[Official White House transcript of First Lady Michelle Obama's speech to women's advocacy groups at the White House today. You can view video of the entire event here. I have added at the end links to studies or issues mentioned where there were none in the original transcript. Giant H/T to MOMocrat Julie Pippert for organizing outreach/spreading the word on this, and to MOMocrat Glennia for the WH briefing. --Cynematic]
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the First Lady
REMARKS BY THE FIRST LADY
ON WHAT HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM MEANS
FOR WOMEN AND FAMILIES
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
11:33 A.M. EDT
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you all. Please, sit. Rest. (Laughter.) First of all, good morning. I am so thrilled to see so many of you here this morning at the White House. Welcome. And that's including my good friend, Dr. Dorothy Height. (Applause.) You know, she is always there, for the past eight months and before. If there was a big event, an important event, she finds a way to be here. She is my inspiration, and it is wonderful to see you again today. Thank you so much. (Applause.)
Thank you all for joining us today for the outstanding work you're doing every day on behalf of women and families all across this country. I have to thank our extraordinary Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, for taking the time to be here. (Applause.) And for her tireless efforts to keep our nation healthy. And that includes not just pushing for health insurance reform but preparing us for H1N1, pursuing cutting-edge research to find treatments and cures for tomorrow. Clearly this is not the easiest portfolio she could have, but she is doing a terrific job, and we are grateful for her leadership.
And I also want to thank Tina Tchen, who you all know, for emceeing today. (Applause.) She, too, is doing a fabulous job as Director of our Office of Public Engagement, and she played a critical role in pulling together today's event -- not just as an emcee but as a key figurehead, making sure that we're all aware of what's going on.
And finally, I want to thank the three women behind me -- to Debi, Easter, and Roxi. (Applause.) It is not easy to come here and tell your story. And these stories aren't new. You know, these stories are happening all over this country, not just for thousands of women -- for millions of them. For two years on the campaign trail, this was what I heard from women, that they were being crushed, crushed by the current structure of our health care. Crushed. But these stories that we've heard today, and all of us -- if we're not experiencing it, we know someone who is. These are the stories that remind us about what's at stake in this debate. This is really all that matters. This is why we are fighting so hard for health insurance reform. This is it. This is the face of the fight.