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A new book about the life of Barack Obama’s mother is casting doubt on statements shared by the president during his 2008 election campaign and push for health care reform, The New York Times reports.

According to A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother, a biography written by Times reporter Janny Scott, Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, had health insurance during her 1995 battle with cancer. Such a claim disputes the narrative told by Mr. Obama.

The significant line that questions Obama’s account reads:

“Ann’s compensation for her job in Jakarta had included health insurance, which covered most of the costs of her medical treatment. 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.”

However, the president referenced a rather different story:

“For my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”

The White House did not dispute Scott’s claim, however, spokesman Nicholas Papas told the Times, “The president has told this story based on his recollection of events that took place more than 15 years ago.”



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