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. Marge Hibbing Mn

    I guess she was too trusting of people. She believed the story they told her. Say how come the other candidate's story's arent' checked and double checked.

    Seems to me I can find three in his book about his father, that the MSM haven't even mentioned.

    April 6, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. franksabunch

    Whew! For a second there, I thought she was going to say that the pregnant woman died because she got injured ducking from sniper fire in Bosnia and then started tearing when someone asked her how hard it was to be a woman in that situation.

    April 6, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. ANS-NY

    There is nothing real with the Clintons.....they just keep making up fake stories!!!!!!!!

    April 6, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. talya from PA

    But was the woman shot at by snipers?

    April 6, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Akhilesh

    She cannot "quit" lying. Runs in the family.

    April 6, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Chinez



    April 6, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Ron R

    Seriously now folks...........isn't enough..ENOUGH! This is getting comical with this woman.

    April 6, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. Lynn

    Clinton is NOT a solution candidate but part of the problem that Americans are now faced with...Bush family vs Clinton Family = NO DIFFERENCE!!

    April 6, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Robert

    @@-–>here we go again.

    GOBAMA! '08

    April 6, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Barack Obama 44th president !

    Clinton is a known liar!

    She will use anything to further her personal goal of getting to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is so desperately driven – to the point of not using good judgment to make the time to check the facts for accuracy before speaking.

    She will absolutely be so wrong to lead the Unites States!

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time for Barack Obama for president !

    April 6, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. los angeles mom

    HIllary, as a woman, staying in the race does not show me that you are strong. It shows me that you are very unwise. Sometimes a women needs to know when to just stay quiet. Retirement years are the best so I hear from my Parents......

    Take all of that money and just relax. Grow a garden and govern that. You can trade vegetables with your neighbors, you can choose between healthy pesticides and organic ones and provide quality health care for your garden. You can make sure that foreign bugs do not invade your flower garden. You can make deals with different nurseries on the kind of seeds that you want to buy. It doesn't get better than that...................................................

    NA NA NA NA, NA NA NA NA, hey hey hey GOOD BYE!!!!!!!!!

    this ad was paid for by a concerned democratic voter'

    April 6, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Rick from Pennsylvania

    Face the facts, we can not count on Hillary or Bill to tell the truth about anything. To let them back into the White House would be a serious mistake. If she wins the nomination, my vote is going to McCain. Better to wait another 4 years to take the White House than to put Hillary in office only to see her destory the DNC.

    April 6, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. Sean

    Listen. This constant pattern of lies from Hillary is no good. She is just so desperate for the nomination that she will say anything to get it. No wonder Bill Cheated on her.

    April 6, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Trollmaster CA

    If she doesn't have the facts to back up her story then she's doing the greatest harm to those affected by lack of health care.

    April 6, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Mark K

    It was probably all the sniper fire that prevented the Clinton campaign from verifying the story.

    April 6, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Curtis

    These are the kind of lies that politicians will tell to get votes. As we move toward a national health care system, realize full well what we're getting in the package; a monstrous program run by the government that will be inefficient, poorly staffed, and rife with workers that strive to just punch the block at the end of the day. Think "VA" except for the entire country.

    April 6, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Jeff

    While you can agree with the Clinton spokesman that the story she tells illustrates her point about healthcare, the issue really is not that. I see the issue as here is another time she has apprently mistated facts to embellish a story whether by intent or omission of verifications(perhaps someone was sleep-deprived at the time?). Trust is a very important thing and it is very difficult to trust her. One also has to wonder why the story was not checked out more thoroughly. As President, is she going to blindly get us into a war or make some policy decisions based on faulty informatino that even a cursory check would have revelaed was possibly incorrect?

    April 6, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. Susan R

    I think woman was actually in Bosnia at the time.

    April 6, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. paul

    Maybe that's what happened in the Bosnia trip as well. Somebody asked Sen. Clinton, "Wow, you landed in Bosnia... didn't you have to run to your cars to escape the sniper fire?" Her campaign didn't have time to fully vet the facts of that anecdote, but from a larger perspective it accurately depicted the fact that Bosnia was a more dangerous place to visit than, let's say, Camp David, MD.

    April 6, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. 2sense

    What a tangled web she weaves.

    April 6, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. shortstack

    anyone who wants a liar for president, here's your candidate.

    April 6, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Robert

    Ha! caught again hillary.

    April 6, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. James Shwarpshaka, UK

    The managers of HRC's campaign have finished her alredy. This campaign has been characterised by all sorts of dirty playing, negative campaigning and a lot of lies. I dont know if this the kind of president Americans want. I would think twice before casting my vote for anyone within 10miles of HRC, but again, this is America where anything goes???????.............or so I thought!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    April 6, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. BenNow

    Here we go again with Clinton making up stories.

    April 6, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. Steve, Bakersfield, CA

    What make us think that, as President, she'll be more accurate? We hear about how President Bush lies–well... What was the last one, she was shot at, before that? Before that? Before that? And remeber, "I never had sexual relations with that woman!" Pathological liers are ones who lie without remorse to serve their own needs.

    April 6, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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