June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

AUDIO: President Obama on stage in Strongsville

President Barack Obama has wrapped up his speech at a recreation and senior center in Strongsville to rousing applause after being introduced by Connie Anderson, the sister of Natoma Canfield of Medina, who wrote the president she gave up her health insurance after it rose to $8,500 a year.

Obama gave Anderson a hug and kiss and thanked her and her family, adding that it’s not easy to share such a personal story.

In his introduction Obama thanked U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown for his work on health care and received a huge response from the crowd.

Listen to The CT’s Bruce Bishop talk to Medina Gazette reporter Maria Kacik about what the scene looks like:


Listen to Kacik’s interview with U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton:


As the president discussed health care, perhaps a sign of the need for it was unfolding around him. Within minutes of Obama taking the stage, two elderly people in the crowd had collapsed and had to be removed by security. According to the CT’s Bruce Bishop, the crowd was packed in, and many people had been standing for about three hours.

Health care was very much on the minds of the standing-room only crowd as they waited for Obama to arrive.

Obama supporters were chanting back and forth, “What do we want?” “Health care!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”

Carmen Shot of North Ridgeville seemed to be the lone dissenter among those in attendance. Shot, whose son recently returned from serving overseas, said she was against “socialized health care” and that she wanted the president to listen to the American people as a whole and not to follow his own agenda.

Listen to Shot talk about her stance on health care:


Other protesters were lined up this morning along Royalton Road in Strongsville to protest everything from health-care reform to spending policies.

President Barack Obama is set to arrive about 1 p.m. as he tries to drum up more support for his health insurance overhaul.

Obama originally planned the trip after receiving a letter from cancer patient Natoma Canfield of Medina, who wrote the president she gave up her health insurance after it rose to $8,500 a year. Canfield’s sister, Connie Anderson, is scheduled to introduce the president at the event.

After the event, Obama will return to Washington for afternoon meetings in the Oval Office with senior advisers.Oth

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The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.