SEPTEMBER 6, 1945
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Congress, which reconvenes today, will come back to its labors after only a short holiday in a very long period of service. One reads a great deal of criticism of the accomplishments of Congress, and that is very natural, for Congress is made up of all kinds of human beings, representing great masses of people throughout this country who have vastly opposing views.
But all the criticism must not blind us to the fact that these men and women have worked for longer periods, in desperately difficult times, than have any of their predecessors since the Civil War. The strain has been great; and I think while constructive criticism is good for us all, since it keeps us constantly spurred on, we also need praise and understanding of the work which we do.
* * *
I, for one, am deeply grateful for some of the things which have been accomplished in the past few years with the aid of Congress. In addition, I appreciate their initiation of important measures. There are many things pending now which, if they are successfully passed, should bring this coming Congress the gratitude of the nation.
I have already spoken of the Full Employment Bill, which seems to me fundamental to keeping good faith with the people of our nation. There is a second bill which I think is equally important, Senate Bill 1050, which is a bill to provide "national security, health and public welfare." The part of it especially interesting to me is that which deals with public health. Again and again, our leaders have said to us that the lessons of the draft showed that the health of our nation was not taken care of adequately. This bill proposes to do something to remedy this situation.
* * *
The amendments which have been made, since a previous bill was introduced, seem to me to make this a far better bill. There are people who feel that the principle of health insurance, which is part of the bill, will never be adequate and that health, like education, should be paid for out of the taxes of the people. Someday, we as a nation may come to this conviction. In the meantime, this bill is certainly a step forward and, I believe, deserves the support of all of us who really want to see this nation—rich and poor alike—have a chance at good health.
There will probably be an outcry on the part of some doctors who think that the words "socialized medicine" will frighten people to such an extent that they will take no new steps to insure better general health. In another column, I should like to discuss this question from a number of different aspects.