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. Loretta

    If I were a HIllary Cinton supporter who had helped her financially, I'd be a little bit upset round about now. Not because she's a multi-millionair, but because of the deception she has exhibited through misleading statements and behavior concerning finances. Why, for instance, did she allow her paid campainge workers to go without their pay when they throught she was out of money? Why did she borrow five million from her campaige? To say she borrowed the money means that she expects her supporters to donate an additional five million so she can pay herself back and add that five millions to the other 109.2 million she shares with Bill. It is clear she does not intend to spend any of her own millions to become president. Mitt Romney, another multi-millionair at least was willing to invest some of his own wealth in support of his cause. No wonder she refused to reveal her tax returns until forced to do so. This is just another example of Hillary Clinton's remoteness from honesty. To those individuals who continued to send her money so she won't have to spend her own $109.2 millions, all I can say is it's true that you can fool some of the perple ALL of the time!!

    April 6, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Al Ware

    Hillary Clinton is trying to play on the intelligence of all americans, but she really needs to understand that the majority of the population is not stupid and sees right through her phony antics and lies!

    April 6, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. TymeTravel

    Wow Clinton is leading by a HUGE margin in the lie count...she needs just one more lie to win the bigest liar nomination.!!!

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

    There is so much gender bias by all of these male-owned and dominated media conglomerates that Hillary has been summarily disadvantaged. CNN should take the lead and open up a dialogue about Gender and Politics since their own poll shows Americans are more ready for Black male president than a woman as president. All we are hearing about is Race, Race, Race because Obama happens to be a Black candiate. Well, Clinton is a female candidate and we are not getting the analysis on gender that has been indulged on race.

    If Hillary secures the nomination, it will definetly be destiny because mortal man has done everything to dismiss her. Go Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 6, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Renee

    Hillary, didn't factscheck this story about this poor lady death of her baby and the lady"s death because she wanted to play on American's emotions to get our votes. Fabricate stories coming out of Hillary mouth I will not be able to trust Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is very smart women and she knows that you must check information before speaking out to the public she didnot do this because again playing on the emotions of Americans to get a vote. How low will Hilliary go.

    April 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Sue

    I do not care. I would like to hear about Obama and his change of heart with troops in Iraq. This is an issue!!! Somehow that has been put on the back burner. Every article has a negative for Clinton. She has given some great speeches Obama also told everyone he would in no way cut ties with Wright. Suddenly, after much press he decided (after 20 years!!) to leave the church. Why leave the church if Wright was gone? Would like more press or information on this one. So it works both ways, however the press likes to pound on Hillary. For those of you that are first time voters do not get star struck for Obama. If you are old enough to vote you should be looking at the whole picture and stop the name calling. Both candidates have negatives. This is politics and Hillary is used it...Obama will never survive if he were to be the nominee. So research and research and stop making judgements on the candidates soley on what they promise to do, look at what they have done. The press is very biased! Remember Obama himself said before he decided to run that he did not have the experience to run or be President. The Democratic party will be fine, they have survived much worse and this is only the beginning of a long political battle.

    April 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Robert IL

    I guess she misspoke again. This woman really needs to get some sleep.

    April 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Alfred

    CNN, why why not check the hospital,the fellow that told Mrs.Clinton the story and the family of the woman that died along with her baby before any claim that Mrs.Clinton is the one lying after all someone only told her this sad story we have to remember that this story is all about HEALTHCARE not if Mrs. Clinton is exaggerating or she a liar i know some hate her that her comment is alway justify as lying.

    April 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. George Delaney

    Eggs on everyone face READ AND WEEP.This was reported in the Daily News Paper of Red bluff California today.(Sacramento)A report by a national health advocacy group says at least EIGHT Californians die every day because they lack health insurance or have Insufficient coverage.
    The study conducted by FAMILYS USA, says an estimated 3,100 adults died in California in 2006 because they lacked insurance,could not afford care or received substandard or late care because of a lack of insurance.
    The report follows a three-year study by the national Institute of medicine that linked roughly 18,000 deaths annually to a lack of insurance in the USA.
    Families USA based in Washington, DC, says its report is the first to link deaths to a lack of health insurance on the state level.

    April 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Manubi

    This is really too BAD. A potential Dem nominee would "embellish" an completely untrue story this way. This is really showing the characters of the Clinton campaign and their approach to this election. As long as nobody catches them, she will embellish her story to extreme. This is absolutely too BAD. I thought she has the potential to lead this country. Now I am not so sure about her truthfulness. If I can't trust her as a candidate, how can I trust her as a president?

    Again, Dems should rally behind a nominee who can reverse what GW Bush had done for the last 7 years. The way people can do that is by nominating a trustworthy individual who can actually get something accomplished.

    Independent for Obama 08.

    April 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. Lorraine

    OK. When exactly is the media AND the DNC stop making excuses for this woman and own up to the fact that she has a serious problem. Is there NOTHING that HRC can talk about that is true???

