April 6th, 2008
02:11 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton drops hospital story from stump speech

Clinton campaigned in Montana Saturday.

Clinton campaigned in Montana Saturday.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton’s campaign says the candidate will stop telling the story of an uninsured pregnant woman who lost the baby and died after being denied medical care, following a hospital raising questions over its accuracy.

Clinton has frequently told the emotional story of the woman from rural Ohio since late February. In the speech, Clinton said the woman made minimum wage working at a local pizza restaurant, without insurance, when she became pregnant. Clinton said the woman ran into trouble and went to a hospital in a nearby county but was denied treatment because she couldn’t afford a $100 payment.

In the speech, Clinton said the woman later was taken to the hospital by ambulance and lost the baby. The young woman was then taken by helicopter to a Columbus hospital where she died of complications.

As recently as Friday night in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Clinton said, “As I was listening to this story being told, I was just aching inside. It is so wrong, in this good, great and rich country, that a young woman and her baby would die because she didn’t have health insurance or a hundred dollars to get examined.”

But an Athens, Ohio hospital is questioning the accuracy of the story. While Clinton never named the hospital in her speech, the woman she was referring to was treated at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens. The hospital said the woman did indeed have insurance, and at least at their hospital was never turned away.

Hospital chief executive officer Rick Castrop in a statement said, “we reviewed the medical and patient accounts of the patient” after she was named in a newspaper story about Clinton’s stump speech. “There is no indication that she was ever denied medical care at any time, for any reason. We clearly reject any perception that we ever denied any care to this woman.”

A hospital spokesperson confirmed to CNN the woman had insurance. She said the hospital decided to come forward after people in the community began to question if they had denied her care.

Clinton was first told the story during a campaign visit to a family’s living room in Pomeroy, Ohio. Bryan Holman, who was hosting the candidate, at the event told her on Febuary 28, ‘I’d like to tell you a story of a young women I know that didn't have health insurance. She worked in a little pizza place around here and she was pregnant and worked for minimum wage ..The hospital told her she needed a hundred dollars up front that she didn't have, of course.”

Clinton’s speech accurately reflects what she was told that day, but the campaign admits they were not able to confirm the account.

Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said, “She had no reason to doubt his word”. He said,” Candidates are told stories by people all the time, and it’s common for candidates to retell those stories. It’s not always possible to fully vet them, but we try. For example, medical records are confidential. In this case, we tried but weren’t able to fully vet the story.”

Elleithee added, “If the hospital claims it didn’t happen that way, we certainly respect that and she won’t repeat the story.”

“She never mentions the hospital by name and isn’t trying to cast blame. She tells this story because it illustrates the point that we have a very serious health care problem in America. That’s a point very few people will dispute," he also said.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (884 Responses)
  1. Michael in Columbus, Ohio

    she just "mis-spoke" again......

    April 6, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. brad

    How many lies does she have in her purse?
    Ferry tale teller not president.
    Not buying anymore her false stories, I'm now for Obama.

    April 6, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. BigJim

    "She had no reason to doubt his word"?

    Sure she did. Hospitals are required by law to treat pregnant patients, regardless of insurance status.

    If the story had been true, you can be sure there would have been a huge lawsuit and it would have been all over the news.

    April 6, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Bruce J. Cameron

    Where did the notion come from that health care is something that someone else should pay for instead of our taking the responsibility ourselves? No one pays for my food, no one pays for my clothes, no one pays for my housing. Why should I expect someone else to pay for my health care?

    April 6, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Natasha

    There is such a thing as fact checking. Journalists use it all over the world. If Hillary's team can not get their act together and provide truth to her speeches then for me her credibility ship is sinking fast. I was a Hillary supporter, but she has become dishonest and untrustworthy in my eyes. I do not want the type of president who will do any and everything to win. I want someone how can be honest, thoughtful, have independent thoughts and not resort to lies and unpleasant bickering. As of last month I have transported by political affections to Obama, who appears to be a more trustworthy candidate, and does not need to fabricate stories to get his points across to the public. Get your act together Hillary!

    April 6, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. MD

    So what's new? Another lie? Another embellishment?

    Hillary Clinton is a habitual liar. When are people going to be believe that?

    April 6, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Alice

    Well, not surprising she didn't confirm the story. She didn't read the Natl Intell Report on Iraq before voting to go to war either.

    April 6, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Mike

    For those you who have asked and said how did the hospial know tthat Hillary was talking about there hospital,, read the article, tha woman's name was mentioned in news paper, so now you figure it out... the woman had insurance and she wasn't turned away...yes she lost her baby, it was still born, and later the woman died of her injuries...even if Hillary did get her story from the police, it should have been investigated for more details, before she went on another rant, about something she knew nothing of...and create it a situation to put herself in so to look like she was telling another lie...When will she learn to get her facts straight... She knows how to work the peopl and those fools just continue to listen, and to believe everything that comes out of her mouth...Politics is about speeches and promises,
    but she has added a lie with every speech..

