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The face of Obamacare, Natoma Canfield, has faith in Republicans as they move to repeal it

Posted at 8:56 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 20:57:59-05

In early 2010 President Obama walked into a meeting of insurance industry executives and read them aloud a letter he received from Natoma Canfield of Medina. Canfield wrote that as a cancer survivor she could no longer afford her skyrocketing healthcare premiums and lived in fear of getting sick.

The letter thrust her into the national spotlight and inspired the president to plan a trip to Northeast Ohio to highlight it further but the White House had trouble initially getting ahold of Canfield because she had been hospitalized after passing out, test results showed she had leukemia.

Her plight became a rallying cry for the president who spoke often of Natoma and hung the letter she wrote him in the Oval Office.

It was of course removed with the transition of power to the Trump Administration last month and the new president looking to do more than that with his first executive order signed in the hours after being sworn in was one to set in motion the process to repeal and replace Obamacare.

While Democrats express concerns over what that might mean, Canfield said she isn’t worried.

“I might be simplistic in my views but I think it's much to do over nothing because I don't believe that over 20 million people will be removed from their healthcare and I think now with the all Republican government it could go very good,” Canfield said.

“We could make it a great system, I’m hopeful.”

“I think they can fix it.”

Canfield last visited Washington, D.C. in January as a guest of the president's at a health care function, she said he was well aware of what the Affordable Care Act was facing. “He doesn’t understand why the rush to get rid of it.”

While Canfield’s story helped Obamacare to pass she actually ended up qualifying for Medicaid and never ended up benefiting from the act.  She recognizes the flaws in the system and believes calm minds are what’s needed to fix it.

"There's hope coming forward,” she said. “You know if it's called ‘Trumpcare’ who cares."

Looking back on the last seven years Canfield recalled the dizzying first weeks in 2010 when she was both fighting for her life while getting death threats. “Oh yeah I had police guarding my hospital room in the beginning."

“The township had to come another time because another woman called and said I was a lying bitch and I should die fast,” she recalled of the threats that were all anonymous.

To be clear Canfield like to focus on the positive like the letters that she received from people all over the world wishing her well in her 2010 battle.

Over the last seven years Canfield has had her health battles but continues to have a positive outlook.

“I’m always going to be prone to more cancers and things like that,” she said. “You know I have a good shot of living a good long life.”

In case you haven’t figured it out she’s a 'glass half full' type person.

“I wouldn't be here if I wasn't an optimist,” she said.