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. V in CA

    She was told about this by a POLICE chief.

    Hmmm... maybe we should start investigating all of Obama's campaign stories. All those he's heard from others. All of those dozens of them...

    Hmmm.... now THAT would be important.

    How about we focus on Iraq? Or Iran? Or Pakistan? Or the recession? Or Afghanistan? Or the mortgage crisis? Or something that means SOMETHING.

    April 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. lou

    i wonder if the pregnant lady ever came under sniper fire as well??

    there is no end to the clintons lying.

    April 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. pete

    The couple is just full of lies, and yet a lot of people still believe in them. When Bill publicly denied the Monica relationship, a lot of his supports came out and publicly defended him, including that of the Albright. It was a betrayal of trust. He used them and they were willing to fall for it. Hillary behaved just like Bill and this election really shows their true color. Many on the left would say that Bush and his gang lie too and lie a lot. But few truly doubt their patriotism. Incompetence and arrogance may be the worst words that I would give them. But their intention to protect the country and to punish those that harm the US is unquestionable. The liberal left tried years in vain to try to prove that there were self interest in it. In contrast, the Clinton acted totally for their self interest. Hillary is willing risk damaging the Democratic party and is calling for the count of the MI and FL votes in violation of the rules just tell you that nothing is more important than themselves.

    April 6, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Michael, North Carolina

    Sen. Clinton has yet again shown that she DOES NOT HAVE GOOD JUDGEMENT! In order to be a leader you must DOUBLE CHECK, AND TRIPLE CHECK THE ISSUES, BEFORE YOU MAKE A DECISION ON WHAT HAS BEEN BROUGHT FOURTH TO YOU! This is why Sen. Obama is the better candidate. He was right about IRAQ, AND HAS PLAYED BY THE RULES CONCERNING MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA. Sen. Clinton has played on the FEARS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, and has tried to change the rules of the democratic race, when she thinks she may not win. I know the American people are smart enough to see threw the CLINTON LIES, AND WILL VOTE FOR SEN. OBAMA.


    April 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Israel Nutter

    Let us say that she repeated it as she heard it. SHE IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES PEOPLE!! If her campaign could not vet the story, it SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REPEATED AS IF SHE LIVED IT FIRSTHAND. Doing that is darn near a lie!

    April 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. William

    She didn't lie, she was given bad information. Perhaps they should have checked it out, but they didn't have any reason to believe it wasn't true. The media and you crazed Obama fans like to blow things out of proportion. Go Hillary, if not Hillary, then go McCain. Never Obama

    April 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Juan

    And once again the Obama campaign is quiet about this. Its disheartening and frustrating to see the Obama campaign get comfortable. If anything this woman and her campaign are a wreck!! A wreck to the nation. Her and her husband. Enough of two families bringing down this country for two decades. I will vote for McCain over Hillary.

    April 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Janis

    It's inherently wrong to tell such a story without ever bothering to check the facts. The woman had insurance. Furthermore, no hospital would have turned her away, or demanded $100.00 up front.

    From her Bosnia story, to the "there's no such thing as pledged delegates" while she's out there trying to get the superdelegates to over turn the vote of the people, to her lies regarding NAFTA... and outsourcing to India... to her "I'm more qualified to be President because I lived in the White House for 8 years" she just comes off looking more pathetic by the day.

    April 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Allan

    Hillary Clinton DID NOT lie. She told the story as it was told to her. Her campaign could not vet the story because medical records are confidential. The hospital in question claims the pregnant woman was not denied care. Clinton accepts the hospital's claim. She will stop using the story. End of story. You people are such imbeciles, jumping on the bandwagon this way and that way, whichever way the wind blows.

    April 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Dave

    This is the same woman who claims she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, climber of Mount Everest. (Remember this from years ago?) I believe Edmund Hillary was less than 10 years old when Hillary Rodham was born, and he was not yet worldwide famous.

    April 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Will

    If the hospital was covering the facts, Hillary campaign wouldn't need to drop the story but they did because they knew it was a fabrication.

    She would have fought it just like she fought the Sinbad story.

    April 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Lynn

    First you need to know and tell the Truth to America, before you can have "Solutions for America".

