To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hillary lies, surprise, surprise.

(CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton will stop telling an emotional story about a uninsured pregnant woman who died after being denied medical care, Clinton's campaign said.

A hospital has raised questions over the accuracy of the story, and Clinton's campaign has said although they had no reason to doubt the story, they were unable to confirm the details.

In the story, Clinton describes a woman from rural Ohio who was making minimum wage at a local pizza shop. The woman, who was uninsured, 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 her speeches, 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.

The New York senator heard the story during a campaign visit to a family's living room in Pomeroy, Ohio, in late February. Bryan Holman was hosting the candidate and told Clinton the story. She has repeated it frequently since then.

As recently as Friday night in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Clinton said she was "just aching inside" as she was listening to the story.

"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," she said.

While Clinton never named the hospital in her speech, the woman she was referring to was treated at O'Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio. The hospital said the woman did indeed have insurance, and, at least at their hospital, she 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'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."

"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," he said.

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."

1 - Before you repeat a story, with the national spotlight on you, you CHECK IT OUT FIRST TO MAKE SURE IT'S TRUE. I cannot BELIEVE that she and her campaign don't get this. "Clinton's speech accurately reflects what she was told that day, but the campaign admits they were not able to confirm the account." Then you don't include it in your speeches. You find something you can confirm. If you can't find anything you can confirm, what does that tell you? "Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said, 'She had no reason to doubt his word.'" Okay, so she just automatically believes everything she's told? Boy, am I filled with confidence.

2 - Lying is especially bad when you are calling good evil or evil, good. (Isaiah 5:20) The spokesperson at the hospital that the woman was taken to hotly denies that they refused her anything. They had to defend themselves against Hillary's casual slander because "people in the community began to question if they had denied her care." It is WRONG to make false accusations against people who are doing the right thing.

3 - Continuing on a theme in (1) - If you have to lie to make a point, people will start to wonder if your point is valid. People will in fact dispute whether we "have a very serious health care problem in America" if the best you can come up with to support that is stories that aren't true.

4 - I've thought for years that Hillary has a problem with honesty - that is, she doesn't get the difference between truth and lies. Good speech is speech that gets her ahead. Bad speech is speech that doesn't get her ahead. Remember that back in 1996 William Safire told us that she is a congenital liar. Nothing has changed.

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