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Tipsheet

Bold Move: Obama Lied About His Mother

Making up a story about your mother to score political points and push an agenda doesn't exactly seem like a good idea...but when did Barack Obama ever think bad ideas weren't good ideas?

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According to the New York Times, yes, the New York Times, while campaigning in 2008, then Senator Obama lied about a "dispute" he had with a health insurance company so he could pull the sympanthy card with voters by saying the insurer wouldn't give her coverage because her cancer was a pre-existing condition. Turns out, the insurer did give his mother coverage and reimbursed her medical costs.

The White House on Wednesday declined to challenge an account in a new book that suggests that President Obama, in his campaign to overhaul American health care, mischaracterized a central anecdote about his mother’s deathbed dispute with her insurance company.

During his presidential campaign and subsequent battle over a health care law, Mr. Obama quieted crowds with the story of his mother’s fight with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage.

In offering the story as an argument for ending pre-existing condition exclusions by health insurers, the president left the clear impression that his mother’s fight was over health benefits for medical expenses.

But in “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” author Janny Scott quotes from correspondence from the president’s mother to assert that the 1995 dispute concerned a Cigna disability insurance policy and that her actual health insurer had apparently reimbursed most of her medical expenses without argument.

In her book, published in May by Riverhead Books, Ms. Scott writes that Mr. Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, had an employer-provided health insurance policy that paid her hospital bills directly, leaving her “to pay only the deductible and any uncovered expenses, which, she said, came to several hundred dollars a month.”

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