Monday, October 20, 2008

Sarah Palin's Health Transparency: NOT

The New York Times today has published a expose on the lack of health records released during the election by the candidates. The bulk of the article, probably fairly, focuses on John McCain since he has had the longest and most serious health history, including several bouts with cancer.

Here's what the Times article has to say about Sarah Palin. It's not much.

Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, 44, Mr. McCain’s running mate, has released no medical information.


Nothing is known publicly about Ms. Palin’s medical history, aside from the much-discussed circumstances surrounding the birth of her fifth child last April. Ms. Palin has said that her water broke while she was at a conference in Dallas and that she flew to Anchorage, where she gave birth to her son Trig hours after landing.

Last week Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for Ms. Palin, said the governor declined to be interviewed or provide any health records.

Sarah Palin is young, and clearly has taken very good care of her health via a vigorous lifestyle and exercise. She watches her weight. So why not release "any" health records?

There are criticisms - probably justified in every case - of the other candidates not releasing enough. But Palin has released NOTHING.

The only reason is that there's something in the records that she doesn't want people to see. Otherwise, why give people any ammunition?

And for those whiny Palin supporters who start saying, "Privacy. She should have her privacy," I say hogwash. Americans have the right to know before we elect.

Do I think that Sarah Palin is hiding any horrible health problems? No. But if there is no health "problem," then there must be another reason. And there's only one reason I can think of, and that is that it will be clear that everything she said about her fifth pregnancy last spring will mysteriously be no where to be found... the Down's diagnosis... the birth... everything.


Lady Rose said...

I am just surprised that it is not a requirement to release the medical records of candidates - it is something the public has a right to know.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should read the New York Times article carefully. It raises questions about McCain's health as well - and of course that impacts Palin.

It is suggested, though can't be proven, that his melanoma in 2000 was actually more serious than reported. This is based on the surgery that was done - surgery recommended for a Class III melanoma, not a Class IIa. The reason this matters is that a Class III has only a 36% ten year survival rate, instead of a 60% for Class IIa. (This is all in the article... read it!)

Anyone really looked at him lately? He's very "twitchy." Compare him to some of the earliest Republican candidate debates or press conferences he gave a year ago. There's plenty of material on YouTube to do so. He's changed. There's something going on. I'm not a doctor, but I went through melanoma with the parent of a friend, and they can get metastases in the brain.

More than maybe any other election in modern history, we are not only electing a president but we are electing a vice president who has the best chance ever of becoming president.

Sarah "Tight Abs" Palin and the First Dude in the White House? It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious and possibly real.

Judy from Toledo

Anonymous said...

I have heard rumors that McCain has a brain tumor, the evidence being something weird with one of his eyes. That's all we need--Miss Bimbo as prsident!

If Palin refuses to release any medical info, that implies she is hiding something. Can't she just say something vague, like, "I'm in very good health, and there is nothing to report"?

Also, does nayone have a link to the NY Times article?

Handle that Scandal! said...

I was just about to write about the NY Times article but it seems that you are one step ahead of me.

It was very puzzling to see that there was no mention of Sarah Palin's medical history. I think the NY Times was making a subtle gesture by saying that there were "much discussed circumstances surrounding the birth of her fifth child".

I am a believer that what happens in the dark comes out in the light. Seriously, this story is huge! I have a feeling that Bristol isn't pregnant now and soon she will be in an "accident" and "lose the baby".

Thank you Audrey for your site. When I read it I feel like I am not alone and I am not "cuckoo for cocoa puffs". :)

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree there is something brewing in the media. Andrew Sullivan hints at it today as well.

That said, there COULD be other, less damaging reasons for not releasing medical records.

She could be a regular botox user. She could have had abortions, she could have fake breasts. Any number of things they simply don't want out there that don't add up to her not being Trigs mom.

But, I suspect we'll know the truth before too long.


Jay Raskin said...

The refusal to release the medical records is quite suspicious. The only two reasons that I can think of is: 1) She has some unknown serious medical condition.
2) A drug problem
3) She is hiding something about her last announced pregnancy.

