April 6th, 2008
02:11 PM ET
7 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. Mary

    So she repeated something she had been told by someone else.
    She did NOT name anyone. She did NOT name a hospital.
    She was trying to push the point of how trougled our health care situation is.
    And yet again CNN and the Obama supporters do their very best to destroy her.

    April 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Ginny

    Don't blame Hillary, The deputy sheriff to blame, he should be the one to apologize to the media and also to Hillary, she has my vote and all my family. Best off all stand stead fast Hillary. The media all trying to bring her down. CNN also keeps up and up, never lets her it go.

    April 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Joel

    I totally disagree with people that say she's lying in this particular story. She just related something she's heard, that turned out not to be true. It's hardly lying.

    Now, that said, there's 2 points :

    1 – Obama has been accused of lying although he also merely reported what his campaign have said about Goolsbe meeting with the Canadians, which turned out not to be true. So I guess that makes them even on the unfair 'lying' accusations.

    2 – "She had no reason to doubt his word” ... Hmmmm ... really ? buying into a sensational story and going for it without checking for the facts ? especially when the story is that publicly exposed ? doesn't that recall you about something ? Irak vote anyone ? Talking about judgement ...

    Objectively, If it's 3 AM in the morning and the phone is ringing carrying alledged news that Russia is starting a nuclear war against the U.S. I want no one other than someone that is willing and able to check the facts to pick up the phone.

    April 6, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. OlderBudWeiser

    While I'm at it, what was the official cause of death? Unisnured? Hillary should check out the facts before she slanders a hospital. Hospitals keep good documentation of every patient and event that happens, all the time! Yes we have health care insurance problems. Hospitals like to be reimbursed for the care we provide, since everyone there draws a paycheck, pays at the pump and grocery store like everyone else. Hillary didn't exactly lie on this one but for sure didn't use good judgement not "vetting" this one first.

    April 6, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. jim

    I cant stand this blatient Liar-Hilary- spelled liar.........
    Her speech about Dr. King and when she heard he had died..
    She said she went to her room and threw her book bag across the room
    ha ha– back in college in the 60.s we didnt have book bags- another thing she never met dr. king either... and these are facts...
    She tells lies on every campaign event..... the things she says she is gonna do would not even come up for a vote in the senate let alone go to the house............. This woman is a flat out blatient LIAR..
    And i am not voting for her here in Pennsylvania.
    I want someone who will help the blue collar worker like me
    that man is BARACK OBAMA

    April 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Robert Wiseman

    Interesting how the Obama people are twisting this story to attack Hillary Clinton. She used a story told to her by an individual who claimed first hand knowledge of this incident in order to outline how important medical coverage is for Americans. That person didn't get their facts straight, but there is no doubt that there are Americans who suffer and who die because they don't have medical insurance. I am sure that most of the people who are reading this know someone or have heard of someone who was turned away or denied medical treatment due to lack of insurance. Instead of the Obama supporters looking objectively at their candidate's plan and finding it wanting, as it is, they perfer to misrepresent the facts of the story told by Ms. Clinton in order to try to score yet more cheap political points on the backs of the under- and un-insured Americans. Tells me a lot about them and their candidate.

    April 6, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. DFoster Georgia

    Hillary is a MONSTER!! There, I said it!

    April 6, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. DFoster Georgia

    MONSTER!!

    April 6, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Eric

    Another "misstatement "?

    April 6, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Will from Gaithersburg, MD

    More of the Clinton shenanigans and their lies, or more accurately put, "misspoken" stories.

    April 6, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. FNJ in PA

    good one Hill! YOU ARE HANDING OBAMA THE NOMINATION. And I love it!

    April 6, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. rod

    Hillary is perhaps a credulous person. But when people see a flaw in a woman that woman is not overlooked and can not be trusted in any helm of authority. But when a man blunders the man will be or not be overlooked and than will be or not be forgiven.

    April 6, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. georgia

    I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT YOU CAN BE TURNED DOWN BY A HOSPITAL BECAUSE YOU ARE UNINSURED. SIX MONTHS BEFORE I WAS ELGIBLE FOE MEDICARE A PART OF MY SPINE COLLAPSED AND I WENT TO A HOSPITAL IN SOUTH FLORIDA WHERE I HAD BEEN TREATED BEFORE WHEN I HAD INSURANCE. I HAD MY MRI REPORTS WITH ME AND I WAS ADMITTED. THE DOCTORS PLANNED MY SURGERY FOR THE NEXT DAY. THEN!!!!! THEY DISCOVERED I HAD NO INSURANCE AND THEY SENT ME HOME ALTHOUGH I COULD HAVE BEREN PARALYZED FOR LIFE. !!!!!!!I HAD TO RIDE IN A CAR TO MIAMI ABOUT 70 MILES TO GET MY SURGERY.

    April 6, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Brian

    Hillary has more false stories than Greek and Egyptian Mythology combined.

    April 6, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Steve Sulland

    When a fruit vendor comes across a rotten apple in his cart he throws it out. When a fisherman finds a spoiled fish in his catch of the day he throws it out. And when a typical seven-year old boy finds a carton of yogurt in his lunch he throws it out. How many times are we going to listen to a Clinton fairy tale before we throw her failed campaign out?

    April 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. Marc

    Maria, the problem is Hillary has been broken since day one. Believe in her health care plan. Then look into Germany. They have the same health care plan that Hillary wants. Then ask the people in Germany how is life now with there Universal Health Care Plan. They are living off of nickles and pennies a day. If you really think Hillary can do it then vote for her. Unless your rich, then you better get ready to live off of nickles and pennies.

    April 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Debbie

    Why didn't Hillary's campaign research the story before having Hillary tell this for several months?

    I don't think Hillary is bad at judgement, but she surrounds herself with people who have no morals.

    April 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Obinna

    Hillary Clinton, such a liar and hypocrite
    on one hand you say that ever yamerican deserves the chance to vote; on the other hand you say that there is nothing like pledged delegates.why then do americans deserve to vote if the so-called pledged delegates the voting is all about do not exist...

    Obinna
    From Nigeria

    April 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. BBB

    I wish we could just get back to old fashioned campaigning. Focus on what is important and stop playing these stupid games. Stop inflating your own importance/experience and talk about what you can do – honestly and truthfully. All this crap is just muddying the waters so nothing IMPORTANT is coming out. At this point I am totally disgusted with the whole thing... and as the daughter of a veteran, the granddaughter of two Purple Heart recipients... I hold this country very dear.

    April 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. Mike

    HER CAMPAIGN IS WHAT SHE SHOULD DROP, NOT HER STORY. LIAR.

    April 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. Jeff in PA.

    liar liar....quit the race... pinocchio

    April 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. tee

    will the supporters of hilary please ask her to stop telling lies on people before she starts getting sued.

    April 6, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. John Buchanan

    Now this is what I call a Total Lack of JUDGMENT! This is why we need a person like Senator Obama running for the White House. Senator Clinton has her own rational when it comes to manipulating the American People with what I call ClinPoitics.

    Enough is Enough – time to back Obama!!

    April 6, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Steve

    Shame on you, O’Bleness Memorial Hospital!

    Obama 08!

    April 6, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. paul k

    come on penn. and ind. put a end to garabge from the clintons
    why would any one want less then a honset person for there
    presdent.

    April 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36