 that they spent.

She got a letter that for 2010

Her rates would be raised again.

This time the increase was over 40 percent.

If she paid it, she couldn’t foreclosure on her house prevent.

She was finally forced to let her coverage lapse,

Then a few weeks later, she had a relapse.

She hasn’t yet figured how and if she can pay,

But so far, the Cleveland Clinic is treating her anyway.

If she makes it, her next stop is probably bankruptcy,

Like the million others per year treated similarly.

Many of them even had insurance,

But it didn’t end up offering much reassurance.

But now a change is gonna come,

Hopefully before Natoma and the others like her succumb.

Hopefully, the reform bill will make it through,

Thanks in part, Natoma, to you.


Here’s the 3/15/10 Countdown report on Natoma Canfield, including video of the President’s discussion of her story in his speech in Ohio.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s the President’s full speech 3/15/10 in Stongsville, OH (download or view the transcript here).

Here’s your theme music for today, A Change Is Gonna Come by the legendar Sam Cooke. (For those of you too young to have seen one before, this is a record player.)

Republicans, conservative bloggers, and Fox News are making a big thing about how Natoma now apparently won’t have to chose between treatment and her house because the Cleveland Clinic said they won’t put a lien on her house to collect their money (see e.g. Cancer Patient Who Wrote to Obama Will Not Lose Home, May Get Aid, Fox News 3/15/10). That’s nice of them, but it doesn’t contradict the need for reform, given that’s what happens in a lot of cases (and could still end up happening to her). For more information, read Obama travels to Ohio to rally health plan support ( 3/15/10). And if you can, click here to donate to the American Cancer Society.

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One Response to “Natoma”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » The Tree of Liberty (or, Nurse Ratched Attacks the Individual Mandate) Says:

    […] revolting that as a nation we’d want to change that). He also manages to get in a jibe against Natoma Canfield. Who does she think she is getting sick without insurance! Here’s Rep. Ryan speaking out […]

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