North Carolinians tell Obama aide about healthcare issues

The national campaign to change the health care system came to North Carolina on Tuesday, when workers, employers and doctors told an aide to President Barack Obama about their frustrations finding or providing medical treatment.

Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House office on Health Care Reform, collected stories from people who were laid off close to retirement, who were self-employed or who struggle to pay for employees' insurance as costs rise as the economy falters.

The stories had a common theme. Workers lost their jobs and their health-care coverage, forcing them into a high-priced insurance market where they had to pay for having been sick in the past.

David Penkava, 65, of Asheboro, said he was laid off from a Hanesbrands plant three years ago after 42 years with the company. He had health insurance, but the company stopped subsidizing the premiums. His costs jumped from $126 a month to $1,000 a month.

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