Sunday, April 6, 2008

Telling Tall Tales on the Campaign Trail

At his campaign appearance at Bend High last week, Bill Clinton told a hair-raising horror story to illustrate how screwed up America's health care system

Posted By on Sun, Apr 6, 2008 at 10:42 AM

At his campaign appearance at Bend High last week, Bill Clinton told a hair-raising horror story to illustrate how screwed up America's health care system is. An uninsured pregnant woman in Ohio couldn't afford prenatal care and was turned away by a hospital because she couldn't pay $100 up front, Clinton said. Later, she died after delivering a stillborn child.

The story was dramatic and touching, but it had one minor flaw: It wasn't true.

According to the New York Times, the woman - Trina Bachtel - did die after her baby was stillborn. But hospital administrators said she had received care from an obstetrician, was never turned away from the hospital and was, in fact, insured.

"We implore the Clinton campaign to immediately desist from repeating this story," Rick Castrop, CEO of the hospital, told the Times.

Hillary Clinton has been repeating the same story on the campaign trail for the past five weeks. A spokesman for the hospital said the Clinton campaign had never contacted the hospital to check the story, which Hillary originally heard from an Ohio sheriff's deputy in February.

A Clinton spokesman said candidates often repeat stories they hear and try to check them out when possible. "In this case, we did try but were not able to fully vet it," the spokesman said. "If the hospital claims it did not happen that way, we respect that."

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