AUGUST 24, 1953
NEW YORK, Sunday—There were two stories on different pages in one of our metropolitan newspapers the other day which I thought should have been brought together.
One was the story of a very gallant man, a newspaperman, who though he succumbed to cancer, insisted he would never be afraid and worked even after the operation which was not successful enough to give him more than two years of added life.
The other was the story of the opposition on the part of the King's County Medical Society to the medical insurance plan of Greater New York. The Medical Society voted on May 31 to recommend four changes in the code of ethics in the New York State Medical Society. The president of the Greater New York Health Insurance Fund, Dr. George Behr, is quoted as saying that if these changes were adopted they would destroy "prepaid group practice of medicine in all nonprofit health insurance plans in this country that now provide their subjects with truly comprehensive coverage."
A few people may not need this type of coverage, but for the large number of people in this country this health insurance plan spells a chance for examinations that might, for instance, disclose cancer soon enough to do something about it—a chance for certain people to stay well instead of getting ill.
The inference that is drawn from the medical association's opposition is that doctors are afraid that under any of the new plans that have been suggested, where comprehensive coverage can be given to all, the doctors' incomes will go down.
In Great Britain they have gone far beyond what anyone in this country has suggested and one never hears anything over there about doctors' incomes being reduced.
Why not go a little way and see what happens?
There was quoted in Friday's newspapers, I believe a remark by our Democratic Senate Minority Leader, Lyndon B. Johnson, who is reported to have said that he had voted for his last foreign-aid bill unless some nations would put their houses in order. And he added that we would have to reach a stopping point before we bled ourselves white.
This is an interesting theory, but unless he qualifies it by saying that we will continue the aid to underdeveloped nations, since we feel they will need our goods and must be made ready to buy them in the future, we will be doing our own economy a good deal of harm.
As our military spending decreases, the overwhelming needs of backward countries are going to mean the opening of new markets for us, but many of these countries need help to develop their natural resources before they will have anything to sell to us. Also, consideration must be given to those nations further advanced so that they may have the wherewithal to buy our finished products in return.
Senator Johnson should take a little longer look ahead before he makes up his mind too quickly against giving any foreign aid in the future.