Remarks to medical students on federally subsidized healthcare


The students fired off questions challenging Kennedy on medical care for the poor, which they characterized as too expensive, unnecessary, or best left to the marketplace. Ultimately a student asked, “Where are you going to get all the money for these federally subsidized programs you’re talking about?”

“From you,” Kennedy fired back, and, advancing toward the students, he threw down the gauntlet:

“Let me say something about the tenor of that question and some of the other questions. There are people in this country who suffer. I look around this room and I don’t see many black faces who are going to be doctors. You can talk about where the money will come from … Part of civilized society is to let people go to medical school who come from ghettos. You don’t see many people coming out of the ghettos or off the Indian reservations to medical school. You are the privileged ones here. It’s easy to sit back and say it’s the fault of the federal government, but it’s our responsibility too.”