September 18th, 2009
02:26 PM ET
11 years ago

Michelle Obama: A secret weapon in health care reform?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - She stood by her husband throughout the contentious 2008 presidential campaign and during heated health care reform debates during his presidency.

Now, as the reform debate is reaching a fever pitch, first lady Michelle Obama is weighing in on the issue by focusing on how health care can affect families.

"What she's doing is putting a personal and human face on the issue ... there's nothing more crucial," said Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn. "Everybody gets sick, and everybody has someone in the family that gets sick."

"I think if you can humanize it and personalize it, it suddenly brings it home to people - especially those who are screaming and yelling about the government taking over," Quinn said.

On Friday, the first lady, a former hospital administrator, spoke about the issue to a crowd at the White House, highlighting her own family's experience with health care.

In one touching moment, Obama recalled when daughter Sasha exhibited signs of potentially deadly meningitis when she was 4 months old.

"We didn't know what, but he [the doctor] told us she could have meningitis, so we were terrified. He said get to the emergency room right away," she said. "Fortunately, things worked out."

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Filed under: Health care • Michelle Obama
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Ryan

    Idiots against healthcare – So your solution is to continue being uninsured & or at the mercy of your insurance company's astronomical rates and policies!?

    Yeah, because that's worked out beautifully.

    First, this public option is an OPTION – not socialized like your conservative brain-washing radio talk show hosts want you to believe because the GOP has allocated more than 1 million dollars into propaganda against a plan that calls republicans out on their greediness by not providing a healthcare plan as good as the one they subscribe to which is funded by the tax payers who they swear they won't accept money from because they believe in smaller government (yet they never opt to quit being politicians which would be a faster way to shrink the government).

    So tell me, of the countries that DO have socialized medicine, exactly how many of them have opted to give that system up in favor of something to what the U.S. has today??

    NONE.

    That ought to tell you something.

    September 18, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. ronie patrick

    I have health insurance of the best kind. My concern is how so many mean selfish people out there do not want others to have what they have. I would like to see everyone in this free world have health insurance , because they deserve it such as I do , and so do you mean people who are play hating on this. Now just tell me why does Michelle Obama need anyone to be nasty just because she is trying to help this country ,help all of the millions of Americans get and understand why it is so important to get this bill passed. I am reading some of this foolishness on here and I say, loose your health insurance and lets see what you are going to do. I am so pleased that Michelle is out there working hard for the women and children. You go Michelle and please don't pay any attention to some of those mean, evil, white player haters. That is just who it is writing this foolisness. I don't see you people I mean you dumb whites complainting about the man who kept that little girl for 18 years and had two babies by her. What about the fool who stole billions and billions of dollars from so many people white man is who he was. The killing of that little daring girl last week-end on her wedding day. What about all the CEO's all white insurance ex stealing money from poor people with out of control insurance premiums. All the dumb things you have done for so many, many years but you would take the time to down someone because they are trying to fight for a cause to help everyone. You should be ashame of yourselves and get on your knees and pray for forgiveness. I am praying that HEALTHCARE passes with flying colors for everyone. I do not like when whites come on and try and make everything bad and that is so sad for you will find yourself one day in the same boat and then what will you have to cry about other than blame someone else. Grow up and get a life you dumb fools.

    September 18, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Lotta Muni

    The American public just isn't buying it, so they enlist the1st lady.
    Why not just give us the facts instead of this moronic spin game?

    September 18, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Jeffery Meaux, Sr.

    It really doesn't matter who is supporting Obama's health plan. I am like most middle class Americans who make less than $50,000 a year. I am satisified with my insurance. Obama tried to cover his lie when he said that illegal immigrants would not be covered in his health plan. In order for them to be covered he is now saying that he will legalized illegal immigrants. What is going on? Of all the people that have committed illegal acts, will he legalized those acts? If they have been incarcerated, will they be free? I do not want to pay taxes for illegal immigrants even though they have been legalized by Obama, and I don't think most Americans want to pay additional taxes to take care of their medical needs. If we send them back to where ever they came from and let American citizens in the work force we will reduce the unensured and underinsured considerable.

    September 18, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Peggy -TX

    Regarding earlier post by Idiot_Pelosi: How can you state that she is a "She's a puppet, just like her husband”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    For whom do you believe she is a puppet? Both are smart, highly educated people who have a track record of personal achievement. The use of a teleprompter is not a bad thing; rather, it is an excellent way to insure that they do not make ordinary human errors in presenting speeches that they have worked hard on to select every word in a manner that correctly communicates exactly the message they want to get across.

    Did you take your comment from someone else’s list of talking points? I only say this because your comment is absolutely nonsense and has nothing to do with the issues.

    September 18, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Peter

    Michelle Obama as a mother who knows whats poverty means!

    September 18, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. ronie patrick

    No you are annoying you complete fool. I just don't understand what make people like you tick. You poor foolish white person. You just can't help yourself can you. Mrs. Bush was great in what she did. I was very pleased with her with education for young people. I am not pleased with Michelle for Health Insurance. You go michelle you are doing a fine job and so is your adorable husband.

    September 18, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. james

    She's putting a humanizing, personal face on the issue? How - in her $500 sneakers?

