Finally a hospital challenges Clinton tale
Posted by Stephen on April 8, 2008
Hillary Clinton is an adequate public speaker at best. Her rival on the campaign trail, Barack Obama, is one of the finest public speakers seen on the national stage since John F. Kennedy.
Clinton has countered by trying to strike a cord with her audiences by telling heart felt stories she has supposedly heard on the campaign trail. One such story she has used to the point of exhaustion details the woes of a poor woman that could not afford a hospital visit to check on the health of her unborn baby. As a result the woman lost the baby and later her own life.
Clinton claimed that the woman was refused health care at a hospital. It is a preposterous claim.
Hospitals across the country scream from the mountaintops because they are “required” to treat anyone who comes through their doors regardless of their ability to pay for the services rendered.
According to hospital administrators one of the great travesties is that hospitals are forced to treat undocumented individuals that are not citizens, have no money and no health insurance, and who use hospitals for their primary health care.
Yet here was Clinton telling this tale of woe time after time, in city after city, to an unsuspecting audience who is left gasping at the story of this poor woman left to die by a failed American health care system.
To bad the story is filled with inaccuracies. It’s another example of the Clinton mindset that will say anything to get elected.
At campaign stops Clinton says, “I’ll tell you a quick story that I heard in Ohio when I was campaigning there,” in her softest voice she adds, “A deputy sheriff told me about a young woman who worked at the pizza parlor there and she worked for minimum wage, she didn’t have any insurance. She got pregnant, went to the hospital — and I don’t blame the hospital. The hospital said, ‘We can’t take any more charity care. You have to give us $100 before we can examine you.’ She didn’t have $100. Went back another time, they told her the same thing.”
Clinton said the woman returned a third time “in an ambulance. And they worked hard to stabilize her, and she lost her baby. Then they airlifted her to Columbus to the medical center, and for 15 days they tried to save her life, and she died.”
After the Washington Post made the name of the woman and the hospital public over the weekend, officials at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio, feared their facility would be falsely accused so they set out to clear the air on the events surrounding the woman’s visit to their hospital.
According to a published story by Fox News, Bachtel was indeed treated in August at O’Bleness, where her baby was stillborn. Bachtel was never refused treatment there, and she even had medical insurance, the officials told The New York Times in a story published Saturday.
“We implore the Clinton campaign to immediately desist from repeating this story,” Rick Castrop, chief executive officer of the O’Bleness Health System,” told the Times.
O’Bleness Health System spokeswoman Lynn Anastos said Monday that Bachtel was not a patient at their Pomeroy facility and “she would not have been turned away for lack of payment” if she had sought treatment there.
Holzer associate administrator Jim Blevins said his company has no record of Bachtel being a patient for the past five years. About half of Holzer’s patients are “charity cases,” he said, and the company tries to work out payment schedules with those who fall behind on their bills.
In some cases, Blevins said, Holzer clinics place “credit restrictions” on patients believed to be able but unwilling to pay their bills. That would not apply to patients needing immediate or emergency care, he said.
Clinton erred in telling audiences that the Ohio woman lacked insurance when seeking help for her troubled pregnancy. As a result, Clinton has stopped telling the story on the campaign trail.
No matter, Clinton will act as though it never happened, come up with a new story to tell, or divert attention surrounding the issue by attacking something about her opponent even if she has to make it up. It is the Clinton way and she’s good at what she does…
Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.