    April 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. disappointed

    SNIPERS and NO INSURANCE another CLINTO EXAGERATION OF THE TRUTH. Hillary its such a shame that you can not het a story true at all. There were NO SNIPERS AND THE LADY HAD INSURANCE. God Help Us if Yoy Get The Nomination. Lies, LIES and MORE LIES from the CLINTONS

    April 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Polly from mid-america

    "Hi, I am a white female with some age on me...and, and, I wish the media would stop highlighting the missteps, misquotes, lies, etc. that MY candidate is involv ed with. If WE could focus on the issues and the fact that MY candidate could at least talk about the major issues while her staff and aides conduct backdoor sessions with her real interests...come on now, just because she can no longer shed a tear, she is still as much as a man as her husband." Go Hill !!!! You got my vote! All those Obama folks can go live in reality someplace else–lets scrapbook!!!!!!!!!!

    April 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |


    United States presidential election, 2000 –Bush Vs Gore. We "Fellow Americans" handed our nation to G.W Bush and went to sleep. 2008. 8 years later we are still cry foul. Here we are again, my people, shall we sit through another 4, maybe 8 years before we understand the implications nominating another G.W Bush?

    It seems like we are still toiling with the notion of whether or not the name
    Hillary Clinton should be remotely considered for the 2008 presidential election. Again, We had a great opportunity with Gore in 2000 but we gift wrapped it and handed it to GW.

    We have all sat by these long months and followed the events of these primaries and caucuses, debates and by God, the Lies, ohhh the lies,
    it is choking the life out of me. And to think that we will sit here and let her continue with it is just a large dose of insult to YOU. Yes I mean you, your reading this aren't you. I dare not say "insult your intelligence" because so far we lost our intelligence in 2000 with GW. With that loss we have Mrs. Clinton, nursing us lies by the bottle, weekly. Sniper this, Nafta that, Pregnant Woman, here and another on over there with her children bundled up in blanket.

    Lets all accept the fact that we fogged up in 2000 and challenge ourselves that it wont happen again.

    With all these Miss-Speaking, and Mr-Remebering, lack of Judgement and what not, we need to start holding our candidates responsible for their actions.

    Lets Break it down People, shall we?

    Lending money to Her Campaign? Its her campaign not mine therefore if you have used your money good and well. Dont expect that when you use the word Lend, someone will have to pay when you fail to get nominated.

    NAFTA or N- AFTER:
    It is ok to take a stand for or against an issue. But when the going gets hot we need to the HILLary can stand the heat. I wonder what happened to all those NAFTA supporters that put their faith on her years ago.

    Again it ok to take a stand. Just so we know where HILL is at all times. Mc Cain is. It aint ok to say hey GW let light up Iraq but in '08 dude your on your own.

    JEEZLUWEEZZ!! Come on. If you misremember running for cover under sniper fire I wonder what else is remembered. This is our national security issue we are dealing with here. Forget the 3AM phone call. I wonder if she'll remember which room the red phone is located.

    What can I Say! When you have you advisers and strategists running off like loose cannons and throwing their own parties under your watch. And you know nothing about it? Not just a low level adviser or strategist but your chief political Strategist and you know nothing about it. Come on America. Should we even let Hillary respond to this one?

    Lady you are running for the seat of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Show us some respect. Or at least show some human side for the family of this poor lady that you have chosen to humiliate. This is tantamount to pilfering from a dead body. Where is your human side.

    This is CHAOS in the making if we dare repeat 2000 election in 2008.
    PA, NC, IN We are asleep but we aint that asleep. Let it Rip !!!!!

    April 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Debra

    I'm starting to wonder if Hillary might be Bipolar. Between the constant mood swings, and truly believing that you (and your child) had to run under sniper fire while a child hands you flowers, and saying she's against NAFTA when she was out in public touting the benefits of outsourcing, and voting for the war in Iraq, now saying that she was against the war BEFORE Obama was...... things that make ya go Hhmmm.....

    April 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. EmmaAtlanta

    Hillary did not make up this story. The Sherif Department did. Has the CNN verified with the Sherif? Remember that Clinton said 'as I listen to this story being told.' She did not say she saw the woman or did she say she went to the hospital. CNN seems to be the only media that does not know that we have a very serious health care problem in America. CNN is so biased that Hillary might put them out of business. Watch.

