Obama encourages moms to ‘tell stories in the grocery store’ about Obamacare

Vince Coglianese Editorial Director
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In a meeting with “eight moms from around America,” according to a White House pool report, President Obama encouraged the mothers to sing the praises of Obamacare while they’re out shopping at grocery stores.

Obama, speaking to the moms in the Oval Office, acknowledged that there have been problems with the roll-out of his signature health legislation, but insisted that a solid P.R. campaign will rescue Obamacare.

When people “hear about preventive care, the more they hear about no lifetime limits,” Obama said. “The more information they get, the more satisfied they’re going to be.”

And moms can play a special role in making Obamacare popular, the president went on.

“There’s something about moms,” Obama said, according to the report. “Nothing can replace telling stories in the grocery store to somebody who may be skeptical.”

Obama thanked the eight moms for the work of Obamacare-supportive mothers.

The president was also joined by first lady Michelle Obama.

“The words I think of are ‘peace of mind,'” Mrs. Obama said.

“Every family needs the peace of mind to know they’re going to have the safety net they need,” she continued. “As Barack said, these stories are powerful.”

“Again, we’re very grateful to you all,” Mrs. Obama explained. “I’d urge everyone out there who has a story to share it,” she said.

“We can really change the face of health care in this country.”

The White House released biographical information about each of the moms:

Mary Todd Glascock, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Mary Todd is a single mom and a Spanish teacher at an independent private school in Norfolk, Virginia. In August of 2011, her 21-year-old son was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a very rare and aggressive cancer. Thanks to the ACA, her son was able to stay on Mary Todd’s insurance.

Jeanne K. Wardford, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Jeanne is a mother of two children who are in their 20s. Jeanne and her husband used to be consultants but after years of paying more than $2,000 a month for health coverage for their family on the individual insurance market – coverage that considered her son’s asthma and allergies a pre-existing condition and dropped her children when they entered college – she decided to get a position that had employer-sponsored coverage. Thanks to the ACA, she was able to add both of her children to her plan, which meant that the Wardford family did not have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for testing and treatment when Jeanne’s daughter needed major surgery related to her diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disease (a thyroid condition).

Susan Heskins-Lazar, Teaneck, New Jersey
Susan is a married mother of two children, both of whom are in their early twenties. Her 23-year-old daughter recently was admitted to the hospital for gallbladder surgery and, thanks to the ACA, was still on her parents’ insurance.

Janise Kyle, Arlington, Virginia
Janise recently helped her 27-year-old nephew sign up on healthcare.gov. Her nephew works two part-time jobs, has several chronic pre-existing conditions, and a very limited and expensive insurance plan through his employer. Together they were able to find a plan that provides the coverage he needs. Now she is working to sign up her nephew’s friends.

Mary Marker, Howard County, Maryland
Mary volunteers with Enroll America and Organizing for Action in Howard County, Maryland. She works closely with the Howard County Connector to make sure uninsured residents enroll and coordinates the efforts of dozens of other volunteers to reach out to the uninsured in the county. Mary’s latest project is canvassing young people – 26 to 27-years-olds – including those who live on her street. Mary has three children, all of whom are college graduates.

Neeta Datt, Montgomery County, Maryland
Neeta is the Organizing for Action chapter lead in Montgomery County, Maryland and she has been working with the Montgomery County Connector to arrange targeted outreach to the uninsured in her county. Mary directs the efforts of dozens of volunteers who are doing high traffic area and door-to-door canvassing in targeted communities. Neeta is married and has two grown sons.

Felicia Willems, Raleigh, North Carolina
Felicia volunteered with MomsRising for six years before taking a part-time position with the organization six months ago. Her six-year-old son was born with a very serious pre-existing condition and she was therefore driven to work with legislators to pass health care reform. Felicia has actively spread the word about the ACA in North Carolina and leads the Wellness Wonder Team.

Nicole Duritz, Alexandria, Virginia
As Vice President of Health and Family for AARP’s Education & Outreach group, Nicole leads AARP’s public education efforts on a variety of issues, including health security, Medicare, and the ACA. Nicole – a mother of 11-year-old twin boys – manages a team that develops and designs consumer-focused resources and tools to ensure that the 50+ population has the information and support necessary to make decisions on critical life issues.

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