Copyright © 2007 Timothy Horrigan
Even though I am in fact supporting John Edwards, I was moved to defend Barack Obama after a silly December 21st article in the Dover (NH) Foster's Daily Democrat. This article was mostly devoted to foolish and unverifiable stuff about an unidentified woman who claimed she saw Sen. Obama being rude to another unidentified woman and the second unidentified woman's "young son." I know Barack Obama, who is a very gracious gentleman: he is never rude, especially not to kids.
I suspect the reporter, Adam Krauss (who generally does a good job), filed a much longer story which included some actual information in it— but the editors took this juicy (albeit untrue) sidebar and made it the lead.
The story about Obama was right above a story about a little boy named Clayton Ferris from Lee, NH (the next town over from Durham) who has neuroblastoma and whose family is running up possibly millions of dollars in medical bills. The community has gotten together to help out, and the family has received hundreds of dollars in PayPal donations. (You can donate by sending money to this email address: email@example.com) The story pointedly did not say whether or not the fanily has health insurance. They would defnitely have insurance under President Obama— and President Edwards will have an even better plan than Obama. According to Amie Plummer's story, Clayton Ferris's parents own a few small T-Mobile cellphone shops around the Seacoast Region. If this family business can get health insurance for its employees, it would be very expensive under the current system with arbitrary rules, low limits and high deductibles.
I wrote the letter on December 21st, 2007 and it ran on December 29th, 2007.
Barack Obama in Durham, NH; February 2007
The original URL for Krauss' December 21st story about Obama:
The original URL for Amie Plummer's December 21st story about little Clayton Ferris:
The original URL for my letter:
An interesting juxtaposition
To the editor: I would like to point out an interesting juxtaposition in your Friday, Dec. 21, edition.
You had a story about Barack Obama's visit to the Seacoast Region the previous day. It was written by Adam Krauss, who is an outstanding reporter, but the "lead" was a strange tale about a woman who refused to identify herself and was miffed because she allegedly heard Sen. Obama say, "Make it quick" to a woman "with a young son" who wanted to take a picture. There was nothing in that story about Obama's policies, including his health insurance proposals.
His plan is not ideal, and it is not the best plan in the race, but it is a good plan and I am sure Mr. Krauss has heard the senator talking about it in some detail. (The candidate I am voting for, John Edwards, has the best plan.)
Right next to this story was the sad story of the Ferris family of Lee, whose 18-month-old son Clayton has cancer. His family is having a hard time finding the money ("millions of dollars perhaps") to pay for his treatment, although the local community has generously contributed to a medical fund.
Your story didn't say if his family has health insurance, but it did say that his father owns a small business which, under President Edwards or under President Obama, for that matter, would be able to get first-rate insurance at much reasonable costs than they can under the current non-system. And if Clayton's family didn't get insurance through their employers, there would be other options available to them: everyone would be covered one way or another.
[April 28, 2010] Tragic news: Clayton Ferris passed away on April 21, 2010, of "pediatric cancer." He was 3½ years old. He will be missed.
I might also add that a healthcare bill was in fact passed through the Senate which caused a huge political upheaval while doing only a little to help business owners like his father. And oh, by the way: yes I do apologize for supporting John Edwards.
The Forgotten Liars