Entries in Pearl Jam (2)


Pearl Jam Guitarist Makes Plea for Obamacare

David Becker/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Mike McCready, the lead guitarist for the ’90s grunge band Pearl Jam, tells a personal story of his own pre-existing medical condition during a video in which he urges voters to cast their ballot for President Obama on Nov. 6.

McCready suffers from Crohn’s disease, a chronic illness of the gastrointestinal tract. In a video released Monday on Pearl Jam’s official YouTube channel and entitled “Life is a Pre-existing Condition,” he speaks about his personal struggles with insurance companies and how the Affordable Care Act has affected him.

“I’ve been denied coverage two times in my life,” McCready says, as he wanders through a wooded area. “And it’s after I’ve been in a big, successful rock band. I have met a lot of people who have been denied coverage who don’t have the resources to fight insurance companies, and they shouldn’t have to do that.”

“Because of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, we’re about to have health care for everyone. It really means that, you know, for myself, I have a pre-existing condition and I feel like I have some hope. Anybody that doesn’t have the kind of means that I have will have it too,” he said.

The video was produced with McCready’s friend, filmmaker Jesse Dylan. It ends with encouraging voters to end discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions by casting their ballots on election day.

McReady isn’t the only Pearl Jam member supporting Obama. Last month, lead singer Eddie Vedder was spotted at a $20,000 per plate Obama fundraising dinner in Florida.

McCready went public with his illness in 2003 while he was on tour promoting Pearl Jam’s album Riot Tour.

Speaking to the Northwest Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America in 2003, McCready described what it was like to live with Crohn’s while on the road.  “Playing onstage, I’m always aware of where the bathrooms are,” he admits. “When Crohn’s hits, I have to run, or it won’t be pretty.”

But the issues surrounding chronic illness have become especially salient this election cycle with Republican Mitt Romney promising to dismantle the Affordable Care Act without clarifying if he would keep the protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Romney’s website says the candidate will fight to “prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage.” There is still confusion on whether or not this will keep in place the protections for people who are currently uninsured, as they have not had continuous coverage.

Romney said in the first debate that he had a plan to deal with pre-existing conditions, but did not go into detail on how it would address those who have had significant gaps in their coverage.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Talks '47 Percent' with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- While in Florida Thursday night, President Obama spent some time hobnobbing with 85 of his wealthiest supporters, including former Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and Pearl Jam star Eddie Vedder.

One of the top talking points at the $20,000-per-head event:  Mitt Romney’s recent comments on the “47 percent.”

Vedder, who performed an acoustic set ahead of Obama’s remarks, cracked a birther joke as he traded his mandolin for a ukelele from Hawaii. “It has a little birth certificate in there,” he kidded.

He later offered a more serious reflection on politics of the day, presenting his personal story as an example of someone who was once among the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax and benefited from a government-funded job training program.

“It was that job which allowed me to keep affording guitars and microphones,” he said. “For me, it all began with that ability to get the proper training for a decent job.”

“It’s very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such an enormous amount of the population,” he said, referring to Romney.

Taking the stage after Vedder’s introduction, Obama said the singer’s story “captures better than anything what this campaign is about and what this country is about.”

Obama, who earlier in the day participated in a Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum, also directly addressed the 47 percent of Americans whom Romney disparaged in a recently released secret video.

“I don’t want their dreams constricted. And I also don’t want our kids to think that somehow success is reserved for them and that somehow half the country is locked out of that success,” he told the crowd of donors.

“I want everybody to be successful. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, able or disabled, and I want everybody to have a chance to success,” he said. “That’s what we’re fighting for in this election.”

The event, expected to raise north of $1.7 million for Obama’s re-election effort, according to figures provided by the Obama campaign, was held at the South Tampa home of Don Miggs and Lisa deBartolo, a daughter of the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, Eddie DeBartolo Jr. Don Miggs is a singer-songwriter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio