From: Jérôme CARTILLIER
Sent: Thursday, March 3, 2016 12:52 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: Travel Pool Report #4 - Lunch with ACA letter writers
After an uneventful drive, motorcade stopped in front of a restaurant called "Engine Company N 3 where POTUS will be having lunch with ACA letter writers.
He met with customers on the ground floor then went up to the first floor where he sat at large wooden table with five people.
They talked about the weather and the Midwest.
"It always feels good being closer to home," he said.
One of the women suggested that Hawaii was his home.
Obama said: "Hawaii is home for me," but suggested that his real home was Chicago. "I spent almost 30 years in Chicago," he said, noting it was also Michelle's hometown.
A woman at the table asked where he would live after he was done wit hthe presidency.
"We haven't figured that out yet," he said. "We're going to have to stay a couple of years so Sasha can finish" school, he said. "Transferring someone in the middle of high school - tough."
He then shooed the press pool out of the restaurant. "Thanks guys," he said. "Get out of here."
(Great thanks to co-pooler Greg Jaffe, Washington Post)
Pool holding in the vans.
Background from the White House
Participants in the lunch include:
In June, Brent Brown - from Mosinee, Wisconsin - wrote the President a letter about the Affordable Care Act. Brent explained that he didn't vote for the President in either election - in fact, he actively campaigned against him. But after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and draining his bank account to the point where he could no longer afford the care he needed, Brent says the Affordable Care Act saved his life.
Karen George wrote to the President in August about her family's story, their struggles and successes, and the ways in which the policies pursued by the President - from the Affordable Care Act to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) - have helped make things a little easier for them. Originally from West Allis, Wisconsin, the Georges recently moved to Springfield, Illinois. Karen wrote: "Your presidency has had a direct, important, personal impact on our lives."
Karen and Sharon Szyszko
Karen Szyszko sent a letter in March to the President on behalf of the Szyszko family to thank him for the Affordable Care Act, which allowed Karen's sister Sharon to get ankle surgery she needed but had to put off for years. Today, Sharon is without pain and according to Karen "a walking testament" to the President's "understanding and care for all Americans."
Susan Campbell, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, wrote to the President in February of 2015 as a relatively healthy adult whose basic medical expenses had previously threatened to wipe her out financially. Through the Affordable Care Act, her expenses have become much more manageable, something that makes her feel empowered. In her letter, Susan cautions against those seeking to overturn the law, stating that doing so would prevent her from ever seeking medical attention again. During the most recent open enrollment, Susan served as an ACA Ambassador - individuals who had written the President to thank him for the ACA and wanted to share their stories with others. Susan wrote a letter to other Milwaukee residents, sharing her experience and encouraging them to spread the word about open enrollment.
AFP White House Correspondent