November 12, 1991 |
During Harris Wofford's 4 1/2 years as state labor secretary, he saw health care costs at the root of most labor disputes. What he didn't see was health care as his ticket to the U.S. Senate. Most post-election noodlers and many pre-election polls say Wofford's call for national health insurance is the main reason he won. It's an issue whose potency surprised observers and put Republicans on their heels. It seemed to come from nowhere. When Wofford was named to succeed the late John Heinz on May 8, he never mentioned health care in his speech thanking Gov. Casey.
November 6, 1991 |
The race that wasn't supposed to happen ended in a blowout that wasn't supposed to be possible. Democrat Harris Wofford crushed Republican Dick Thornburgh - by well over 300,000 votes - to keep the U.S. Senate seat he got by default last May. It was an unprecedented win. Wofford was unknown six months ago. Today, he's the first Democratic senator elected in Pennsylvania in 29 years. Philadelphia's Joseph S. Clark Jr. was the last. His campaign against Washington and on behalf of the middle class struck a chord throughout the state.
September 10, 1991 |
It's a little like waiting to see Mike Tyson throw a haymaker in a title fight, then watching him go the first round sitting on his corner stool. Democrat Harris Wofford, widely regarded a long shot to retain his U.S. Senate seat against GOP challenger Dick Thornburgh, came out less than smoking yesterday with two TV ads that don't pack much punch. Experts say the little-known Wofford's best shot at beating Thornburgh is to bloody him with tough TV ads, but Wofford's first shots aren't even jabs.
October 25, 1991 |
In future elections, they might call it "the Coyle effect. " Thelma Coyle lives in Drexel Hill, Delaware County. She's a retired Westinghouse secretary and a registered Republican who intended to vote for Dick Thornburgh for U.S. Senate on Nov. 5. Yesterday, while strolling around Penn's Landing, she bumped into Democratic Sen. Harris Wofford just after he finished a news conference. They shook hands. He went on his way. She said, "He looks better in person than on TV. " She whispered "Thornburgh" when asked how she's voting, but then said, "There's still time . . . Put me down as undecided.
September 10, 1992 |
Washington loves inventing bogus buzz-words, but it's outdone itself with the "Play or Pay" concept for reforming the nation's health care system. Under the Play or Pay concept, business will either "play" by providing health insurance coverage for all employees or "pay" into a new national health insurance scheme. Only someone with absolute confidence in government's ability to design, manage and finance things efficiently can believe the Play or Pay concept makes sense. Strip away the fancy words and here's what you get: Medicaid will still cover the poor while Medicare covers the elderly.
March 24, 1987 |
Two House panels yesterday tried to broaden the congressional debate on catastrophic illness insurance to cover children with chronic diseases. Until now, the focus has been on the elderly. Members of nine middle-class families gave two hours of emotional testimony about the financial and bureaucratic obstacles they faced in trying to care for their chronically ill children at home. The liberal Democratic chairmen of the committees cited the stories as evidence of the need for a national health insurance program, an idea that is anathema to the Reagan administration and conservative members of Congress.
May 16, 1992 |
Nearly 60 percent of Americans support a national health insurance system, a new national survey shows, and nearly as many people are willing to pay $600 a year to finance it. Strong majorities say the money should come from higher taxes on liquor and cigarettes or on the incomes of people making more than $50,000 a year, the survey found. Only 50 percent are willing to accept higher payroll taxes. The overwhelming majority of those who favor a national health insurance plan also want costs cut and contained, but the survey found a strong level of concern about the government's ability to manage such a system.
March 5, 1990
Remember the good old days when you were playing down the street with your best friend? You made up code words and pretended other people didn't really understand what you were saying. Maybe you even got a set of Dick Tracy radios and gave one to your best friend. By calling his best ally Bonecrusher, the Lone Ranger could actually find out when a new batch of chocolate chip cookies was coming out of the oven. Well, boys - and their toys - grow up. Some of them go into politics and take their love of code words with them.
December 2, 1986 |
Anyone for a national health insurance system? The question is worth considering as yet another mini-patch is officially proposed for the cruel inequities that are legendary in the economics of medical care in America. The proposal comes from Dr. Otis R. Bowen, the secretary of Health and Human Services, who says that if the elderly would contribute an additional $4.92 a month to Medicare, they could be covered for all costs above $2,000 a year for treatment of acute illnesses.
February 26, 1993 |
WASHINGTON CLINTON EYES TOBACCO TAX President Clinton suggested yesterday he may propose higher taxes on tobacco and other products that pose a health risk to help pay for his national health insurance plan. "You do have to find some way to recover some revenues" to extend health insurance to the 37 million Americans who don't have it, he said. White House officials said Hillary Rodham Clinton's task force on health- care reform also is considering - although without much enthusiasm - a proposal to tax workers' health benefits as income.