SEPTEMBER 7, 1945
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I happen to be one of the fortunate people of the world on whom any health insurance, carried by any company, would have certainly paid dividends to the company. However, I have enough friends and neighbors to know that one of the things which brings distress and completely unbalanced budgets into many homes is the illness which was not expected.
Most people who have even moderate incomes prepare for the advent of a baby and lay the money aside. If there are no great complications, that does not cause a complete dislocation of the family budget. It has meant a great deal to many young wives of men in the service to be taken care of under the EMIC plan, and I have had a number of them say rather wistfully that they wished such a plan could continue functioning in peace time.
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Of course, something similar should function. Above everything else, under whatever plan is undertaken, I think two things should not suffer. One is research, which we know should go on at all times and should be completely free. I was shocked some time ago to be told that years ago we might have had many of the things which have saved lives during the war, if the cost had not seemed too high for development from the commercial point of view.
Secondly, no matter what we do, the training of doctors and our schools of medicine must be properly financed and kept to the highest standards of efficiency. Young men who seem good material and are willing to put in the time for this arduous training should receive every assistance during their training years, regardless of what they themselves can pay toward their education. Research and training are two things which are essential to the health of the nation. They should not depend upon private funds alone.
It seems to me the government might well guarantee that these two phases of the health of the nation shall go forward unhampered and properly financed.
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The Senate health bill, as proposed, puts much responsibility on the states. But it does leave supervision in the hands of the Surgeon General, and I think the advisory committee gives the kind of safeguard which should make sure that there will be no hampering of either research or education in the future.
Federal assistance should be available for the building of hospitals and clinics. This, of course, is essential, since many communities can meet the running expenses but are unable to make the first capital investment for buildings and equipment.
On the whole, the Wagner-Murray-Dingle health bill seems to me to give us more hope than we have ever had for health in our communities throughout the nation.