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. Mike, Arkansas

    how many other "stories" is she gonna tell before she gets them right and accurate and stop "foolin" the voters of the country she claims to be able to run. I am not for a president who is going to tell me stories that are not honest. This proves maybe she lies.. or her memory is going bad from Old age to run this country. Bosnia, Canada, Hospital/Insurance, her foreign experience. I think she needs to retire and get some test run on her.

    April 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Beca

    Source, the Sheriff Office in Ohio! They are the liars!

    April 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. ahmed

    you americans are vicious dogs. i used to think democrats were less evil than republicans but now i see from posts by Obama supporters here you democrats are just as vicious. cannibals! a curse on both your houses.

    April 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Jot

    Did the woman and her child die? I believe if this woman was still living we would have got the right answer but the fact that she is dead you Clinton haters you can say whatever you want. She did not make up the story, she was told by the police officer then she got so much affected and the fact that she cares so much about health care she was compiled to use the story in her campaigns. You busturds you are forgetting that the woman is dead and her child. If she was still alive then Clinton would have been a lier. MKL did not stop hatred or racism in this country niether would Barakamania

    April 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Andrea

    Before you all tear Senator Clinton to shreds, check out this story:

    A gentleman that was very ill with AIDS was turned away from the hospital because there were not enough beds. They told him he was too sick to be in the hospital and could catch any illness and die because of his weak immune system. Isolation rooms anywhere for this kind of illness? Not for this gentleman.

    It does happen in America.

    April 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. SA in OO

    I'm really not a Hillary fan, and her staff should have checked the story before using it in the stump speach.

    BUT if she (or any of the candidates) needs some good personal stories to support the fact that we really need to totally rethink healthcare, they need only get a copy of Sicko. It's full of well documented cases just like this.

    The country needs and deserves a universal health care system – like the ones that Canada, Britain, France and even Cuba have.

    The problem is that when any of these candidates dare to tell us the truth about this, the corporations that have a stake in the truly shameful and totally unethical system we have use all the forces at there disposal ($$$$$$$$$$) to take them out.

    As much as I dislike Hillary, this story isn't about her "misspeaking" again. It's about changing a broken system, and finding a candidate with the guts to try and fix it. She was that person some 15 years ago, but she was beat down by a rigged system and backed off. It's hard to blame her.

    April 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Bademus

    Hillary doesn't lie, it's all spin by the pro-Obama media. They are reporting on things that don't matter like:
    Fake sniper fire in Bosnia
    Negotiating opening borders in Macedonia when they were already open when she got there
    Oposing NAFTA from the start while there is video footage of her support
    Telling North Carolina that Obama doesn't want them to vote, even though wants them to and is leading by about 12% in the polls
    Saying early on that she wouldn't go after pledged delegates
    Pro-Obama? When they did have something negative to show about him (that he didn't say himself and doesn't agree with) they showed those pastor clips in a constant loop for a solid week.
    Sorry but Clinton just keeps on digging herself into a hole with the pattern of lying.

    April 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. TedM

    Hillary Clinton seems to have a credibility issue, and I can see why. She touts all this experience, yet time after time the "experience" seems to be smoke and mirrors and falsifications.

    It's a shame – Hillary Clinton is a very smart and capable woman, and god knows we could use more in Washington. What we don't need in Washington is another mis-leader, and it appears that's what we would get with Hillary Clinton.

    April 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Fred

    I am a 51yr. old teamster and I am white from Oregon. And we have both feet on the ground here. It will go to OBAMA. It will be a sweeping Landslide. We had are NAFTA troubles and we havent forgot who injected it on us. Anouther lie clintons dont want to live up to.

    April 6, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Peachy Keen

    Please, will this woman ever say anything that is true? Unreal! You just can't believe a word she says. I am beginning to think she is worse than GW when it comes to honesty.

    This is called sociopathic and pathalogical behaviour. How much more of it will it take before the Hillary maniacs can see thru the facade and realize it is all bs?

    Please Hillary groupies, wake up!

    April 6, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. OlderBudWeiser

    News Flash: Mom's don't expire from childbirth very often. People who DO have insurance also die. We will all die one day no matter whether we live high risk, or healthy. Educated guess: This mom may have had other health problems that contributed to her demise post still birth. Fact: According to the TRUTH, she DID have health insurance, was treated, and transfered to another facility for a higher level of care. She did not die because she was not insured, as Hillary claimed before knowing the facts. She was NOT denied medical care.
    What Hillary did was rub salt in the wounds of her family for her own political gain. Her base constituants being older female voters, she knew this would pull at heart strings and tweak emotions of the female gender. Instead, it backfires because she lied.
    Her Bosnia lie and appearing on Jay Leno to joke about it has pissed off Bosnia, the military, and a lot of people at home. Ireland thinks she's a "wee bit silly" as does much of the world. Lie upon lie! Can you trust someone who keeps lying to you? I can't!

