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Clinton, healthcare advocate, behind in staff's health care premiums

March 31, 2008 |  9:12 pm

Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who has made universal healthcare one of the centerpieces of her campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, was more than a quarter-million dollars behind in payments for her own campaign staff's healthcare premiums, according to financial records.

The unpaid health insurance bills had been accumulating for months, according to Politico.com, which examined her latest campaign financial filings with the Federal Election Commission. They ended 2007 with $213,000 owed to Aetna Healthcare for "employee benefits." During January and February of this year, the debt rose another $16,000.

A Clinton campaign spokesman, Jay Carson, said at no time did employee insurance coverage lapse for campaign staff, spouses, partners and children because of the unpaid bills. He said that during March the campaign paid all outstanding healthcare bills and the balance would be zero in upcoming reports covering March.

By comparison, neither Sen. John McCain nor Sen. Barack Obama's campaign reported any substantial healthcare debts. In terms of overall debts, Obama's effort reported only $625,000 in debts. McCain's reported $3 million owed on a bank loan and only $1.3 million owned to vendors.

Clinton's overall debt on Feb. 29 was reported as $8.7 million, including $3,161 owned to her old high school, as reported in a previous item today. After its publication, Carson said the check had been written to Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Ill.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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