Was Obama’s story about his mom’s health insurance issues a lie?

Posted by: ST on July 13, 2011 at 9:07 am

Sure sounds like it:

“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.

The news is in “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” a generally admiring new biography written by former New York Times reporter Janny Scott. According to the book, Ann Dunham, an anthropologist who spent most of her working life in Indonesia, moved from Jakarta to New York in 1992 to work for a nonprofit called Women’s World Banking, which encouraged micro-lending in Third World countries. Unhappy in New York, in 1994 Dunham took a job with an American company called Development Alternatives, which had a contract with the Indonesian State Ministry for the Role of Women. Dunham returned to Jakarta to work, and Scott reports the job provided Dunham with health insurance, a housing allowance, and a car.

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.”

So, IOW, it appears the issue was with disability insurance – not health insurance.

If this story pans out, and it appears it will considering the book – according to Byron York – is mostly friendly towards Obama’s mother, it will not be the first time President Obama has either embellished or lied about a “health coverage denied” story and it certainly won’t be the first time he, er, stretched the truth about his family history.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If things are as bad as Democrats make them out to be, why do they always have to make up emotion-based stories to justify their various positions? :-?

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15 Responses to “Was Obama’s story about his mom’s health insurance issues a lie?”


  1. Paul says:

    Tell a lie long enough and people will start to believe it…

  2. Kate says:

    Of course she had insurance problems….they weren’t paying for every nickel and dime. Obama shows his unrealistic expectations of commerce, insurance and government. He gets a BIG PASS from the LSM…just as he is now with the unfounded claims that SS benefits will stop if they don’t extend the debt ceiling. Scott Pelley of CBS should be given mega brownie points for his scripted interveiw the other night.

  3. arcman46 says:

    Paul: the problem with that is that when everything is built on a lie, sooner or later the whole thing is going to come crashing down.

  4. maddogg says:

    If you just assume Democrats are lying or telling half truths, you will be right 95% of the time. It is one of their most enduring features. And it is a Marxist/Alinsky approved tactic.
    We need these people marginalized, or diaster is imminent, and we will deserve it.

  5. bill glass says:

    arc…”everything is built on a lie” – Boy, that’s the real tale of the tape with Obamao, every damn thing is, when checked out, total bs. Some of us have never been mesmerized by this big heap of _____, but others, inexplicably, and because they want to believe, are still hypnotized by the whole schtick!!

  6. Dymphna says:

    What Paul said. Squared.

    Obama has made lying an art form. So Stalinesque it’s fascinating.

    We have:

    * The Fibs,
    * The Little White(oops)Lies,
    * The Fabrications Giantus,
    * etc., ad infinitum, ad naueam.

    No doubt there are other categories in the Stalinesque posturing that lies (so to speak) at the heart of this administration.

    ST: would you happen to have a post or three to hand which lists the Broken Promises? A separate, but fascinating, compartment. Those are The Delusional Lies – i.e., they broke apart as these wishes hit the hard rocks of reality. Gitmo comes to mind, but a list would be right useful.

  7. Brontefan says:

    Obama’s whole life is an embellishment. First, having been stationed in Hawaii, I know the prep school he attended was expensive. I also know that there was no issue with color; the blonde, blue-eyed people would be the minority. Nearly all of his created past is just that–created. Therefore, embellishing incidents in an effort to identify with the folks is S.O.P.

  8. Bill Fabrizio says:

    Sister puh…lease! Your headline should have read:

    “Obama’s story about his mom’s health insurance issues is a lie!

    There’s no question to answer here.

  9. Drew says:

    OBozo embellished? I’m shocked, shocked!!

  10. As someone, on I think Malkin’s site said, Obama is the first Photoshop President. So, anybody (including himself) can just copy and paste anything they want into his “life experiences” and do a happy jig about how wonderful he is.

    Also, since we have a SRM that is fellatioed to his every word, it will stick, like a seed from a piece of rye bread jammed inside the spaces between teeth.

  11. Great White Rat says:

    I can’t believe I’m the one sorta-kinda defending Obama here, but….maybe the fact is he doesn’t understand insurance at all.

    Maybe he’s just so out of touch with the real world that the rest of us have to live in that he really does NOT know the difference between health insurance and disability insurance.

    After all, he is weapons-grade clueless about so many other things. Why would we assume he understands what an insurance policy covers?

  12. Steven says:

    This needs to be thrown into his face. I mean, on a national television show, and in such a way, while showing respect for the office, that he can either come clean, sputter, or double down.

    Now, my guess is this: Liars HATE to admit to lying. And people who are powerful pampered “protected class” citizens who have a strong sense of entitlement will become vicious and very angry when confronted with their lies.

    Fine – his feelings are not my problem. Really – they aren’t. It’s not his “personal family business” when he himself used it for legislative narative. And IF this turns out to have been (another) bald faced lie from this jerk – he needs to wear it.


  13. mike191 says:

    This person is a serial liar.The real question:how many times has President44 spoke open and said the truth.

  14. occam says:

    2012 slogan .. “The O must go!!”

  15. captaingrumpy says:

    The only thing this guy has in common with Black America is they both don’t have a father in their lives. His father held up the proud tradition of leaving mother with the kid whilst he goes back to the Hood corner to sell candy.
    That’s why he is such a “girly-man”, ever seen him try to throw a ball,or catch one……he even acts like a “girl” in office.(no insult intended)