Liar, liar, pants on fire

Byron York:

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama often discussed his mother’s struggle with cancer. Ann Dunham spent the months before her death in 1995, Obama said, fighting with insurance companies that sought to deny her the coverage she needed to pay for treatment.

“I remember in the last month of her life, she wasn’t thinking about how to get well, she wasn’t thinking about coming to terms with her own mortality, she was thinking about whether or not insurance was going to cover the medical bills and whether our family would be bankrupt as a consequence,” Obama said in September 2007.

“She was in her hospital room looking at insurance forms because the insurance company said that maybe she had a pre-existing condition and maybe they wouldn’t have to reimburse her for her medical bills,” Obama added in January 2008.

“The insurance companies were saying, ‘Maybe there’s a pre-existing condition and we don’t have to pay your medical bills,’ ” Obama said in a debate with Republican opponent Sen. John McCain in October 2008.

It was a simple and powerful story, one Obama would tell many more times as president during the national health care debate. But now we’re learning the real story of Ann Dunham’s health coverage is not quite what her son made it out to be.


At the time she took the job, Dunham was increasingly worried about her health; she was suffering from intense abdominal pains. In November 1994, Dunham went to an Indonesian doctor who diagnosed appendicitis. As Dunham debated whether to leave the country for surgery, she called her boss at Development Alternatives. “You’ve got health insurance, that’s taken care of,” the boss told her. “We can cover the airfare.”

Dunham decided to stay in Jakarta, where she underwent an appendectomy. But the pain did not go away, and Dunham feared, correctly, that she was terribly ill. In January 1995 she left Indonesia to go home to Honolulu, where she was diagnosed with advanced uterine and ovarian cancer. She began a regime of surgery and chemotherapy.

That is the time during which Obama says his mother battled insurance companies to cover her illness. But Scott, who had access to Dunham’s correspondence from the time, reveals that Dunham unquestionably had health coverage. “Ann’s compensation for her job in Jakarta had included health insurance, which covered most of the costs of her medical treatment,” Scott writes. “Once she was back in Hawaii, the hospital billed her insurance company directly, leaving Ann to pay only the deductible and any uncovered expenses, which, she said, came to several hundred dollars a month.”

Scott writes that Dunham, who wanted to be compensated for those costs as well as for her living expenses, “filed a separate claim under her employer’s disability insurance policy.” It was that claim, with the insurance company CIGNA, that was denied in August 1995 because, CIGNA investigators said, Dunham’s condition was known before she was covered by the policy.

Dunham protested the decision and, Scott writes, “informed CIGNA that she was turning over the case to ‘my son and attorney, Barack Obama.’ ” CIGNA did not budge.

In September 1995, Dunham traveled to New York for an evaluation at the renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Returning to Hawaii, she began a new course of treatment. She died in November.

A dozen years later, her son turned her ordeal into a campaign pitch for national health care. But the story Obama told, Scott writes, was “abbreviated” — the abbreviation was to leave out the fact that Ann Dunham had health insurance that paid for her treatment. “Though he often suggested that she was denied health coverage because of a pre-existing condition,” Scott writes, “it appears from her correspondence that she was only denied disability coverage.”

Stanley Ann Dunham died of uterine and ovarian cancer at the age of fifty-three. That is a tragedy.

Her son lying about what happened to win an election is despicable. I’m no fan of insurance companies, but I am a fan of the truth.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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38 Responses to Liar, liar, pants on fire

  1. myiq2xu says:

    I am a fan of the truth.

    No wonder you don’t like Dick

  2. Mimi says:

    “Scott writes that Dunham, who wanted to be compensated for those costs as well as for her living expenses, “filed a separate claim under her employer’s disability insurance policy.” It was that claim, with the insurance company CIGNA, that was denied in August 1995 because, CIGNA investigators said, Dunham’s condition was known before she was covered by the policy”

    So she came back to Hawaii very sick. She was probably told in Indonesia what the diagnoses was and to get back home. She files for disability insurance. She was apparently approved for the policy or she could not have filed claims. If she had said she was very sick on the application they would have denied the policy forthwith and then no claims could have been filed. But they approved it and then denied claims saying they were pre-existing condition. The sad truth is she probably left out the part about being already sick to get covered but paid the premium for a month. Then filed for disability and was denied anyway. This is not a pretty picture.

    • votermom says:

      Not pretty at all.

    • Mary says:

      The point is, CIGNA paid all the medical bills, with normal deductibles and copays. Obama had claimed they did not.

      Obama, as her attorney, helped her file for disability to cover the copays, deductibles, and living expenses, and that was the only thing that got denied.

      But her MEDICAL bills were never denied.

      He’s a lying sack of shit.

      • Mimi says:

        I think the story goes that Ms Dunham threatened Cigna disability insurance with her “son the attorney Barack Obama”. But there is no indication that he did jack squat. It seems to be a pattern in his life.

  3. foxyladi14 says:

    but why lie about it?? 🙄

    • angienc says:

      Because Obama lies about absolutely EVERYTHING. Seriously, it is pathological. He lied about his parents meeting at the march on Selma; he lied about Rev. Wright; he lied about his mother’s insurance — and it goes on & on. He says whatever he wants and/or thinks will “help” him. What is worse, is that he gets away with it thanks to the MSM.

      • JeanLouise says:

        Exactly! They are so in the bag for him. I really don’t get it. It can’t all be white guilt.

      • Mimi says:

        The story about his mom attempting insurance fraud did not have the same heart rending ring to it?

        • JeanLouise says:

          I haven’t believed anything that Obama has said since he implied that Bill and Hillary were racists.

  4. foxyladi14 says:

    oh..lookie I learned a new smilie 😆

  5. imustprotest says:

    I’m actually more upset about his last sentence, “To fix health care, we have to fix Washington.” So what does he do when he becomes POTUS? Fix Washington? No, he invites Pharma and the insurance companies in behind closed doors to write the HCR bill. Lobbyists rule, the people…….not so much.

  6. DeniseVB says:

    Looks like we’ve already lost the “honest” media for 2012……WTF !!

    • Mr. Mike says:

      Funny, where was this when Al Gore, John Kerry, and then Hillary Clinton were slanderd by the broadcast media?

      Just sayin’ ya know.

  7. Mary says:

    OT: latest USA Today/Gallup Poll:

    Obama approval: 45.

    Most startling:

    “By a 20 point margin (55%-45%), Americans worry more that the government would raise the debt ceiling without plans for major spending cuts, than that the government would not raise the ceiling and an economic crisis would ensue.”

    • Mary says:

      Sorry….typo: that’s 55% to 35%.

      This poll also mentions that we’re not really talking about spending cuts in any of the proposed plans—including Obama’s elusive ideas/no real plan.

      It’s actually a discussion of a reduction in INCREASES in spending.

    • Mr. Mike says:

      In PA as well as other states there is a school funding crisis in that people are forced out of their homes because they can’t afford the property taxes levied. Any attempt to find another solution fails, not because people are against public education (with the exception of some religious nutbags pissed about Bible reading) but because government all too often levies a replacement tax but then decides to keep the original tax in place.

      People in PA will continue to have their homes sheriffed out from under them and schools will continue to be underfunded all because the state legislatures can’t be trusted to do the right thing. Apparently in Harrisburg Superbowl tickets get you favorable tax breaks.

      • ralphb says:

        Now, put that situation on a national scale with every tax we pay and you’ve got a clearer picture of one major thing that’s wrong in this country,

  8. Dario says:

    And did the the great scholar, the constitutional lawyer, win the case? Or was his performance mediocre like everything in his life? We don’t know. Because scholar didn’t toot his horn about how great he did with the mother’s case, I guess his performance was mediocre and lost to the insurance company.

  9. ralphb says:

    Obama’s use of his mother’s death with the hideous lie is horrible. But he had history to go by in Al Gore’s shameless use of his sister’s death followed by his use of his son’s being run down by a car for electoral purposes. Obama and the Goracle should be tied together in this regard.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Along with all Obama 2008 campaign deceptions, he promised to be a different kind of politician. Without a record (meaning he accomplished nothing) people decided to bet on the squeaky clean guy promising rainbows and ponies 😀

      In other words, they sold us a defective brand based on false advertising. 😦

    • JeanLouise says:

      If they’re talking honestly about a signal event in their lives, I have no problem with it. I don’t recall Al Gore being dishonest about those events.

      What I remember most about Gore is that he wanted to put Social Security in a “lock box”. We would have been in much better shape if he hadn’t had his election stolen from him by five members of the Supreme Court. Aside from his devotion to SS, he wouldn’t have invaded Iraq.

      • ralphb says:

        BS. While Gore was telling the country he was no longer interested in all the mundane politics anymore, he was haranguing his staff to bring a fresh shirt to the hospital so he could try and sell that crap to the press in a news conference.

        I don’t know if he was honest about his sister Nancy’s death but he would recount it at the drop of a hat. That’s not normal.

    • angienc says:

      The difference is that the MSM didn’t cover for Gore like they do with Obama. Really, the easiest of fact-checking was & is ignored by them. Like his claim that his father fought in WW2 — the fact that Obama, Sr. was 10 years old when the war ended was completely ignored by the MSM.

  10. JeanLouise says:

    The problem is that he lied, not that he talked about his mother’s death.

  11. ralphb says:

    Bachmann Under Scrutiny, Rick Perry Backtracks

    MSM, Telling us all what to think since 2000.

    Is Michele Bachmann healthy enough to be president? That is the question raised by a new Daily Caller story quoting several former aides to the Minnesota congresswoman who say she is prone to “debilitating” migraine headaches that have landed her in the hospital and rendered her unable to perform her official duties at times.

    Bachmann isn’t imploding fast enough, so the MSM has to help more.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Here’s Clara from Mother Jones..

      @ClaraJeffery: @TuckerCarlson @benpoltico Re Bachmann: Did you consider menopause? Survived by women all over the world every day. Just like childbirth.

    • JeanLouise says:

      I thought it was a balanced article. A history of long-acting, frequent migraines is not a minor matter.

      • catarina says:

        Perhaps every member of congress who has ever missed one *yes, Bachmann missed one * event due to illness should be called into question?

        It’s also fair to assume they have a pill problem, yes?

        She says she’s OK:

        Seriously, would anybody give a shit if it was a male candidate getting migraines?

      • Three Wickets says:

        Her former CoS, the leaker, is backing Pawlenty.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Groan. Some days I just HATE politics. Well wishes to Ms. Bachmann, Percy Harvin and anyone else who does well under migraine triggering pressure.

    • votermom says:

      I don’t like Bachmann but I think this is probably fake. I remember a similar meme going around in 2008 that Cindy McCain is addicted to pain pills.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Check out wife Wendy with the overhead spike.

    • Pips says:

      Not pie but … a plate of shaving cream. Huh? And what was his message anyway? That Murdoch needed a shaving?

      What he did accomplish was: For the rest of the hearing to be closed to the public. Sympathy mounting for old man Murdoch and his wife, with her swift reaction, probably gracing more than just one newspaper cover tomorrow … besides landing himself in prison.

      Don’t think that was what the protester was aiming for.

      • 1539days says:

        This is just a way for the British politicians who were kissing Murdoch’s ass for years now have to look tough and cover up the rampant police corruption invomved. I noticed the woman who gave Murdoch some of the toughest questions was the most freaked out by a foam pie.

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