Notable Quotables - 09/13/1993


Health Care Fantasies

"Though many analysts are skeptical of the administration's numbers, they say universal health care will save the government money...In all, some $31 billion a year could be saved by shifting insurance costs for the working poor and elderly from the government to their employers."
- ABC reporter Jim Angle, September 2 World News Tonight.

"White House officials said today the plan will require almost no new taxes. Most of the funding will come from employers who will be required to pay into a state system."
- CBS reporter Linda Douglass, September 1 Evening News.


The Free Market's The Worst

"In the end, managed competition is an elaborate attempt to avoid facing an obvious fact: national health systems control costs, and market-based systems, no matter how conscientiously designed, do not. The United States already has the most competitive medicine in the world....It is exactly this competition that makes American medicine so expensive....competition has shown itself the greatest medical cost-inflator of all.

"Someday, when some form of national health care has come to the United States, we will look back on 1993 and say: why didn't we just get it over with then? Private-sector market forces are the foundation of American affluence. But there is no shame in admitting that in the special case of medical care, such forces backfire."
- Newsweek contributing editor Gregg Easterbrook, September 6 issue.


Someone Hasn't Read the Budget

"The fact is there's only one place in government where spending is going up anymore and that is doctor and hospital fees, and that spending cut will come probably a little later in health care."
- CNN reporter Ken Bode on Inside Politics, August 23.


An Indecisive White House?

Clinton aides see stronger economy
- Boston Globe, September 2

White House Sees Sluggish Growth
- Los Angeles Times, same day


Happy Labor Day

"Today, work in America, in Russia, indeed throughout the industrialized world, has drifted a long way from the Marxist and capitalist ideals. For all but the elite, work holds less promise, less purpose, less security, and less dignity than it did a generation ago....America is also the place where comparatively light regulation of worker-employer relations has produced the disposable job. It comes with little or no health or pension coverage, with hours the employer can change at will, and often with no assurance that the job will still be around next week."
- New York Times reporter Peter Kilborn, September 5 "Week in Review."


Hateful Dole

"Dole said at the start that he was going to be very selective in his use of the filibuster...I think what's happened is that he's just gotten carried away with the sheer negative, hateful joy of the whole thing."
- New York Times Washington Bureau Chief R.W. Apple quoted in Rolling Stone, September 30 issue.


Self-Help's Just An Excuse

"I know that many of the ideas that you advocate - self-help, up-by-the-bootstraps arguments - that has been used for years as an excuse for the government to do nothing. Hasn't it?"
- CBS reporter Eric Engberg to Rep. Gary Franks (R-Conn.), August 28 Face the Nation.


Michael Jackson: Like Reagan?

"The explanation for this almost evasive coverage has to do with [Michael] Jackson's peculiar relationship with the public, and the interpretation of that relationship by the press. The feeling is: he may be a space cadet, but he's our space cadet, and we want to keep him. He's the Ronald Reagan of pop."
- Newsweek media writer Jonathan Alter, September 6.


And The Media Crabbed On

"But [And The Band Played On] saves its most damning indictment for the Reagan administration, whose politics-as-usual myopia (and alleged homophobia) kept AIDS researchers starved for federal funding. Some of this is cheap shooting: whenever the going gets grimmest, we see newsreel clips of an obliviously beaming Gipper. But there's one line that rings all-too-truly. `You know damn well if this epidemic were killing grandmothers, virgins, and four-star generals,' grouses an overworked doctor, `you'd have an army of investigators out there.'"
- Newsweek TV critic Harry F. Waters on the new HBO movie, September 6.

"In the plague years of the 1980s - that low decade of denial, indifference, hostility, opportunism, and idiocy - government fiddled, medicine diddled, and the media were silent or hysterical. A gerontocratic Ronald Reagan took this plague less seriously than Gerald Ford had taken swine flu. After all, he didn't need the ghettos and he didn't want the gays."
- CBS Sunday Morning TV critic John Leonard, September 5.


Fewer Employed, Fewer Unemployed

US loses jobs in August
- Boston Globe, September 4

Jobless Rate Is Lowest In Almost Two Years
- Washington Post, same day

Gorby Saves the Planet

"Now into the breach strides Mikhail Gorbachev, who is once again a man with a mission. Helping end the cold war and pushing for democratic reform in Russia were simple compared with the new challenge he has taken up. As President of the International Green Cross/Green Crescent, a private organization intended to help coordinate global environmental initiatives, Gorbachev hopes to do nothing less than spearhead a drive to save the planet."
- Time Associate Editor Eugene Linden, September 6.


Dan "Look at My Chest Hair" Rather & Hurricane Emily

"Well, in Texas they have a saying: `That's a good way for Momma to drive a Cadillac,' which is a way of saying that if you play with one of these things, particularly if you are in a low-water area. I would say, Harry, this morning there must be lot of people who are in that let's-have-another-cup-of-coffee-and-not- worry-about-it stage. And I agree with that. That's the stage to be in."
- Dan Rather with CBS This Morning co-host Harry Smith, August 30.

"Harry, I don't want to take away from the severity of what you two were talking about, but please pass along to Dan he looks great in his jeans today."
- CBS This Morning co-host Paula Zahn, same morning.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Brant Clifton, Chris Crowley, Andrew Gabron, Steve Kaminski; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Circulation Manager
- David Muska; Intern