LBJ equated healthcare with household staples

President Lyndon Johnson is the source of this week’s Grist for the mill. It comes from a recording of a Johnson phone conversation with his vice president, Hubert Humphrey.

“Don’t ever argue with me about [healthcare].” Johnson warned Humphrey, according to an excerpt that appeared in last Sunday’s New York Times. “I’ll go a hundred million or a billion on health and education. I don’t care about that any more than I argue about Lady Bird [Johnson’s wife] buying flour. You got to have flour and coffee in your house. Education and health, I’ll spend the goddamn money. I may cut back some tanks, but not on health.”

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