the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Background on the President's Remarks at Arcadia University Today

On Monday morning, the President will remarks on health insurance reform at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania. The President will be introduced by Leslie Banks of Philadelphia who recently wrote an e-mail expressing her frustration with the cost of health insurance (details below).

The President will be accompanied on Air Force One by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Senator Arlen Specter, Senator Bob Casey, Rep. Chaka Fattah, and Rep. Bob Andrews.

The President will be greeted on arrival by Governor Ed Rendell, Mayor Michael Nutter, Rep. Alyson Schwartz, and Rep. Bob Brady.


U.S. Senator Bob Casey
U.S. Senator Arlen Specter
U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah
U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz
U.S. Representative Bob Brady
U.S. Representative Joe Sestak
U.S. Representative Rob Andrews
Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter
Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario
House Majority Leader Todd Eachus
State Senator LeAnna Washington
State Senator Vincent Hughes
State Representative Lawrence Curry
State Representative Josh Shapiro
State Representative Dwight Evans
Vice-Chair Montgomery County Commissioners Joseph Hoeffel
Abington Commissioner Steven Kline


Gregory Turner will deliver the Invocation.
Gregory Turner is a member of the 2010 Physical Therapy Class. He received the Jill Sisenwine Berger Physical Therapy Award because he exemplifies the core values of the physical therapy profession. 

Dr. Jan Tecklin will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Dr. Jan Tecklin is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy known internationally for his expertise in Cystic Fibrosis. He received the Arcadia University Professor of the Year Award in 2005.

Donte Turner, Sarah Thermora, Cherelle Bullock and Tanesha Waid will sing the National Anthem.
Donte Turner is a 21-year-old former foster youth born and raised in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is currently a senior at Arcadia University with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Music. He loves to sing and is the director of Arcadia's own Nation of Zion gospel choir.

Sarah Thermora is a sophomore from Queens Village, NY.  She is majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Music.

Cherelle Bullock is a junior from Philadelphia, PA. She is studying Sociology and has a great passion for people. Her ultimate goal is to open a facility for battered women in the inner city.

Tanesha Waid is a first-year student from Harrisburg, Pa. She is an English major with a concentration in secondary education. After graduation, she hopes to teach in an urban environment and hopefully be a part of Teach for America.

Leslie Banks will Introduce the President.
On February 11th, Leslie wrote the President an e-mail expressing her frustration with the cost of health insurance. Leslie is a self-employed, single mother with type 2 diabetes, whose daughter is a sophomore in college at Temple University.  In January 2010, Leslie received a notice from her health insurance provider that her plan was being dropped. To keep the same benefits, the premiums for her and her daughter would more than double.  Leslie was told by the insurance company that there was an across the board premium hike and there was nothing she could do.  If she paid the same monthly premium amount as before, the deductible would increase from $500 to $5,000, and they would no longer have preventive care or prescription coverage.  Leslie is not eligible for the insurance company’s HMO due to her pre-existing condition.  Under health reform, Leslie and her daughter will have to access to affordable health insurance in the new health insurance exchange, including guaranteed benefits such as preventive care and prescription drugs as well as important consumer protections.  In addition, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and they will be held accountable to prevent insurance industry abuses.