The problem with the first one is that she has kept up quite an active schedule in the past eight months with more than fifty airplane trips of well over 50,000 miles. One would imagine that someone with a serious medical condition would take it easy.

She could be addicted to drugs, or have been addicted to drugs in the past. The reported behavior of her children tend to point in this direction. Still, I don't really see in her any of the erratic behaviors that are typical of drug addictions. Perhaps medical experts could comment on this.

That leaves us with another arrow pointing towards the "Trig is not her baby" hypothesis.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Sullivan, The Alantic blogger, mentions the Times article and promises he'll have more to say:

"As for the 'much-discussed circumstances' around Trig's birth, stay tuned."


Anonymous said...

Andrew Sullivan's entry is now up.


Anonymous said...

I just read Andrew Sulivan's post on Palin's medical records. He mentions that after Palin announced her pregnancy to a group of reporters, she then left to go eat some king crab. I thought eating shellfish during pregnancy was considered risky?

Anonymous said...

Audrey: I have another question for you. I read awhile ago that Sarah's trip to Kuwait to visit the National Guard from Alaska was in August, 2007. Do you have any definitive information about exactly when that trip took place? If her due date for Trig was supposed to be May, 2008, then August, 2007 would have been exactly nine months before that due date! -- Ohio Granny

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if I read the right NYT article. The one I read, stated that Barack Obama released a one-page statement from his doctor regarding his health. Doesn't that concern any of you?

If Palin released a one-page letter from a doctor, would you be satisfied?

If not, can someone, explain their justification for the different standards?

I'm new to this blog, so I haven't looked over the other posts. If t his topic has been covered, please accept my apology for blogging before looking.

Anonymous said...

If Sarah Palin did have Trig, maybe she should be in the sequel to the Discovery Channel Documentary that is going to show next week?

I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant

"I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" is a compelling documentary special that explores the fascinating and utterly surprising phenomenon of women who were completely unaware that they were pregnant....until they went into labor!

Anonymous said...

I found the following interesting Sarah Palin video on the website:

"Palin not the best America has to offer"

I wonder what people in other countries must think when they see a thuggish dolt like Sarah Palin nominated for Vice President.

Is she representative of American women?

Is she representative of Alaskan women?


Anonymous said...

I am guessing it would be very difficult for her to reconstruct pre-natal visits. Faking the birth is one thing, but if she did not receive pre-natal care for a Downs baby, one could only assume that she is the worst king of diva.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous who mentioned the Discovery program: How VERY convenient for this program to come out at this time!! I have always been suspicious of the Discovery Channel .. they always seem to support or "prove" that conspiracy theories are always nothing but conspiracy theories and make the "theorists" look like fools. Regardless, that theory is not pertinent in her case because she has said on record that she knew Trig had Downs Syndrome at 13 weeks .. therefore, her keeping it secret had nothing to do with her not knowing. It is interesting though if they try and use this.


Audrey said...

To the person who questioned about Obama releasing a one page statement, yes, it does concern me. From this article, I think it's pretty clear that none of the candidates have provided the solid picture that the American deserve.

And frankly, I don't have health concerns about Sarah Palin. She's by far the most likely to be in very good health. (Obama is the same age but a former - or by some reports - semi-current smoker. He may have some health problems that have not been revealed.)

I think the American public deserves to know whether she lied about the birth a a child, whom she has made a center point of her persona. It's all just one more non-transparent thing about this candidate for whom deception and "fudging" seems to be a way of life.

Anonymous said...

Dear Appalled, until Sarah releases her medical records no one will know if she had an amnio at 13 weeks or any other prenatal care. All we have is her claim, and she has made disputed claims about many things in her past.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous from Appalled: I'm just saying that's what she said in one video interview that I listened to. Of COURSE it could be a lie .. I stated before once that when she was 7 months supposedly pregnant and announced her pregnancy to the local press, she did not seem concerned AT ALL that her baby was going to have DS. Clearly there is a coverup! And yes, please let us see your medical records! In fact, I'll bet most new government hirees in lower paying jobs have to submit to urine/drug testing without exception. This a TOP job and nothing less should satisfy any thinking American!


Audrey said...

Sarah was in Kuwait in late July. There are numerous pictures on the web of this trip dated on or around July 24th, 2008.

