Obama uses Leetsdale man's letter as example
John Mier has written letters to elected officials in several offices over the years.
But the Leetsdale man said he never imagined a letter he sent last week to President Obama about the Affordable Care Act would be read for the nation to hear.
“I'm a letter writer. It's important that citizens do that — and to do that in an intelligent way,” Mier, 62, said.
In his letter, Mier proclaimed his support for the health care law.
Mier, who is self-employed, said the law helped him and his wife receive affordable health care coverage, which is why he wrote to the president.
“The Affordable Care Act is not perfect,” he said in an interview with the Herald. “It could have been better. Both sides went into it with the wrong direction. But all in all, it is a good first step.”
In Obama's remarks about John's letter — during a news conference on Monday — he said: “I got a letter last week from a self-employed man named John Mier in Leetsdale, Pa. He used the new marketplace to get himself and his wife covered and save a lot of money. And here's what he said because it pretty much sums up my message today: ‘Yes, the website really stank for the first week. But instead of paying $1,600 per month for a group insurance plan, we have a plan that will only cost us $692 a month — a savings of $900 per month.' John said … when he saw what they'd be paying, he turned to his wife and told her, ‘We might just pull through. We can afford this.' And John eventually predicted that ‘the website will work like a champ.'”
In the hours after Mier's letter was read, he received phone calls from media outlets across the country.
But Mier said he hopes his 15 minutes of fame are over soon.
“I had my ‘Joe the Plumber' moment,” Mier said. “But I stepped back.”
His unwanted fame won't keep him from writing more letters, though.
“Whenever someone says ‘I can't make any changes,' yes you can,” Mier said. “You might not know it at the time.”
Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sewickley to replant trees; Wolcott Park gazebo heading to Quaker Heights
- Gilded Age estate opening to public for Sewickley Garden Tour
- PNC Park serves as church for Sewickley priest
- Sewickley teen organizes TEDx talk
- Leet girl’s treehouse forced to come down
- Sewickley theater gets council’s green light
- Pileup sends 2 to hospital, shuts down highway