A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 16, 2011
“Keep your government hands off my Medicare!”

"Keep your government hands off my Medicare!” was selected by Yale Book of Quotations editor Fred Shapiro to be 2009’s top quotation. Medicare is a government-run program. The statement was allegedly given by a speaker at a town hall meeting in Simpsonville, South Carolina, held by Congressman Bob Inglis in July 2009. President Barack Obama, also in July 2009, said that he received a letter saying, “I don’t want government-run health care. I don’t want socialized medicine. And don’t touch my Medicare.”

The same statement was allegedly made in 1993-94, when healthcare was also a prominent issue. Members of Congress and the Senate were reportedly told “You tell the government to keep its grubby hands off my Medicare” and “The government should keep its hands off my Medicare!” Bill Kristol wrote in the July 29, 2009 The Weekly Standard, “The president is recycling an old anecdote, perhaps from the 1993-1994 health care debate, perhaps from before.”


,a href="http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.joel-furr/browse_thread/thread/61124e7829d6c8e9/f2b96092bf13b60e?hl=en&q=%22hands+off+my+medicare%22">Google Groups: alt.fan.joel-furr
Newsgroups: alt.fan.joel-furr
From: (Todd C. Lawson)
Date: 10 Nov 1994 22:14:17 GMT
Local: Thurs, Nov 10 1994 5:14 pm
Subject: Re: Soooooey

From Todd C. Lawson, Washington, DC \
“You tell the government to keep its grubby hands off my Medicare.”
- A constituent talking to Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) that doesn’t realize the government *runs* Medicare.  People of this “intelligence” vote GOP.

Google Books
Breaking the News:
How the media undermine American democracy

By James M. Fallows
New York, NY: Pantheon Books
1996
Pg. 210:
In town meetings during the health-care fight, representatives of the Clinton administration often heard complaints along the lines of, “The government should keep its hands off my Medicare!”

Google Books
Crisis in American Institutions
Edited by Jerome H. Skolnick and Elliott Currie
New York, NY: Longman
1997
Pg. 315:
Perhaps apocryphal is the story that spread like wildfire during the recent debate on national health care reform in which an elderly Louisiana citizen pleaded with Senator John Breaux to “please keep government’s hands off my Medicare.”

Google Books
The Argument Culture:
Moving from debate to dialogue

By Deborah Tannen
New York, NY: Random House
1998
Pg. 105:
(One constituent said to Senator Nancy Kassebaum, “Tell the government to keep its hands off my Medicare!")

Google Books
Public Discourse in America:
Conversation and community in the twenty-first century

By Judith Rodin and Stephen P. Steinberg
Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press
2004
Pg. 101:
Americans never understood the government’s role in Medicare and the cost that it entailed — a confusion nicely illustrated by a constituent’s angry letter to Representative Pat Schroeder urging her to “keep the government’s hands off my Medicare.”

Washington (DC) Post
S.C. Senator Is a Voice Of Reform Opposition
DeMint a Champion Of Conservatives

By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
(...)
In other pockets of the state, the reaction to Democratic proposals has been strong, too. At a recent town-hall meeting in suburban Simpsonville, a man stood up and told Rep. Robert Inglis (R-S.C.) to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.”

“I had to politely explain that, ‘Actually, sir, your health care is being provided by the government,’ “ Inglis recalled. “But he wasn’t having any of it.”

TPM LiveWire
Obama Pokes Fun At ‘Don’t Touch My Medicare’ People
Rachel Slajda | July 28, 2009, 3:26PM
President Obama poked fun today at people who want the government to stay out of Medicare.

“I got a letter the other day from a woman. She said, ‘I don’t want government-run health care. I don’t want socialized medicine. And don’t touch my Medicare,’” Obama said at an AARP-hosted town hall on health care. The crowd laughed.

The Weekly Standard
Kristol: Obama’s Imaginary Correspondent?
11:06 AM, Jul 29, 2009 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Here’s President Obama yesterday: “And I got a letter the other day from a woman. She said, ‘I don’t want government-run health care, I don’t want socialized medicine, and don’t touch my Medicare.’ (Laughter.) And I wanted to say, well, I mean, that’s what Medicare is, it’s a government-run health care plan that people are very happy with.”

Perhaps the president was joking, or using hyperbole. But, for what it’s worth, I don’t believe the president got such a letter “the other day from a woman.” (I’ll withdraw my disbelief if the letter is produced.)

The president is recycling an old anecdote, perhaps from the 1993-1994 health care debate, perhaps from before, about someone standing up at town hall and saying something like, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.”

New York (NY) Times
Health Care Realities
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: July 30, 2009
At a recent town hall meeting, a man stood up and told Representative Bob Inglis to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.” The congressman, a Republican from South Carolina, tried to explain that Medicare is already a government program — but the voter, Mr. Inglis said, “wasn’t having any of it.”

NPR
‘You Lie,’ ‘Hands Off’ Among Year’s Top Quotes
December 30, 2009
The quotes of current times are not great rhetorical speeches, but outbursts and clever remarks. This year’s No. 1 quote, as selected by the The Yale Book of Quotations: “Keep your government hands off my Medicare,” uttered by an anonymous attendee at a town hall health care meeting in South Carolina.
(...)
Mr. SHAPIRO: The number one quote of the year: Keep your government hands off my Medicare. An anonymous speaker at a health-care-reform town hall meeting in Simpsonville, South Carolina, said this to congressman Bob Inglis, a Republican congressman who answered him by saying that Medicare is entirely created by the government.
SIEGEL: Yes, there’s the catch…
(Soundbite of laughter)
SIEGEL: ...about Medicare.
Mr. SHAPIRO: And I think what this represents is the extremism, or the confusion, of our political times. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Saturday, April 16, 2011 • Permalink