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. GD in Detroit

    How funny, it seems the more people listen and check facts the more Clinton is caught in her own web of lies. My only question is why someone who is so intellegent tells lies that are so easily refuted.

    April 6, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Sarah, NC

    Why wasn't this story vetted by the Clinton campaign? The lost of this family should not have been dragged into this presidential campaign.

    April 6, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Jack

    Where is the story on how:

    1) Obama's advisor saying that Obama will NOT BE ABLE to pull TROOPS out of Iraq, despite what he says publicly???

    2) Obama lied about not taking money from big oil??

    3) Obama lied about how much money Tony Rezko raised for him???

    April 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Joe

    Hillary saying something that in't true??? What a shock. Democrats, PLEASE nominate this woman.

    April 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. JB

    More so now, than ever;

    We know what acting on bad information can lead to. We had bad info and went into Iraq.

    Just one more example of why I do not want Hillary answering that phone at 3 AM.

    If she can't verify the accuracy of information on the campaign trail, why should we expect her to do better as Prez?

    April 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Jack in ND

    Yeah, she lied to us on Friday. But what else is new.

    North Dakotans are a kind and courteous people, so we let it slide while she was standing there.

    But there's a reason why Obama has nearly a 50/50 chance at our electoral votes, while Clinton hasn't a prayer at them.

    April 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Prof. (emer.) John Austin Kerr, Jr.

    After the Bushes, I find I am just plain disgusted by tall tales from U.S. Presidents or wannabees. In Ms. Clinton's case, I suppose it may be a case of "like husband, like wife," regarding redefinition of the concept of "truth," also. And the Clintons did both go to the same law school....

    April 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Jack

    I swear if the media piles on Hillary Clinton in order to protect Obama, I WILL VOTE FOR JOHN MCCAIN so that Hillary can run again in 2012....


    April 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. lol

    if you quote the whole new york times story, it is true. CNN your are no longer a credible news source. your bias for obama is crystal clear. lets tell some of baracks lies, his parents meeting in selma. he hardly knew rezko, he took more money from rezko then he first admitted to. he had no idea his "mentor" and pastor was an extreme racist, anti semitic, anti american extremist. his wife doesn't have anti american views, and on and on and on. Cnn and msnbc tend to bury the truth about obama. hillary doesn't lie anymore than cnn. you lie to america with your half truth's and spin about obama.

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. KATHY


    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Shawn

    Best be sure of what you say before you speak it.

    The truth always comes out.

    Obama 2008

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Bubba

    You don't get if you can't vet. Don't use a story like this if you can't verify it. This story reminds me of all the tear jerker emails you get from your well meaning friends, that have no basis to them. I delete. Maybe we should delete Hillary from this election?

    Bubba in California

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. PA

    Hillary is now telling the 'story' (LIE) in a speech this weekend that she questioned the war before Obama. NOT TRUE!! Check out the article at Huffington Post.

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. OlvrWhit

    Before you all dump on Hillary, please read the story..She was only telling of a story that was told to her on the campaign trail. Hillary is our best choice for President.

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. fred.sayre pa

    She is a big fat liar!

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Grif

    If you wan't Honesty from Hillary, then you have to be Honest to her...

    We are, only what we are fed.... They Joke comments, and expect clarity in return... She is a very busy Lady....

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Caroline

    So Clinton is caught lying again? Big surprise. How long before she claims that she once again 'misspoke'? How many times will she 'misspeak' if given the chance as President? Don't give her the opportunity – vote Obama!

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Bill W - PA

    Maybe she can go on Leno or Letterman and joke about this lie, too. Then all will be forgiven and forgotten by the rabid kool aid drinkers who still follow her.

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. andy

    wait – clinton said something that wasn't true. shocking.

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Kevin

    Hillary has been too concerned with the kitchen sink when she should instead be concerned about cleaning out her closet.

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. John Ainsworth

    Hillary......Hillary. What is so wrong with just telling the truth about things? How often would you lie to us if you became President?

    Even if you didn't know it wasn't true.....wouldn't taking the time to investigate the facts (like you should have before the vote on using violence in Iraq) have proven just plain "good judgment?"

    Vote for a caring, calm, intelligent, honest man.
    Barack Obama 08

    April 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Dan

    Hillary lying? No! That doesn't happen!

    April 6, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Christine, Tampa

    I can just imagine if Obama had done this. She needs to be held accountable for her lies. To say I won't say it again, I misspoke, I need sleep is getting tiresome.

    April 6, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Jeff

    Another lie. We want to start trusting our president! We definetely don't trust Bush. You are becoming a problem. Just drop out and let Obama be our next president!
    Obama/Clinton 08

    April 6, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Vivian

    Hillary will say anything to get to the heart strings of voters. Her message is not to point out the health care issues, her message is to touch people's hearts and get them in touch with their own fears and mrtality so they can vote for her. They forget the issue, they just think of life and death, and not about whether or not Hillary clinton can bring about the change we need with health care providers. She supports people just like the health care industry, money and power hungry people,and she didn't make a difference when that was ALL she had to do as first lady, with a great economya the time, how will she do that with a recession at hand and a 100 thnigs to change in our country and our image in the world. She is not superwoman, trust me, she will get nothing done. She is old Washington and old news.

    April 6, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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