Medina woman who became face of health insurance reform dies

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Natoma Canfield's sister, Connie Anderson, hugs President Barack Obama after introducing him at a speech on health care insurance reform March 15, 2010, in Strongville. Canfield, a Medina woman who wrote to Obama about her heath insurance ordeal was too sick with leukemia to be present.

A Medina Township woman whose story of soaring health insurance premiums became a driving force to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010, died Friday.

Natoma Canfield wrote President Barack Obama a letter on Dec. 29, 2009, detailing her battle with cancer and the skyrocketing health insurance premiums she could no longer afford.

Canfield had been cancer-free for 11 years, but her premiums continued to rise beyond what she could pay with her income as a self-employed cleaning woman.

“Thanks to this incredible premium increase demanded by my insurance company, January will be my last month of insurance,” she wrote in the letter.

Although she had remained with the same health insurance provider for several years, her premiums increased 25% in 2009 and 40% in 2010.

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