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. Amber

    Wow, this is typical for Clinton to tell a story and not have all the details or check into the validity of it or to tell America she was under sniper fire and then say she mispoke. Her campaign is starting to make me inquire about how much is truth and how much is lie. I've always liked and respected Senator Clinton but lately her campaign has been showing America untrustworthy values. To name a few, Mark Penn, NAFTA, Foreign Policy experiences',.

    Finally switching to Obama 08......

    April 6, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. Jared

    Just another example of trying to win at all cost. How many lies does she have to tell before she shows her true face. It is very sad to use a story like this for her own good and its not even true. It is amazing how one believe that they are owed because they been in Washington for long. Now lie after lie and getting caught about saying something on the speech but her aid going behind doors and meeting with what she says she stands against. This is the clasic type of politics that we need to run away. I really wonder what her supporters have to say about these events that are found to be false. I am an Obama supporter but I believe her supporter needs to be told the truth and treated better than what they got. I am not going to go around and start the name calling because this will not solve the deep problem that I and the rest of the country face.

    CNN I hope for once you post my comment.

    April 6, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. Lisa

    Come now... Is this really SUPRISING?

    April 6, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Will

    Another day , Another lie. I am truly convinced Mrs Clinton will say anything , i mean anything to win. Do we want a leader who will purposefully lie to our people? I'm sure this will be thrown into the "bad judgment" category by her campaign.

    Obama '08

    April 6, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Fabian

    Here we go again. It seems Ms Clinton cannot be trusted on anything. it was not so long ago the sniper fire story was making headlines, and now this one? Talking about being too ambitious. I am really not sure if she is ready to make that 3:00 am phone call. It appears there is something going with her campaign everyday. As experienced as she claims to be, she should know by now that exagerating stories won't help her that much.

    April 6, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. SW

    This is not the first time she lied. Hillary has difficulty telling the truth. In fact, both Clintons are pathelogical liars. Hillary simply cannot be trusted. She will say anything to get elected to be the President. What else is new?

    April 6, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Obama 08

    Television tycoon Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch, is holding a fundraiser for Barack Obama at her London home.

    The invitation to the April 28 event at Murdoch's west London house lists Murdoch as one of eight "event chairs." The others include Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Warner Bros. U.K. managing director Josh Berger and U.S.-born chef Ruth Rogers.

    The 20 "event hosts" include art collector Kay Saatchi, fund manager David Blood and Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, fashion director of Vanity Fair magazine

    April 6, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. John

    Just when will this hillary woman learn and stop telling lies,
    It is beginning to look like her whole campaign is based on lies and she keeps getting caught out.
    I have come to the conclusion that the Clintons are incapable of honesty, what must foriegn leaders be thinking of the prospect of her becoming president would they ever trust her???

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Kevin, PA

    Why is Hillary scaring up votes. Her stump speech is doom and gloom... without me this healthcare system will kill you and you'll all be poor. If Hillary want my vote, she'll have to work on becoming a leader and empower the American people to be their greatest and pull themselves out of this low point.

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. John

    Ready to lie from day one.

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Vivian

    Well, surprise, surprise. America...do you get it now??

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Danielle

    Why is so hard for Hillary to tell the truth? Bosnia, N. Ireland, NAFTA, FMLA, SCHIP, Macadonia borders, what she said to Bill Richardson, and now this. What is going on?

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. vanchava

    Caught in another LIE???

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. TIM

    Just another lie ,we`re not expecting anything different.

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Kelvin

    So she was told that story, she just told it as she heard it, this in no big news, Gwad get off her case. what is wronge with cnn these days, Clinton can do no right.

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. James

    Are we seriously supposed to be surprised that Hillary Clinton has been caught in yet another attempt at subverting the electoral process just so she can "win" the presidency? She's slow to release real information, quick to lie, and never will understand that she's still losing to Obama. She's been losing ever since the people actually started voting and the media had to stop treating her like the only democrat running. She was losing when her campaign tactics went republican, and she's going to lose by the convention in August.

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Erin

    Is anyone surprised? This woman has shown that she will do or say anything to get elected. Bosnia? Chelsea running laps around the trade center before it came tumbling down? Now a ficticious story about a pregnant mother...

    And these are just the ones that have been proven.

    A vote for Hillary is another vote for the typical Washington politics, lies & deception.

    We need a change – we need some honesty – we need Obama in '08.

    April 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Angela

    Poor judgement again. Poor campaign. Another lie! It must be pathological.

    April 6, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Steve

    Since healthcare is her one and only trick, she has to lie and tell stories to make it look good. I'd bet she knew the story wasn't true, but I'm sure her supporters will have some lame excuse, as they always do...

    April 6, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Brent in Roseville CA

    When will her supporters wake up from the nightmare they are in and realize that voting for her would usher in another Clinton era based on lies, deceit, cronyism and scandal.

    April 6, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Sean

    Question... Why doesn't this article portray both sides of the story? For example that this story was told to Senator Clinton by the Sheriff of that county. Why would she doubt his integrity?

    April 6, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. Panala Kinzie

    When will the public learn that this candidate will do or say anything to be elected. Truth is worth something. We have had 8 years of blatant lies, we need to be told the truth. We can deal with what is.. What we can't deal with is total lies being laid before us as the truth. What bothers me the most is that there are no reasons for the lies that Ms. Clinton is using. That is disturbing..

    April 6, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. JL, California

    I'm no Clinton fan, but I don't think this one can be called a "lie", the way some will make it out to be. I think in this case, she didn't check her facts, but she's no reporter – how accurate do we expect her to be before retelling a story she's told? I don't have an answer, but it's an interesting question... I think she will end up taking some heat for this, because she used the story in such an emotional way. But I'm not sure that it's something that Obama or another politician wouldn't have done.

    April 6, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Colleen

    I watched this this morning on TV. She appeared to be repeating what was told to her from a Sheriff"s deputy. The real story here is that millions of people are uninsured. Why is preventative and pre-existing health care not discussed. I am sick of this beauty pageant the media has been feeding us.

    April 6, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. kentucky

    I understand the issues of health care in this country, but please Hillary, don't be so gullible and eager for sensationalism in the future. All stories should be checked out before you go out on the campaign trail. Will you be making decisions at 3 am in the white house without first checking them out? I would hate to see you keep running to the refrigerator to see if the light is on everytime someone made on crank call.

    April 6, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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