    April 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. JacknJill

    Can you Clintonites just not wake up and spell LIAR!?!?!?!?
    We do NOT need this type of leader anymore!
    No More Lying Clintons or Bush's!!!!!!!!

    This woman has got to see someone about her pathalogical lying!!!!!!

    April 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. mg


    April 6, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. murphy

    another scary moment of the clinton episodes,where is your honor if you do win the presidency , which one of your hand will be on the bible when you are sworn in,or will your fingers behind your back that will be crossed.(SHAME ON YOU)

    April 6, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Angela

    She was using this story as an example of what does happen in hospitals in the U.S. And it doesn't just happen in hospitals it happens at Dr. Offices. If you don't have money they won't see you.

    April 6, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. BOB

    LIAR, LIAR, LIAR, LAIR!!!! When can she stop. Ever since the latest implication of Hillary's lie, ELEVEN PEOPLE I PERSONALLY KNOW THAT WERE SUPPORTING HER HAVE SWICTHED THEIR ALLEGIANCE TO – Guess whom?


    That is the price you pay for being a habitual LIAR. Hillary Clinton should not even smell the presidency of America anymore. SHE IS DONE!.

    April 6, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. kelley

    Ms. Clinton has a lgon history of unethical behavior:

    April 6, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. TR

    I will vote for HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 6, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. robin

    i work in a hospital and NOONE has ever been turned away for lack of insurance or not able to pay the co pay/deductable. Most hospitals wait till you are out and if you have no insurance they will make a paymant plan with you and even if you do have insurance they will make a plan for the copay , if you need to. i agree with the lady who said why should we pay for everyone else health insurance? No one pays for my food, house ,ect. The job of the us goverment, according to the constutution, is insure domastic tranquilty and provid for the common defence, not health care for every one. Remeber when the goverment had the post office!! They couldn't even run that and now they want to run health care. And most countries that have socialiezed medician have 50% tax rate. ANd ask miss liar how she or Obama how they are going to pay for their health care programs.

    April 6, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Jesse


    Another Clinton lie!

    Another bad decision on day 0

    Hillary can't get her story straight and can't keep lying to people and exaggerating her experience

    All her experience can be summed up as the wife of the president!

    And if you think she is so experienced then Chelsea should be the governor of some state???

    Wake up people.

    April 6, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Caroline

    I don't know about the rest of America, but I certainly don't want a compulsive liar for a president.

    April 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Dale

    Health Care is a serious issue. So serious that when a candidate wants to use examples to show why improvements are needed they have to make sure of their facts. One mistake is all that is need to pop the balloon of intent. Especially for a candidate that has the (be it due to her own fault or not) baggage of being seen as someone who fabricates her stories in order to make her points.

    What could she and her advisors be thinking to use a story like this and not get the facts? There was a name, a location and a time – everything needed verify information to back up her agenda. Instead, she misused the information and has now turned it against her and those who suggest that Health Care needs to be fixed in the U.S. The story is now a mockery thanks to her own doing and no one wishing to convince those on the fence or the other side of the argument on Health Care will ever treat it with the serious nature it may deserve.

    Do we really want someone as president so willing to jump over the facts to move an agenda? We already had that for eight years with the supposed WMD in Iraq. Clinton either needs to learn to move past this "yellow cake" showboating or else drop from the race. As it is, it makes herself look bad, the Democrats hysterical finger-pointers, and the whole politic process silly.

    I expected better of her than this. Another disappointment from Clinton.

    April 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Paul


    April 6, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Patrick Mottola

    Come on Hallary, it seems that she feel the American people are fools. First the sniper story now the hospital story... She calls herself Rocky, but remember Rocky lost against Appolo in Rocky as she will do. I compare Hillary with Roger Clemens, they both spew lies and cant believe the American people dont believe tham. Well the Clintons will be known for sex scandels in the White House, NAFTA (big job losses for Americans), Lies, desprite slandering and destruction on the Demacratic party.

    April 6, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Jerry

    I am collecting voluntary contributions to have this woman checked out in a psychiatric ward.

    April 6, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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