Good Evening, Mr. President,

I'm grateful that someone has found a way for us ordinary folk to reach out to you in a way that you seemed so comfortable reaching out to us during your election campaign.

I've followed you for quite some time now, and you had me believing in you for a good many months. I know you've only been in office for a mere 22 days, but I feel I have to tell you how we are truly hurting here.

I live in Raleigh, NC, and yes, I know, some will say that it's a community that isn't as hard hit as, say, Evansville, Indiana. Well, unfortunately, only the large corporations make the news, when talking of lay offs, and closures. In the RTP, there are many great technological and pharmaceutical companies, yes, but there are also many many small family owned businesses that have been around for decades, lest I say, generations. Small businesses have been the backbone of many communities, employing the bulk of the middle and lower class families. Those that have children and parents at home, the sandwich generation that's just struggling to feed the family, make sure they get schooling, get to the doctors when they are sick. When a small business has to cut back on it's staff, or hours, or medical benefits, if we're fortunate enough to get them, it hurts an entire community. Small towns all around RTP, have had to shutter doors, lay off emergency personnel, institute hiring freezes of teachers, because families don't have the money to spend, outside their desire to survive.

As you so eloquently noted in Florida on February 10, with Mrs. Hughes, people are in such desperate situations.

My husband and I are some of those struggling to survive. When we moved to NC in 2004, he had a full time job for Home Depot. About a year later, we learned he had bladder cancer. Since he was a sub-contractor, he did not have health insurance available to him. Thankfully, I was able to get it shortly before he was diagnosed, from the small business I work at. Here's our problem. Working for a small business makes it difficult to make large earnings, in my field. Almost half of my paycheck is gone to just health insurance premiums. I cannot afford to look for another job, since it is imperative that my husband have insurance for his follow-up care/treatments. I'm only bringing home about $700/month, after taxes and health care.

You had made it one of your pillar principles to fix the health care system. I'm imploring you to do that as soon as possible. I feel soon, I may be caring for my mother, who is on Medicare, and diabetic. There is absolutely no way, that I will be able to cope with the stress of the insurance, the care, the job, let alone myself, all rolled into a big bundle.

I voted for you, because I do have hope. My husband has not had any tumors since June of 08, so I am hopeful that maybe, just maybe, we've got it conquered. Please, now help us to be able to have a living wage, and healthcare, and not have to sacrifice one for the other.

Thank you for hearing me out.
V. Plain
Raleigh NC