FEBRUARY 21, 1949
HYDE PARK, Sunday—In the discussion of the nation's health needs, we seem to be reaching the point where the facts are really being brought out for our consideration. The American Medical Association last week offered a 12-point program as a substitute for compulsory health insurance. Today it is announced that the doctors who had ratified their plan are still not completely satisfied. While five leading doctors have withdrawn their names from the list of the original number protesting, still the list has increased to 148, and more doctors are protesting.
Bringing out into the open these differences of opinion among doctors is a good thing for the public, because it proves that there are things to be said on both sides of the question. We should not be too hasty in making up our minds. We should insist that there be a continuing exploration of possible ways for obtaining medical care where medical care is needed and has not been available in the past.
It is noteworthy to find that at least one indignant woman has obtained an admission that the accusations of spying made against her are not founded on proof. Miss Agnes Smedley, an American writer on Far East affairs, was mentioned as a Russian spy in the recent army report to the public. Now it appears that it was all a mistake. Miss Smedley expresses her gratitude to the War Department for the retraction, but says she hopes the whole principle of smearing first, and making sure of your facts afterwards, will now be carefully reconsidered.
I read with great care yesterday the recommendation of the Joint Congressional Foreign Aid Committee that the United States stop turning over German plants as reparations to its wartime allies and use Marshall Plan funds instead to buy reparation claims of other countries. I cannot help hoping that our fear of Communism will not make us forget how Germany has twice in 25 years had such a hold on European economy that she was able to fight what might easily have been a successful war against her neighbors had not the United States come in with fresh strength to back them up.
Whatever we decide to do, I think we should always keep that fact in mind. I am not conversant enough with economics nor with our present situation, so I speak with a certain amount of hesitation. But, as a layman, I do not want us to forget, because of our current fear of a nation we consider a potential war-maker in the future, that it was Germany which actually began the two great wars of the past 25 years.