Both our mothers died too young from disease. And to the end, both worried as much about their medical bills as they did about their medical treatments.
Obama wrote about his mother's plight in The Audacity of Hope. He spoke of it often on the campaign trail and in these last many months of debate. And yesterday, when health care reform became law, he spoke of his mother's plight again:
Any child who's shared this experience knows the depth of emotion embedded in those few words, understands the source of the tenacity that has made health care reform a reality.
Today, I'm signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother, who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days.
It's not perfect, not the truly universal safety net for which some hoped. It proclaims no right to health as many Democrats had done during the campaign.
Yet in freeing some families from the awful web of pre-existing condition clauses and COBRA cutoffs, in giving everyone access to health insurance, it is a formidable guarantee, in a country long chary of socioeconomic rights, of human security.
It does our mothers proud.