QUOTES OF THE YEAR: WHAT THEY SAID IN 1997
"We keep talking about holding hands and jumping off together,This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
but we're still saying 'You first.'" (American Health Line, 1/29)
-- Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, on bipartisan plans to
increase Medicare premiums for upper-income beneficiaries.
"The light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train."
(American Health Line, 2/13)
-- Former Sen. Warren Rudman, on the impact of the aging
population on the health care system.
"When it comes to health care, I don't want a Yugo, and I don't
need a Rolls-Royce. A Dodge or Chevy or Ford will do quite
nicely." (American Health Line, 2/26)
-- U.S. Rep. John Dingell, on managed care quality legislation.
"Too many patients come to discover too late that what the large
print giveth, the small print taketh away." (American Health
-- Connecticut State Medical Society's Timothy Norbeck, on the
need for state managed care regulations.
"The day of the free-standing hospital went the way of the
physician with the black bag." (American Health Line, 3/28)
-- West Virginia Hospital Assn. President Steven Summer.
"The way people are reacting, you'd think it was the end of
Western civilization if a sick person smokes a joint." (American
Health Line, 4/4)
-- State Sen. John Vasconcellos, on controversial medical
marijuana legislation being considered in California.
"We should not hook up Dr. Kevorkian to the United States
Treasury." (American Health Line, 4/17)
-- Sen. John Ashcroft, on Senate approval of a ban on federal
funding of physician-assisted suicide.
"I'm quite confident that if we'll all work together, we can get
an impressive expansion in health care coverage for children in
this congressional session." (American Health Line, 4/18)
-- President Clinton, at a White House conference on
early childhood development.
"If you can't win in North Carolina, where can you win?"
(American Health Line, 4/28)
-- An unidentified tobacco industry lobbyist, on a ruling by a
Greensboro, NC, federal judge that the FDA can regulate tobacco
as a drug.
"At this point, there is a certain level of anxiety which we
should all feel about insurance companies getting in our genes."
(American Health Line, 5/1)
-- Arizona Gov. Fife Symington, on a new state law prohibiting
insurers from discriminating based on genetic testing.
"It doesn't matter what gets agreed to in these negotiations. It
will get turned into hamburger in Congress." (American Health
-- University of California at San Francisco's Stan Glantz,
on the fate of any global tobacco settlement.
"Under many ... health plans, a woman's insurance often covers a
prescription to alleviate allergy symptoms but not a prescription
to prevent an unintended and life-altering pregnancy." (American
Health Line, 5/15)
-- Sen. Olympia Snowe, introducing a bill that would require
insurers to cover contraceptives.
"This (procedure-by-procedure) approach will lead the country
toward a 'Baskin Robbins' health care system, where a certain
medical condition will be the 'flavor of the month.'" (American
Health Line, 5/21)
-- American College of Physicians President William Reynolds, on
the need for comprehensive managed care reform.
"If an HMO is still the judge and the jury, there's always a fear
they'll still end up being the executioner." (American Health
-- Citizen Action's Robert Kirsch, countering HMOs' claims that
external treatment denial review processes are unnecessary.
"Joe Camel, the suave dromedary who excelled at billiards, played
the saxophone and tirelessly promoted R.J. Reynolds Tobacco's
Camel cigarettes from behind dark glasses, died yesterday at his
home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina." (American Health Line,
-- Reuters News Agency's Christian Thompson
"The nonprofit community hospital system we have had for 100
years is like Humpty-Dumpty ... once you take it apart you can't
put it back together again." (American Health Line, 7/21)
-- Rhode Island Senate Majority Leader Paul Kelly, on a bill that
would limit for-profit hospital takeovers in the state.
"I would be happy to defend the vote of any member of Congress,
Democrat or Republican, who votes for this." (American Health
-- President Clinton, on means-testing for Medicare premiums.
"We interviewed at least 120 patients, and none of them were even
qualified for home health services. In most cases, they didn't
know the doctors, they didn't know the nurses, didn't know the
home health aides. They never got a visit." (American Health
-- Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Bonau, on an alleged Medicare
home health fraud scheme in Florida.
"Our private health information is being shared, collected,
analyzed and stored with fewer federal safeguards than our video
store records." (American Health Line, 8/11)
-- Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala.
"The AMA apologizes for creating a public doubt about our
motives. We take full responsibility for actions on our part
that may have eroded our credibility." (American Health Line,
-- American Medical Association Executive Vice President Dr. John
Seward, on the AMA's decision to try to dismantle an endorsement
contract with Sunbeam.
"If what I tried to do before won't work, maybe we can do it
another way." (American Health Line, 9/16)
-- President Clinton, calling for the incremental enactment of
his health care reform program.
"We are the savings-and-loan industry of the decade." (American
Health Line, 9/23)
-- Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. Chair and CEO Dr. Thomas Frist.
"If you don't want to die with a lot of tubes in you, then HMO
care may be the place to be." (American Health Line, 9/24)
-- Stanford University Medical Center's Dr. Leslie Lenert, on a
new study that finds that HMOs may manage end-of-life care better
than fee-for-service insurers.
"The focus of comprehensive tobacco legislation should be to
prevent kids from becoming hooked on tobacco -- not to get the
tobacco companies off the hook." (American Health Line, 11/10)
-- Sen. Frank Lautenberg, on legislation that would nearly double
the price tag of the global tobacco settlement.
"It played out in a rather different way from what I had
envisaged when I proposed the managed care revolution 20 years
ago." (American Health Line, 11/21)
-- Stanford University health economist Alain Enthoven, on the
negative consumer backlash to managed care.
"If the positions are this hardened at the outset, then we should
just turn off the lights." (American Health Line, 12/2)
-- Urban Institute fellow Marilyn Moon, on House Speaker Newt
Gingrich's insistence that his appointments to the Medicare
reform commission take a "no new taxes" pledge.
"They made mistakes when they came in Massachusetts. They got
bad press before they came into the state, they got bad press
when they were here. My sense is that they would like to get
good press when they leave the state." (American Health Line,
-- MetroWest Medical Center CEO Thomas Hennessy, on Columbia's
decision to sell the hospital quickly.
"The 'smoking guns' are trickling out, but the 'smoking
howitzers' remain under lock and key." (American Health Line,
-- Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey, on secret
documents released by the tobacco companies.