    Some are have said well Hillary has more experience, well it has been proven, her experience has no merit, it has been well documented, people she was the first lady, not the president, she held tea parties, visted kids in the hospital, chant with other first wives,
    my goodness she didn't even have a high security cleanance to attend any such meetings..Her trips abroad were all good will trips, nothing else....Granted every politician has to start of as the new kid n the block, no experience, you're as green as a green apple, but that doesn't mean that you can't do a good job or even to a better job than those of more experience, in most cases that works to your adavantage because you're not corrupt yet, you haven't learned how to play that dirty game, so everything you do is on the up and up, you're working for the people as you started out to do...But this womanHillary is in it for herself, all she wants from the people is their votes..You see politics has been Hillary's and Bill's life, if and when she looses, they would have to go back to Little Rock, with Chelsea in tow, knowing that it's the end of the line.....

    Who knows maybe she would have been a good present, not a great
    president, if not for all the lies....it;s like when your child tells and and he or she continues to lie even about the litte things, and because of sso many lies that have been told, you just can't believe anything that comes out of that childs moth anymore..."cryied wolf too many times.. and saying that how can you have a candidate to be your president, who has been caught in so many lies....which is so different than making promises, because promises is all about politicing.. but not a lie that can be proven in a matter of minutes every time you open your mouth Hillary..

    April 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. PunchBuggy

    She needs to stop lying and making up stories all in an effort to get votes. It's only hurting her credibility.

    April 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. julie35

    I would have to question the person who told that story to Hillary ,Mr.Holman? He obviously did not have the facts.So then you have to wonder why he mentioned it?

    April 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Rick

    So there she goes again.... Will there be no end to the miss speaks, lies, etc,etc, etc, I guess she has been sleep deprived since February. I have heard her give this tale – she tells it with so much emotion - what an actor!
    Please, superdelegates – put an end to this! Do we really want this person to be President of the United States? Can we be proud of this?

    April 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Independent in Florida

    I am insulted everytime Mrs. Clinton changes her moods from angry to sentimental CNN and other networks are so excited about it because she showed her ‘human side’?

    What is her ‘human’ side?

    Isn’t it cruel to use to say to millions of Americans that our medical system will let us die if we don’t have $100 for a medical check up?

    Isn’t it cruel to make us believe that she risked her life by going to Bosnia? And then joke about it on Leno’s show?

    Being tough is one thing. But, when a presidential candinate is exhibiting this type of behaviour it is quite scary.

    April 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. mike

    Don't drop that lie, just drop out of the race with all your lies it will make life easier for everybody!

    April 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Not for clinton anymore

    Does she have anymore stories to tell? If she does, I don't believe her anymore. She is getting to the level of inventing the internet......PA please take notice, that she says whatever to win and never means it. She doesn't care about your vote becuase if she doesn't lead popular vote or delegate she wants to go against the will of the people....

    April 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. David

    She accuses Obama of many things.
    Did she think American people are stupid?

    Why don't she just tell the simple truth.
    This is another evidence that she manipulate things. First Bosnia, when people find out she said she misspoke. How can you misspoke of such a thing? She is not a marine, maybe we will say she was thinking of different thing. She never have to hide for bullet before.

    Now thesame story all ment to manipulate voters.

    April 6, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Julio

    The real problem for Hillary with all the lies that she's been telling, and all the stories she's made up out of thin air are the voters who have cast their votes for her based on those issues. As we say... fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Let's only pretend she and her lying, and race baiting husband somehow will be able to convince enough "superdelegates" to vote for her and win the nomination. How the will they be able to convince the millions who had voted for her based on those false claims to do it again...

    April 6, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. KCR Hanford, CA

    Surprise! The drama queen will have to scrape around for another script. After delivering all of her angst-filled "real life" stories on the stump, Hillary can add "actress" to her list of accomplishments. Unfortunately, she's not not believable in any of her roles. Stop the lies, HRC. The curtain is coming down...

    April 6, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Scot

    What a beautiful metaphor for Senator Clinton's decision making process...

    "She had no reason to doubt his word"... sounds like her approach to her Iraqi war vote.

    "It's not always possible to fully vet them..." sounds like her approach to prewar intelligence data.

    Yup... Ready on Day One.

    April 6, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. AZ

    Another Hillary lie. Big suprise. Big deal. When will the press realize that voters do not care whether Hillary "exaggerates," "misspeaks" or outright lies to get her message across. She is ready from Day One. She has the experience having been First Lady and a two-term senator to be president. That's all that matters, right?

    April 6, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Mark

    Just one of the many lies of the Clintons Campaign.We need Change.
    OBAMA 2008

    April 6, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Smart

    The only problem here is that the story lid blew too soon.

    Not to worry.
    There are much more stories she can fabricate or copy to win votes. It does not matter as long as the truth is not discovered before the target primary election.

    April 6, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Will

    The story regarding Obama's pastor is NOT a worthwhile story. This is MONUMENTAL!!!!

    April 6, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Elliott

    Another LIE from Camp Clinton, go figure. I can believe that some want this person to be our President.

    April 6, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. carrie

    this woman is really getting on my last nerve.is she capable of telling the truth at all?i feel sorry for america.

    April 6, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. Cyp

    differs from this ticker
    another proof of mis – information and anti Hillary bias.

    April 6, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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