Under the Dome

December 18, 2013

Raleigh mom meets with Obama and First Lady

Felicia Willems of Raleigh was one of eight moms who met on Wednesday with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in the Oval Office.

Felicia Willems of Raleigh was one of eight women who met on Wednesday with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in the Oval Office as the White House continues to champion the Affordable Care Act.

Willems volunteered for six years and now works for MomsRising, an advocacy group for children and families. In short bios of the eight women, the White House said Willems had a 6-year-old son who was born with a serious pre-existing condition, which prompted her to “work with legislators to pass health care reform.”

“Michelle and I just had a wonderful conversation with this group of moms and one aunt who have been working tirelessly out there on behalf of our mission, which is to make sure that everybody in America, regardless of where they live, their background, that they are able to get high-quality health care coverage that provides them with financial protection and looks after them when they get sick,” Obama said at the end of the meeting, when reporters were allowed in for about five minutes.

“Obviously, over the last couple of months, we had a rocky start with the website and all this,” Obama said. “Despite that, we've seen hundreds of thousands of people signing up, more and more every single day, in part because we've got these wonderful folks like the people we met with today who are out there telling their personal stories.”

The president added that the White House anticipates “challenges over the coming months and we're going to continue to find ways to smooth out this transition and make sure that people know what the Affordable Care Act is actually about.”

“The more information they get I think the more satisfied they’re going to be that this was the right thing to do and that it’s been worth the fight,” he said.

Michelle Obama also spoke, saying the nation can be “a country that focuses on prevention…a country where no one goes bankrupt because they get sick.”

A reporter called out, “Mrs. Obama, why did you want to get involved in the health care push?”

“Because I’m a mom,” she said.

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