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CNNMoney reader visits the White House for Obamacare event

May 14, 2013: 10:42 AM ET
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Suzanne Eva Lain, left, at the White House with her daughter Geneva Louise Jones and usher Daniel Shanks.

When Suzanne Eva Lain praised Obamacare in a recent CNNMoney article, she never thought it would earn her a ticket to the White House.

But after a member of the Obama administration read that she can't wait for Obamacare to start, officials invited her to attend an event at the White House on Friday at which the president expounded on how the Affordable Care Act has helped women and their families. Mothers no longer have to worry about children suffering from brain injuries, cancer and other illnesses being left uninsured, since the Affordable Care Act allows them to stay on their parents' plan until they are 26, President Obama said. The act also bans insurers from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions and gender.

Lain, a breast cancer survivor, and her daughter Geneva Louise Jones sat in the second row. Though she did not get to meet him, she was only "12 feet away from him while he was speaking," Lain told CNNMoney.

Afterwards, she and her daughter were allowed to tour the first floor of the White House with the other women who attended the event. They were guided by usher Daniel Shanks, who told them they were just beneath the living quarters, and pointed out the Rose Garden and the Colonnade. The mother-and-daughter sat on the "pretty little couches" and looked out the window. They also visited the room where state dinners are held.

"We were just a bunch of ladies wandering around," said Lain, a Highland Falls, N.Y., resident. Though she had been to the White House on a public tour 18 years ago, "this was so much more exciting."

After the big event, Lain and her daughter spent the rest of the day in Washington, D.C., visiting the monuments. The duo, who paid their own way to the event, took the train back to New York the following afternoon.

Lain, 56,  is a contract technical writer who doesn't get health benefits through her job. She has to get tests every year to check that her cancer is being kept at bay. She says she'll likely have to cancel her doctor's appointment next month because of her lack of coverage. That's why she plans to sign up for Obamacare as soon as enrollment begins in October. Coverage will take effect in January.

At the event, Lain heard other women in the audience talking about preparing to enroll through the insurance exchanges in their states. She said she was "thrilled" that so many women are involved in health reform.

"Women have a lot to do with setting up the Affordable Care Act, so we know it will get done well," she said.

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About This Author
Tami Luhby
Tami Luhby
Senior writer, CNNMoney

Tami Luhby is a senior writer at CNNMoney and covers income inequality, state fiscal problems, unemployment, housing policy and other economic issues. Luhby previously covered personal finance for Newsday and banking for Crain's New York Business.

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