Debbie Wasserman Schultz talks cancer, health care


Her voice briefly crackling, the Democratic National Committee’s chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, connected her experience as a cancer survivor to the issue of health care in this election.

Here’s what she had to say (remarks as prepared for delivery):

In 2007, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2008, right before the convention, I had one of seven surgeries that year. I was fortunate. I had good insurance and great doctors. Today, I stand before you as a survivor! But like every breast cancer survivor, I now have a pre-existing condition.

I know what it’s like to sit in that waiting room wondering how many more anniversaries you’ll get with your husband or how many more birthdays you’ll celebrate with your kids. I don’t care how strong a woman you are, that moment is terrifying. And in America, no one should have to go through it without health insurance. No family should go broke just because a mom gets sick.

So when President Obama passed health care reform, it was personal! And when Governor Romney says he would repeal Obamacare and put insurance companies back in charge of a woman’s health, that’s personal too. When he tries to take us back to the days when insurers could charge us more just for being a woman or deny coverage to breast cancer survivors like me, that’s personal. When he tries to take away a woman’s control over decisions that affect her health and reproductive choices and family, that’s personal.

This election is personal for every American—for the middle-class family in Hollywood, Florida; for the dreamer in Miami Beach; and for the senior citizens I meet across South Florida, from Century Village to Sunrise Lakes to Aventura.

As chair of the Democratic National Committee, Wasserman Schultz has been playing some defense this week on Israel-related issues.

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