    I am not trying to be nasty...but she is either delusional, a pathological liar, of she is has some sort of medical problem that is causing huge issues with her thought process.

    How are we supposed to rell if she actually KNOWS if what she is saying is real, or not?

    No matter what, how can anyone be confortable with her as President if her ability to tell truth from fiction is THIS compromised??????


    April 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Bill Jones

    Can she get another time on Leno...
    The Tanya Harding strategy must of tripped over the kitchen sink..
    This only shows that trying to hard looks stupid....
    We don't want a President that has to make things up to
    get our support....
    That sounds more like G W Bush...remember WMD's ..where were they?
    Where is HRC's brain?
    Billary election tip #1: engage brain before mouth....
    Where is HRC's brain?
    We all can see where her mouth is.....a loose canon...

    April 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. St. louis

    Just watch the movie "Sicko" that will explain why our country is in a deep trouble with healthcare. It is the same thing with Obama that lies, too. Both Clinton and Obama lies and mislead to stories. So, there is no difference.

    April 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Mikey from Scottsdale AZ

    Hillary's campaign is simply a clinic in disaster.. How on earth can anyone expect this candidate to become Commander In Chief ?
    Be ready on Day One ?? She isn't ready after 35 YEARS of embellished experience.


    Geroge Bush is beginning to look good !

    April 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. james

    I can't believe that she said that they tried to verify it but were unable to... if that is the case you don't use it. Her risk managment skills are awful. After these last couple of weeks I seriously question her judgment. I am pretty sure that I don't want her answering those 3am phone calls.

    April 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Minnesota

    It makes me ache inside when I realize people in this country will support a presidential candidate incapable of telling the truth. Just how stupid does she think Americans are.

    April 6, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. Lisa from GA

    HRC is constantly getting her facts from unreliable sources... how can she be ready on day one... if someone comes and tells her that another country is sending a bomb our way.. would she just fire instead of verifying first,... HRC is a FOLLOWER not a LEADER... and this is not a good sign of a COMMANDER and CHIEF...

    April 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Ila Peterson

    We know Mrs. Clinton told the story as she was told. We know the mother and baby died. We know the mother sought medical attention and, according to the hospital was insured and not turned away. Was that Ohio Medicaid insurance for pregnant women? What great care and diagnostic work was done that she was dismissed twice and reappeared by ambulance with a dead fetus and then flown to Columbus too late to a hospital that couldn't save her. This is nothing short of poor care for a poor woman in a lousy health care system. Mrs. Clinton is not the bogeyman here...just the messenger.

    April 6, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Karen G

    You people may think things like that don't happen but they due,I had a three year old daughter that was buned,and the hospital did not want to admit her because I had no insurance. They put some bandages on her and told us to take her home , we refused and the next day she was in ICU,because she took a turn for the worse during the night,if we would have taken her home she may not be here today. She is now grown and a teacher, that had to work her way through college, because she couldn't get any help with that either.My children worked for everything they have on there own. And SUPRISE they are caucasion. SO grow up and stop picking on Hillary, and go get a life,quit waiting for someone to give it to you.

    April 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Karen Branson,MO

    Is this like not fact-checking going to war in Iraq? Or pulling the wrong facts from her memory on several speeches about the trip to Bosnia? Or the facts surrounding Penn? Or Paul? or her husband? or all the scandals left in Arkansas? it's REALLY scary to think Hillary will make these mistakes in the Oval Office. And I mean SCARY.

    But enough about depression. We are voting FOR the change in Washington in order to get something accomplished. For that, only Obama fits the bill. At least he has the intelligence to READ and check facts.

    April 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Gerry (AUSTRIA)

    It's 3am and once again Hillary´s phone is ringing. . . "This time" it's Pinnochio calliing.

    Ohio hospital disputes Clinton's health care horror stump story. "Another colour to your coat Hillary "

    April 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. Alice

    Actually, the woman and her baby died in sniper fire.

    April 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Sabinus

    Clintion is a liar

    Obama "08"

    April 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. O My!

    She said she had no reason to believe the story wasn't true. Seems to me if her staff could not vett the story she had no reason to believe it was true however, she used the story anyway. That is not the kind of judgement I want in my president.

    Yes We Can!!

    Obama '08

    April 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Ken in Western NY

    Drop out of the race Hillary. You're nothing but a big, fat LIAR.

    You have either lied or embellished greatly your experience and it seems that every time you get caught, you just claim to have misspoken, or that you thought that Gore was going to win the presidency in 2000 when you promised, repeat – PROMISED – Western New Yorkers that you were going to bring hundred of thousands of jobs to upstate New York. Instead, we have lost over 30,000 jobs, thanks to you. New York is the HIGHEST TAXED STATE in the USA. What have you done to reduce taxes here? NOTHING!!! They have only increased.

    I, for one, am totally fed up with you (and your big, fat lying husband). Why don't you just go back to Arkansas. But the fine citizens of Arkansas probably don't want you there either.

    April 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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