Book Scuttles Obama's Health Care Story

His mother had health insurance when she died, and it paid up
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2011 11:17 AM CDT
This 1960's photo provided by the presidential campaign of President Barack Obama, shows Obama with his mother Stanley Ann Dunham.   (AP Photo/Obama Presidential Campaign)

(Newser) – A recent book on President Obama’s mother undermines his oft-told story that his mother spent the final years of her life battling insurance companies over her medical bills. The book, by New York Times reporter Janny Scott, reveals that Ann Dunham actually had health insurance that readily paid her claims. She did have a dispute, but it was with her disability insurance, the Times reports. And Obama must have known that, because in one letter she turns the case over to “my son and attorney, Barack Obama.”

The Times says it’s been asking the administration to comment on the account since June, and the White House hasn’t disputed it. “The president has told this story based on his recollection of events that took place more than 15 years ago,” a White House spokesman said, suggesting that Obama’s account was accurate, because Dunham was fighting an insurance company to pay for her care. But, the paper notes, disability insurance was never at issue in the health care overhaul.

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