Minneapolis woman to join Michelle Obama at State of the Union
February 11, 2013 — 4:16pm
Abby Schanfield of Minneapolis will sit in First Lady Michelle Obama's box during Tuesday's State of the Union address.
Schanfield was among the Minnesotans the Star Tribune profiled in June after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama.
Schanfield was born with toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease. She has had lifelong medical problems, including a brain operation before her first birthday and losing sight in her left eye at 17. Schanfield said that she'd have little chance of buying medical insurance on her own without the law, which aims to prevent insurers from turning away people who have preexisting conditions.
"These are things that healthy people don't quite understand," she said.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the recent University of Minnesota graduate can stay on her parents' insurance policy until she turns 26. Prior to the new law, Schanfield would have lost coverage on her 21st birthday.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."