Krugman Comes Clean After Recycling Story His Own Paper Debunked

It has to be tough advocating an ideology that requires seeking out things that are bad in American society.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman found one very heartbreaking story Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton had been using on the campaign and used it in the lede of his April 11 column.

Unfortunately for Krugman it wasn't quite accurate. Even worse, his own paper was one of the first media outlets to debunk the story.

"Not long ago, a young Ohio woman named Trina Bachtel, who was having health problems while pregnant, tried to get help at a local clinic," Krugman wrote. "Unfortunately, she had previously sought care at the same clinic while uninsured and had a large unpaid balance. The clinic wouldn't see her again unless she paid $100 per visit - which she didn't have. Eventually, she sought care at a hospital 30 miles away. By then, however, it was too late. Both she and the baby died."

However, the more accurate account was published in April 5 edition of the Times. According to the Times story by Deborah Sontag, administrators at the O'Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio, said "Bachtel was under the care of an obstetrics practice affiliated with the hospital, that she was never refused treatment and that she was, in fact, insured."

Krugman admitted to the error April 14 on his Times's blog:

"It has been clear from early in this controversy, including from Times reporting, that Bachtel was insured at the time of her death. Some people read my column to say otherwise. That was not my intended implication, although I obviously didn't write clearly enough.

Her family asserted, however, that she had been unable to receive care from a local clinic, even though insured at the time of her pregnancy, because of unpaid bills from an earlier period in her life when she had been uninsured. It was in that sense that lack of insurance allegedly contributed to her death, the assertion I made at the end of the column."

Krugman went on to say he went with the story based on reporting from the Associated Press.

Health Care Poverty Medical Insurance New York Times Ohio Associated Press Deborah Sontag Trina Bachtel