    April 6, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. R.J Lewis



    Chelsea ran up the clock...

    while Bill came tumbling down...

    And none of Queen's spinners could stitch her back in time...

    Her campaign sounds so like a nursery rhyme gone bad. Sad, that I liked this woman a few years ago. She seemed genuine. Now, she is so pathetic....why does she need to lie repeatedly, when just the truth will suffice.

    April 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. dan davenport

    Hillary seems to be on a roll with the lies lately, Bosnia, NAFTA, pregnant mother, Columbian ties,etc......she's pathetic and history will look back on this woman as singlehandly trying her hardest to destroy the democratic party. This is tragic.

    April 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. P

    Wow– I have thought about commenting for awhile and now I just couldn't wait any longer...All of you need to just keep your mouths shut and think for a minute.

    Hillary keeps getting slammed for things that are seriously small beer....if that story didn't happen to this woman, then it undoubtedly has happened to another. It really doesn't matter. Politics should be about the issues...not this silly stuff.

    And if CNN covered Obama's slip-ups and mistakes nearly as well as they covered Hillary's then none of you would have anything to talk about.

    Honestly, this is getting ridiculous...you accuse Hillary of bringing the Democrats ruin...but it's all of you being hateful and probably partially sexist. Let's get back to the issues.

    April 6, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Linda

    To lie.....to make a statement that one KNOWS is false !

    I can't believe if anyone LISTENED to the man telling Hillary this heart breaking story ...you wouldn't take what he said for the truth and infact the truth is THE LADY AND THE BABY ARE DEAD TODAY..Why is that a lie if you repeat something that was told to you with such sincerity and in retelling it SAY ...."when listening to this story that was told to me "
    Why not stop being so petty and trying to make much to do about nothing (that goes for this nit- picking reporting by Candy Crowley) CNN use to be so responsible and my favorite news but I now will only watch certain anchors there due to the unprofessional reporting such as this. You sound like a bunch on kids on a playground....Grow up and get to the issues ! Perhaps we would be better served if CNN could come up with a story on how our Healthcare system has failed so many and WHO is going to do something about it !

    April 6, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Gnosticman

    I am an Obama supporter but I beg my fellow supporters to not heavily criticize Hillary for this. She was simply going on the word of the family members. Health care is important, and I usnderstand why Hillary would bring up a personal account. She could have been more savvy and researched the story, but she was probably more compelled to simply believe the poor folks who told it. As supporters of Obama we should follow his lead and attempt to take the higher ground of understanding and tolerance.

    April 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. mike

    So at the very least she is misrepresenting that she heard the story from a credible source – let's see the Hillary supporters squirm out of that.

    It is not a fact that things like this happen every day – no one in America is dying on emergency room doorsteps because they don't have insurance, as she would have her supporters believe. Wake up and realize that she is a lost cause – your money, time, and votes are wasted on her.

    But if you must, keep sending her money – just do yourselves a favor and ask what happens to unspent campaign contributions after the candidate drops out – you can bet that at the least her $5M loan will be the first debt paid by her soon to be defunct campaign. At the worst she'll pocket all surplus.

    April 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. anne

    At best, this story is another demonstration of Hillary's lack of judgement. She failed to see obvious red flags in the narrative and went with the story without properly vetting it first. How then can we trust her to get the facts and make the right judgements on more far-reaching issues like WMD proliferation and free trade agreements?

    At worst, this story is the latest illustration of her longstanding pattern of deception of the American public.

    Either way, the conclusion is the same–this should not be the first woman president of the U.S. She will bring shame on us all, and 16 years is enough of that already.

    April 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. Dan

    For all the Clinton apologists out there, please understand that no one is saying that health care is not an issue, so please stop saying this in order to excuse Hillary's lie.

    The issue this article is talking about is another example of Hillary "misspeaking" for her own political gain. How many lies will it take for Clinton supporters to the see the light? 50? 100? 500? She may be smart and gifted, but she is also a liar. The longer Clinton supporters continue excuse this behaivor, the more likely they are deem lying as acceptable and lose the ability to view this character trait as dangerous. And that my folks is what is most dangerous.

    Wake up People!!!!!

    April 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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