    Michelle Obama has no frickin clue what it's like to have to take your heart medicine three times a week instead of seven to make it stretch long enough and still get some effect. She's an elitist snob whose bgrats go to a private school, who wears nothing but designer (probably only wears it once and tosses it) and thumbs her nose at Americans who thought their country was great before mid-2008.

    September 18, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Renee' McDuffie

    Michelle is a great person to speak about insurance. What alot of you don't realize that she was not born with a silver spoon. The wealth that the Obamas have acquired, they earned it. The natsy things they you say about the Obamas you need to be careful because it will come back on you.

    September 18, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Mike in MN

    I'm happy she recieved the health care her daughter needed. And she got the care she needed with private insurance, did not need a public plan or government run health care.
    So let's get everyone covered with private insurance and take resonable steps to bring down the costs. We don't need a deficit creating government option or a government take over of health care to do that. Create an exchange where everyone can purchase insurance at group rates, give the same tax breaks to those without employeer based insurance as those who do and tear down the blocks that prevent insurance companies from competing accross state lines. All this can be done without creating a huge new government program to support a public option that is certain to add to our nations deficit.

    September 18, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    With 970,000 Yanks a year declaring bankruptcy due to catastrophic health issues, the AARP and organizations of 'progressive degenerative' conditions like mine [BCCNS] she should have no problems in finding clear examples of the need for MAJOR REFORM!!!

    September 18, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Disappointed

    Wow...I can't believe the ugliness of some people. D Eisenhower said it best:

    The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.

    September 18, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Jeffery Meaux, Sr.

    It really doesn't matter who is supporting Obama's health plan. I am like most middle class Americans who make less than $50,000 a year. I am satisified with my insurance. Obama tried to cover his lie when he said that illegal immigrants would not be covered in his health plan. In order for them to be covered he is now saying that he will legalized illegal immigrants. What is going on? Of all the people that have committed illegal acts, will he legalized those acts? If they have been incarcerated, will they be free? I do not want to pay taxes for illegal immigrants even though they have been legalized by Obama, and I don't think most Americans want to pay additional taxes to take care of their medical needs. If we send them back where ever they came from and let American citizens into the work force we will reduce the unensured and underinsured considerable.

    September 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Deuce

    What a loade of Crap! The Moment??? Serves her right if the Kid really gets sick now..

    September 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Mike

    So Michelle Obama, whose primary function at the hospital she worked at was to run a program that kept uninsured people from using her hospital is now going to give a speech lecturing us on why everybody should get insurance. If she really felt that way, she would have been helping those uninsured at her hospital, not driving them away.
    And for all of you who think its a great idea to get involved, I don't want any wining from you when she gets criticized....she opened the door when she started being a spokesperson for her husbands government policies.

    September 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. ronie patrick

    You are just as ignorant as your wife you fool. What is your problem. I bet you need insurance now just for your mind. You know like a head doctor because you sound like a crazy person to me..

    September 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Obama VICTIM

    How is this a secret weapon. Weapon of distruction for the dems maybe

    September 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Kris K in CA

    I am sick of seeing and hearing Barry and MRs.Barry is a total turn off. I no longer believe most of what they say...I am sickof seeing them and do not like there plan for AMerica. I voted for him which was a mistake. I won't be voting for him again....

    September 18, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. New Age Democrat

    I'm sorry, but putting the face of Michelle Obama on healthcare does not help. She seems to me like an elitist snob and hasn't a clue what normal citizens go through.

    Democrats would fare better to address the real concerns of Americans instead of trying to deflect the issues with stories like these.

    September 18, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. 60's survivor

    we can only hope. but don't count I. it. the hate is huge against president and those who side with him. just watch.

    September 18, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. m jeff

    After eight years of hell, it's nice to have people in the White House who cares about average Americans.

    September 18, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Jasmine in Germany

    I am getting tired of the uninformed, ignorant, brainwashed by the opposition US Americans who do not want to accept an improvement to the health care system. YOU are the ones who set the country back. You want Third World status? That's what your opposition to the President's plan contributes to. Haven't you figured out that the GOP wants Obama to fail because of greed? GOP politics and personal careers are put above the well being of the citizens of our country. The US has a terrible, outdated system. If you want to keep it that way you better pray that you never get sick. It's too much for me to ask that you might pray for others, too, obviously you do not see the forest through the trees.

    September 18, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Proud member of the party of Yes We Can!

    "Mrs. Obama is just as ignorant of economics as her husband."

    As opposed to you, phoenix86, who's just plain ignorant? Just askin' . . . . .

    September 18, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. Saul Virginia

    TO Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Your ignorance and stupidity is unbelievable. Michelle Obama actually was establish well before Barack did. In fact she met him when he was an intern serving under her.
    People like you are distroying this country.
    Atleast have the descency of getting the facts before you expose your ignorant self on a blog like this.
    You should be ashame of yourself. IDIOT!!!!

    September 18, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Mobster G-Man [Independent]

    It looks like the Obama administration will stop at nothing to push a government / socialist medical program on a some what free people. It was bad when Bush pushed socialist programs on the US people and when Clinton did, but now the socialist take over is moving in leaps and bounds. If you want a socialist country there are already a lot of them. Please feel free to go to them. Government is not the answer.

    September 18, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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