Anonymous said...

We've got a crazy continuum here of McCain submitting over a 1,000 pages of info and Palin on the other end submitting none. The American people deserve some kind of medical standard for *all candidates* to meet in terms of releasing their records.


amy said...

Audrey -- Sarah actually traveled overseas in 2007, not 2008.

Anonymous said...

Reading Andrew Sullivan's first MSM post on the subject, he follows journalistic rules very closely in laying out the available record except for the following

"The Dish also talked to a reporter who was present at the hospital that day and confirmed as an eye witness that Palin was indeed there, sleeping in another room, recovering from labor."

How the reporter would know that she was sleeping to recover from labor is beyond me unless the reporter was there during her labor and observed it. Any speculation on why she was sleeping is simply that: speculation. She could have just been tired from the trip. I know I would be.

Sullivan himself doesn't speculate that the Palin pregnancy was faked, but one might conclude that he thinks so although he won't say so himself. Don't be surprised if he's fired.


Anonymous said...

Sullivan has long demanded Palin's medical records because he too has many questions about her pregnancy.

I don't think Sullivan will get fired. He brings much traffic to The Atlantic.


Gryphen said...

Yeah Audrey, Amy is right that Kuwait trip happened in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Sullivan had 40 million page views last year, his first year at The Atlantic.

He brings lots of attention to the Palin pregnancy.


Anonymous said...

Sarah was in Colorado today quoting Mother Theresa with regard to loving every human being, her obvious anti-abortion ploy. She said that she and John McCain have a "vision" of providing for every child. I guess she doesn't know that John voted against the children's health bill that went down to defeat. How dare this witch have the arrogance to put herself in alignment with a true saint--Mother Theresa!

Anonymous said...

Sarah has a vision for providing for every child? What a joke.

Why doesn't she and John McCain advocate for more regulation of health insurance companies, not less? Why doesn't she and John advocate for the end of health insurance underwriting where insurance companies who provide non-group health insurance are allowed to cherry-pick and only insure the healthy?

Why doesn't Sarah acknowledge that her own son Trig would be uninsurable on the private health care market in Alaska which allows insurers of non-group plans to turn down anyone with a health problem? Why doesn't Sarah acknowledge that Trig is going to require a fortune in lifetime medical care and that she is damn lucky that she works for the big bad Government, which allows her to put Trig on her big bad Government health care policy and thus have the taxpayers pay for his healthcare. Oh, sorry, that's socialism.

Anonymous said...

According to the NYT article of 9/7/08,
"For much of the summer, she carried Trig in a sling as she signed bills and sat through hearings, even nursing him unseen during conference calls."

Whose word does the reporter have that Sarah was nursing baby Trig?

Jay Raskin said...

I think that one of our anonymous posts has hit on a possible reason for the whole affair -- insurance. A Sarah Palin child would be covered, but a Bristol Palin child would probably not be.
It is true that Sarah and Todd Palin have a net worth of over one million dollars, but a child with Down Syndrome may need medical care costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Paying for that medical care for Bristol's child might endanger the Palins' nest egg or even impoverish them.

If this is true, then we can question whether Palin did this charade for Bristol's sake or for economic reasons. It looks a bit less heroic when we factor in the economic considerations.

Anonymous said...

If Sarah and Todd Palin had adopted Trig from Bristol or whoever the birth parent is, Trig would still get their insurance. So it's not about insurance. More likely, they're protecting the birth parents' identity, if we're right that it isn't them.


kimhall said...

I am guessing Palin's medical record would show a tubal ligation after Piper's birth...making it impossible for her to be Trig's biological mother.

Silvergirl said...

Kimhall, you raise a good point. I wonder if Sarah did have a tubal ligation, or some other reason she could not give birth.

I wonder if Geraldine Ferraro made her medical records known. Does anyone know?

I think the GOP may decide that a woman's gyn records are private, and just release the rest of Sarah's records.

Anonymous said...

To Appalled,

Are you suggesting the Discovery Channel is part of the right wing neo-con-spiracy and just whipped together a 60 minute documentary in less than 7 weeks to somehow defend Sarah Palin?

