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The Best of Notable Quotables; December 19, 1994

Vol. Seven; No. 26


Flatliner Award (for Brain-Dead Health Reporting)



“Everyone is applauding, I think, in the health care community, the emphasis on universal access, because they know that unless they’re going to let some people just die in the streets, it makes sense to get medical care early, when it’s going to be more effective and less costly....the insurance companies are the focal point for the dynamics of denial that are part of our present for-profit system.”

– ABC medical editor Dr. Tim Johnson, January 26 World News Tonight.


Runners-up:


“Bryant, a Democrat can get insurance reform. It will take a Republican President to get universal coverage to prove that it’s not a Neanderthal party ten years from now.”

– NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert on Today, September 7.

“The Clinton plan proposes totally free coverage, no co-payment for preventive measures....The single-payer plan, and the House Education and Labor Committee would add free family-planning services and contraceptives for poor women.”

– ABC reporter Ann Compton, May 26 Good Morning America.

“Most of the riders saw themselves as missionaries spreading the word about how the current health care system had failed them. Some were Republican, others Democrat; some were against abortion, others supported abortion rights. Most said they were not political. Their main focus was on assuring that every American be covered by health insurance. In their view, the Health Security Express was a nonpartisan effort to persuade Congress to pass legislation that provides universal coverage.”

Washington Post Health section Editor Abigail Trafford on the Health Care Express, August 9.

Reporter Tom Pettit: “Of all of the states, Hawaii has the most coverage, the closest thing to universal coverage, which the President has made the centerpiece of his health plan. Since 1974, twenty years ago, Hawaii has required employers to insure their workers and the state to cover the unemployed.”
Governor John Waihee III: “We cover actually about 97, 98 percent of our population.”
Pettit: “That is why Hawaii is a paradise, I guess.”

NBC Nightly News story, January 29.