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Overheard: Top 7 Quotes on Health Care Reform in 2009

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More than any year in history, 2009 has seen a huge debate over health care reform. As the year draws to a close, the government is much closer to a decision than they were on Jan. 1, but still nowhere near finished with the legislation. And as the debate raged on, there were definitely some quote-worthy snippets heard on both sides of the argument. Below, we count down our top seven quotes from the 2009 health care debate. They were chosen for their truthfulness, untruthfulness, shock value, and downright hilarity.

7. “I think it is pretty clear that we want a strong public option in the legislation. Insurance companies full force carpet-bombing and shock and awe against the public option — so much so that the American people doubt the plan or are uncertain about it, until you tell them what is in it.”
— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

6. “Their proposal would virtually devastate the private healthcare sector in this country along with competition and patient choice, by replacing it with bureaucratic planning and government control. The result of this plan and its one trillion dollar price tag will bring harm to those the president and Congress are ostensibly trying to help.”
— John Oxendine, Georgia insurance commissioner

5. “We will pass reform that lowers cost, promotes choice, and provides coverage that every American can count on. And we will do it this year.”
— President Obama, in a July 22 press conference

4. “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.”
— Speaker at health care reform town hall meeting in Simpsonville, S.C., commenting on the government-created Medicare program, quoted by The Washington Post on July 28.

3. “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”
— Sarah Palin, in a message posted on Facebook about Obama’s health care reform plan, Aug. 7.

2. “People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.”
— a July 31 editorial in Investor’s Business Daily warning about end-of-life counseling in health care reform. Hawking, in fact, lives in England and has been treated by their National Health Service, which, according to a blog at the New York Times, saved his life.

1. “You lie!”
— Rep. Joe Wilson’s shouted retort to President Obama’s address before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9.


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