Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “Medicare”

Firing Line Videos, Hoover Institution, taped on September 25, 1967, uploaded to YouTube on May 7, 2010.

Guest: Wilbur Cohen


Mr. Cohen’s public career had begun, as Buckley reminds us, in the Roosevelt Administration, where he was research head of the Committee on Economic Security, which drafted the original Social Security Act. In this return engagement in Washington, he was largely responsible for the recently enacted Medicare. Mr. Cohen speaks compellingly of the needs of our country, although in ways that lead his host to ask, “Have you arrived in your mind at a point beyond which you wouldn’t, for instance, want a tax–on the grounds that you were interfering with the free function of human beings?” Cohen: “I think there is such a point. I don’t know exactly where it is.” Buckley: “Maybe you could think of it on this program and make headlines.” Cohen: “Yes. It really would, wouldn’t it?”