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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 21, 2010
“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free”

American political satirist P. J. O’Rourke delivered “The Liberty Manifesto” on May 6, 1993, at the opening of the Cato Institute’s Washington, DC headquarters:

“Health care is too expensive, so the Clinton administration is putting a high-powered corporate lawyer in charge of making it cheaper. (This is what I always do when I want to spend less money- hire a lawyer from Yale.) If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”

The quip remained popular and was re-popularized when a federal healthcare bill was passed in 2009. The joke means that government “free” handouts aren’t free; ultimately, the taxpayer pays for it all. “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free” has been a slogan used on bumper stickers.


Wikiquote: P. J. O’Rourke
Patrick Jake O’Rourke (born 14 November 1947) is an American political satirist, most often known as P. J. O’Rourke.
(...)
The Liberty Manifesto (1993)
Speech delivered May 6, 1993 for the opening of the Cato Institute’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
(...)
. Health care is too expensive, so the Clinton administration is putting a high-powered corporate lawyer in charge of making it cheaper. (This is what I always do when I want to spend less money — hire a lawyer from Yale.) If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.

Patriot Depot
If You Think Health Care Is Expensive Now
Bumper Sticker 5-Pack

Google Groups: alt.society.conservatism
Newsgroups: alt.society.conservatism
From: (Michael R Conners)
Date: 23 Jun 1993 19:01:49 GMT
Local: Wed, Jun 23 1993 2:01 pm
Subject: Liberty Manifesto

I saw this piece in a conservative publication, and thought that it needed to be posted…

The following remarks were delivered at a dinner celebrating the opening of the Cato Institute’s new headquarters in Washington.

The Liberty Manifesto
by
P.J. O’Rourke
(...)
Health care is too expensive, so the Clinton administration is putting a high-powered corporate lawyer in charge of making it cheaper. (This is what I always do when I want to spend less money- hire a lawyer from Yale.) If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.

Google Groups: alt.rush-limbaugh
Newsgroups: alt.rush-limbaugh
From: (Bret Ford)
Date: 10 Jul 1993 15:32:02 -0700
Local: Sat, Jul 10 1993 5:32 pm
Subject: From the Empower America folks…

Finally, we have yet to see what Hillary and her bunch are to going to slam us with for health care.  I read a column the other day I believe is appropriate.  The author said, “If you think health care is expensive now, just wait ‘til you see what it costs when it’s free”.

15 July 1993, Washington (DC) Times, “Obvious health solution”:
In the unimprovable words of P.J. O’Rourke, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait till you see what it costs when it’s free.”

26 December 1993, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “‘93 proves that eloquence and wit remain part of U.S. political dialogue” by Steve Daley, Perspective, pg. 4:
“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free.” - humorist P.J. O’Rourke.

Google Books
“Slick Willie” II:
Why America still cannot trust Bill Clinton

By Deborah J. Stone and Christopher Manion
Annapolis, MD: Annapolis-Washington Book Publishers, Inc.
1994
Pg. 129:
In the words of humorist P.J. O’Rourke, “If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.”

Google Books
War without bloodshed:
The art of politics

By Eleanor Clift and Tom Brazaitis
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1997, ©1996
Pg. 105:
He had a bumper sticker in his office: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free.”

Google Books
Making Medical Spending Decisions:
The law, ethics, and economics of rationing mechanisms

By Mark A. Hall
New York, NY: Oxford Univ. Press
1997
Pg. 20:
This insight is captured in the conservative political witticism, “If you think Medicare is expensive, just wait until it’s free.”

Google Books
The Environmental Mafia:
The enemy is us

By Richard O’Leary
New York, NY: Algora Pub.
2003
Pg. 180:
P.J. O’Rourke, the very humorous, conservative, free market writer (he is the one who said at the height of the health care debate, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free,” has a book out called All the Trouble in the World.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (2) Comments • Tuesday, September 21, 2010 • Permalink