(Casper Weinberger - Long before Iran-Contra, but the spots are the same)
I almost forgot Casper Weinberger was a holdover from the Nixon administration. During the Ford period he was Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, responsible for slashing budgets long before Reagan made him Secretary of Defense.
So, with the current state of Health Care reform going in full siege mode, I thought I would dig out an Issues And Answers episode from October 10, 1974 where Weinberger gives his two cents regarding a National Health Care package:
Edward P. Morgan (ABC News): “Let me quote to you from a speech you made a month ago when you said ‘since price controls were lifted, the cost of medical care has increased fifty percent faster than the economy as a whole. And this we must and will moderate.’ Are you talking about some kind of controls over medical costs?
Sec. Casper Weinberger: “Well I have said with considerable roughness, because I’m a free market man, I don’t like controls. But I do think there is not a free market in Health Care and I do think the increases have outstripped the cost of living , and the cost of living is obviously racing away at totally unacceptable levels now. And so I personally have felt for some time that cost controls are necessary in the health field. And as a matter of fact they’re contained in our bill of National Health Insurance. But meanwhile, before that bill was enacted there have been very high rises in healthcare costs, particularly in hospital rooms. Some of these can be justified as passing on additional costs that hospitals are incurring. But the fact that they are going faster than the CPI, the Consumer Price Index, is a matter of very grave worry to us because it erodes the ability of anybody to receive health care, and for another thing it’s costing the Government a billion dollars extra in our own health programs . . . .
Morgan: “ Mister Secretary, our time is running out . . . . .
Stop me if you've heard this, but I don't recall any Healthcare Bill that was enacted to bring down the cost of Healthcare - do you?
Oddly, Edward P. Morgan stops and shifts the conversation rather quickly over to Betty Ford's recent Cancer surgery and the subject of National Health Insurance is never brought up again.
Maybe it was the timeclock, but cynicism makes me wonder otherwise.