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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Mary Ann myth: Kerry falsifies NH woman’s story

August 8, 2004
NEXT TIME John Kerry accuses President Bush of misleading the American people, remember Mary Ann Knowles. Knowles is the Hudson woman whose battle with breast cancer Kerry has turned into a campaign anecdote. Here is what Kerry said about Knowles during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on July 29:

What does it mean when Mary Ann Knowles, a woman with breast cancer I met in New Hampshire, had to keep working day after day right through her chemotherapy, no matter how sick she felt, because she was terrified of losing her family’s health insurance? America can do better. And help is on the way.”

What it means is that John Kerry is fibbing. As Union Leader correspondent Scott Brooks reported on Sunday, Mary Ann Knowles did not have to work through her chemotherapy for fear of losing her health insurance. Employed by Elderhostel, the Boston-based non-profit travel organization for people 55 and older, Mary Ann had 26 weeks of paid disability at her disposal. More was available for a long-term illness. She did not have to work through her chemotherapy. She chose to.

Knowles would have lost some income had she taken the disability leave, said her husband, who is unemployed. But she would not have lost her health insurance, as Kerry has repeatedly misstated. ... FR Reprint.

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