Appalled Too

Anonymous said...

We all want to get to the bottom of this mystery. If Palin faked her pregnancy, that's appropriate for voters to consider.

But looking ahead, we could lose a lot of good women candidates if they fear losing all medical privacy. It's different than for a man. Does everyone in the world really need to know about a woman's personal contraceptive choices, pregnancy tests, abortions and sexual relations issues? What about cosmetic procedures like breast implants, botox or even tatooed eye or (hey, Sarah) lipliner?

Don't we all have things in our doctor's notes that we don't want shared with our neighbors and coworkers via the press?

There's got to be a reasonable middle ground. And if Palin exploits it so we don't get the answers we deserve as voters, please realize that's not all bad.

We can still look for answers through the normal news-gathering process. Thanks to Audrey and all of you for keeping the heat on! --jwc

Anonymous said...

We don't need all of her medical records, just enough to prove that she's Trig's mother (or isn't). Since she already talked to the press at length about it, and made statements to the effect that she is Trig's mother, all we want is proof.

And I doubt that female candidates would routinely have to PROVE that they are the mother of their children, even if they may not want the child to know, for instance, that he or she is adopted. This is a specific case of Sarah Palin's pregnancy, labor and delivery story she gave to the press and public is simply not credible.

Instead of producing just a little of what should be copious evidence to support her assertion of motherhood, they have attacked US for asking. If Michele Obama had offered a story like Sarah Palin's for the birth of one of her children, you can BET that the right-wing blogs were flog it day after day after day, then dispute every piece of evidence that was produced.

This whole thing doesn't pass the sniff test. Thanks to Audrey for keeping the subject alive.


Anonymous said...

It is possible that their insurance will cover minor children of minor children. Some gold-plated plans do. I would assume the Palin family has a very good plan.

I used to work with a woman who had an unplanned baby after a tubal ligation. Obviously the doctor messed up. I also know of an unplanned baby after a vasectomy--another medical screw-up. If Sarah is Trig's mom (which I doubt, but just suppose) the pregnancy could have been planned or unplanned.

Anonymous said...

But if Sarah returned to Alaska after loosing this campaign, and the people of Alaska impeached her what would happen to her health care (or "socialism" as she would call it)? Would the people of Alaska pay for her health care ("socialism") for the rest of her life?
It's interesting how it's "socialism" when the rest of the taxpayers have it but when McCain/Palin have it, they don't call it socialism...McCain has been living off the taxpayers his entire life.

Anonymous said...

It takes 5 years to vest in the Alaska state employee retirement program which would provide health insurance until death do they part.

At the rate Palin's poll numbers are dropping in Alaska, is unlikely, voters there would give Palin the chance to get the perks.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned that, after 5 years, Sarah Palin would have lifetime health insurance. Chances are that would include dependent children...perhaps lifetime care for Trig, since his disability will make him a permanent dependent? Most likely, once Bristol gets to be a certain age she will no longer be eligible for mom's insurance, meaning Trig wouldn't be either, if Trig were legally Bristol's, another good reason for Sarah to adopt Trig. I don't know what the Palin family's plan covers, but if Bristol is no longer in school, she might lose her coverage very soon. Where I work, children of employees can be covered up to age 25 IF THEY ARE FULL-TIME STUDENTS. Most plans that I have heard of have a cutoff date for kids at some point. What do you guys think?

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin today told NBC news she would release her medical records, saying "I've had five kids, that's going to be in the medical'll see that in the medical records if they're released." I wonder what that IF is about???

Here's more of the news report today from Politico:


"The first part of Brian Williams' interview with Sarah Palin will air tonight on "NBC Nightly News," and the network just released a bit of news.

"WILLIAMS: Did I hear you just agree to release your medical records?

"PALIN: The medical records, so be it. If that will allow some curiosity seekers perhaps to have one more thing that they either check the box off that they can find something to criticize or to rest them assured over. I'm healthy, happy, I've had five kids, that's going to be in the medical records, never seriously ill or hurt, you'll see that in the medical records if they're released.

"On "Hardball" just now, political director Chuck Todd said it seemed the campaign was caught off guard by this statement."