Healthcare in America

Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc.

Collected Quotes

Do You Want Fries with That?

Taco Bell competes with Beverly [Enterprises] for those people.26
― William R. Floyd, Chairman of the nation’s largest nursing home chain, referring to his low-wage nursing assistants, July 7, 2002

There really are an enormous number of similarities between this and the world I came from.26
― Chairman Floyd again, on his seven years at PepsiCo, mostly at Taco Bell, July 7, 2002 

A minimum of 120 classroom, lab, and clinical hours; a minimum of 32 clinical hours in a nursing home or hospital, final written and practical exams, and certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.28
― Wisconsin Nurse Aide Training Program and Registry Manual. The median salary six months after graduation in 2001 was $19,320, or 9% above the poverty line for a family of four.  Do you want fries with that?

111-year-old Fred Hale, Sr. and Elizabeth LeBeau, Certified Nursing Assistant,

These are among the lowest paid workers in New York State. They take care of the people who are dying, or are too infirm to bathe themselves or feed themselves. But they’re so impoverished they can’t provide for their own families.49
― Dennis Rivera, president of SEIU Local 1199 New York, the health care workers’ union newly representing 15,000 home health aides in New York city, September 12, 2002. Most are paid $6 to $7 an hour, and receive no benefits, including health insurance.

Two decades ago, CEO’s were paid about 40 times more than the average hourly employee; now they make more than 500 times the wage of the average hourly employee. The Marine Corps commandant is paid just 13 times more than a new private in boot camp.31
― Robert Hemsley, paper mill worker (July 20, 2002)

[From 1970 to 1999], according to Fortune magazine, the average real annual compensation of the top 100 C.E.O.’s went from $1.3 million – 39 times the pay of an average worker – to $37.5 million, more than 1,000 times the pay of ordinary workers.83
― Paul Krugman, The New York Times (October 20, 2002)

Most of the 40 million Americans who lack health insurance pay for our political leaders’ health insurance premiums through taxes. Since our leaders as a group have universal health care, why can’t they in return find a way to provide that same benefit for us?37
― Philip Pollner, MD, chairman of the National Leadership Coalition for Health Care (August 12, 2002)

More than one-quarter of Medicare dollars are spent in the last year of life.37
― Todd A. Borus, MD (August 13, 2002)

This is nothing, nothing like I thought it would be. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t do it. No ma’am. I would take my chances on life.72
― Artificial heart recipient James Quinn (August 15, 2002). Mr. Quinn was declared brain dead after a stroke, and the heart was turned off after nine months.

He would have been better off dead. He wouldn’t have suffered.72
― Irene Quinn, wife of James Quinn (October 8, 2002). At Mrs. Quinn’s request, her husband’s original heart was replaced before burial.

[The artificial heart] fulfills a national mission.72
― Abiomed president Dr. David Lederman, referring to Mr. Quinn’s AbioCor heart (October 8, 2002). Abiomed has received $12 to $15 million in federal grants since 1981.

The U.S. has the longest life expectancy of any country in the world.83
― Robert Novak on “Crossfire” (October 20, 2002)

Life expectancy in the U.S. is well below that in Canada, Japan, and every major nation in Western Europe. On average, we can expect lives a bit shorter than those of Greeks, a bit longer than those of Portuguese.83
― Paul Krugman, The New York Times (October 20, 2002)

Doesn’t our high and rising national wealth translate into a high standard of living – including good medical care – for all Americans? Well, no. Although America has higher per capita income than other advanced countries, it turns out that that’s mainly because our rich are much richer.83
― Paul Krugman, The New York Times (October 20, 2002)

We are now living in what George W. Bush has called the “era of personal responsibility”: if a child chooses to have parents who can’t afford health care, that child will have to accept the consequences. What do we learn from this catalog of cruelties? We learn that “compassionate conservatism” and “leave no child behind” were empty slogans – but while this may have come as a surprise to the faith-based John J. DiIulio, some of us thought it was obvious all along.111
― Paul Krugman, The New York Times (December 3, 2002). Mr. DiIulio, head of the Bush Faith-Based and Community Initiatives office, resigned after six months.

The U.S. Congress is preoccupied with terrorist threats. But, to my mind, the nursing shortage is a colossal flaw in the American health care system, a life-and-death issue.140
― Sheela Murthy, a Washington immigration lawyer advising nurse recruiters and hospitals hiring foreign nurses (February 9, 2003). The federal Health Resources and Services Administration projects that vacant nursing positions, now totaling more than 110,000, will exceed 700,000 by 2020.


26 “Bringing Discipline (and Scorecards) to Nursing Homes,” Reed Abelson, The New York Times, July 17, 2002, Section 3, pg. 1.
28 Nursing Assistant Program 30-510-1, Wisconsin Technical College System, Madison, WI, 2001.
31 “Losing My Stake in the Economy,” Robert Hemsley, The New York Times, July 20, 2002, pg. A25.
37 “The Rising Cost of Health Care,” The New York Times, August 15, 2002, pg. A24.
49 “The Invisible Women,” Bob Herbert, The New York Times, September 12, 2002, pg. A27.
72 “On Medicine’s Frontier: The Last Journey of James Quinn,” Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times, October 8, 2002, pg. D1.
83 “For Richer,” Paul Krugman, The New York Times Magazine, October 20, 2002, pg. 62.
111 “Hey, Lucky Duckies!,” Paul Krugman, The New York Times, December 3, 2002, pg. A31.
140 “Indian Nurses Sought to Staff U.S. Hospitals,” Saritha Rai, The New York Times, February 10, 2003, pg. A7.