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. kevin heard

    It's more sad than it is annoying. Nothing is working for her.

    April 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. wyoming dem

    OOPS, she did it again.

    April 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Muhammad

    Barack Obama is beginning to irritate me with his ultra-liberal positions, but why would anyone continue to support Hillary and her obvious lies is beyond me. This woman lies like a child. Ridiculous!

    April 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. James in Dallas

    Boy o boy o boy! Does this lady ever tell the truth? By the time that the next votes are cast, she won't have a stump speech at all. The only thing she will be able to say that her name is Hillary Clinton. I may actually have to do some fact checking on my own to make sure that she and "Bill the Player" are actually married at all. Shamefull at best.

    April 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. oneway

    Once you start lying it's really hard to stop.

    April 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Sheree, Medford OR

    Just another example of Hillary lying. I wonder why she keeps screwing up like this? You would think that at this crucial time in a very difficult and competitive campaign, she would have the sense to make sure that everything that comes out of her mouth is the undeniable truth.
    The whole sniper fire story is what turned me off Hillary. She can't deny that story by saying someone told it to her and she can't vet every story. That was her own doing. I will cast my vote for Obama. It's time for a new generation in Washington, not the same old lying, dirty politics, good old boy network that she is part of.
    Hillary, it's time for you to quit.

    April 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Bob

    Oops! Another misspeaking event! What in the world would she say on that 3 am phone call?

    April 6, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |

    If this is a true statement! Then Hillary shame, shame on you!!!

    April 6, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. stu barnes

    So this is the candidate that is running neck and neck in the Dems party?
    You know, I would never expect this out of someone that already went through another scandal in the Whitewater case...I'm just so glad that we all forgot about how trustworthy she is.

    April 6, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Charlotte

    I am quite tempted to sever ties with this blog site. I have been very upset with the name calling by the Obama supporters. The name calling is making me want to call their guy names as well. I find myself, not liking myself. I am using words I never use to use. I see a side of me that isn't very pretty. I support Hillary and dislike the comments of Monster, Wh-re, Adulter, Liar, Thief and some even referrence Murderer. People, unfortunately, commit suicide. To infer she had something to do with Ron Fosters' death, is ridiculous. We spent over 30 million dollars and the Clintons did nothing wrong. Monica is the only thing they could pin on him, and that was not her. If she got away with anything, after that less then independent council was finished, she is the smartest person in the world, and should be President. I feel the Obama supporters are the worst sort of people. They demand to see her White House schedule, just to see how many times she was present when Bill was doing his thing with Monica. The tax returns, to try and somehow blame her for being successful. Just because I'm overweight doesn't mean I don't care about the people who are starving to death. Just because Hillary has money, doesn't mean she cannot feel for the Blue Collar workers. Hillary has devoted her whole adult life for the betterment of her fellowman. She has taken a lot of flak for staying with her husband after his affairs. She is not a quitter, she is a fighter. I would have left mine, but that's me. She has taken a lot of flak for using her maiden name with her married name. Hillary Rodham-Clinton is the best person to run this country, bar none. Barrack Hussien Obama is a fine man, just not ready for the huge task that will be waiting for the next President. We need a real fighter to get this country back on track. Rocky may be a fairy tale, but the idealism is will be very important to the next President.

    April 6, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. stan

    Wow, what more lies are there HRC.

    April 6, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. James

    I am really tired of this woman!

    April 6, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. Allen G.

    When did her or bill ever tell the truth.The both are born liars.Anything to win.Thatb hosiptial should sue her for slander.

    April 6, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. LadyVoter

    I think overall CNN is pro-Obama, MSNBC is way pro Obama and Fox News is the only fair one out there to watch.

    April 6, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Women 4 Obama

    Wow, now Hillary has lied to just about every demographic that has supported.

    She took advantage of a pregnant woman for her gain. Sounds familiar, huh?

    Any woman who votes for her is in for a shock!

    Women 4 Obama!

    April 6, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. Roy Woodson

    Not another one Hil

    April 6, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. King

    While accusing Obama of stealing a part of a speech that was given to him by a co-chair, Clinton just plain spreads a rumor without checking the facts. While Obama stands up to the status quo and opposes a war based on lies, Clinton votes for "use of force" without checking the facts. While trying to further drag Obama's retired clergy through the dirt, Clinton doesn't bother to consult with her own church leadership who agree with Wright. While Clinton trashes NAFTA on the campaign trail, Penn makes back door deals with Columbia on further free trade. Something is wrong here. I try to understand what Clinton supporters are truly seeing but, my education and common sense does not allow me to be persuaded.

    April 6, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. Pinocchio

    Nose, nose anything goes, make Hillary's like Pinocchio's!

    April 6, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Just Wondering

    Bosnia, Northern Ireland, SCHIP, her main anecdote on healthcare (her biggest issue). She lied about her stand on the war vis-a-vis Obama yesterday in Oregon. Is ANYTHING this woman says accurate?

    April 6, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Dee

    wow...after Bosnia- now hospital..she is doomed.

    April 6, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Shawn


    April 6, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. andy

    Hillary made up a story that was completely untrue in an attempt to mislead voters into turning more control of their lives over to a socialist construct?!

    Say it isn't so!

    It is like people have never seen her or her husband before. They lie. Period. Nothing she says is true. Ever.

    How is it that people still lend any credibility to anything she say?

    April 6, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. James

    Open mouth insert lie! Come on Hillary give it one more try!!!

    Clinton supporters are in denial.

    April 6, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Dave

    Hillary must have first heard the hospital story while she was dodging sniper fire. That would explain the inaccuracies.

    April 6, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. Unbelievable

    Typical – she didn't read the intelligence report – and she does no investigative work to see if what she is told is true or false – sounds like George Bush to me – just believes what she wants to hear and people tell her what she wants to hear.

    April 6, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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