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May 4, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(18):1752. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810180028010

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In 1917 the American Medical Association met in New York City, where in 1940 it will assemble again for its ninety-first annual session. In those days all the talk was of the War and of participation by the United States. The House of Delegates bade official farewell to Dr. Alexander Lambert, about to leave for France. The medical profession was concerned with plans for its own service. Before the War ended, some fifty thousand doctors had been intimately associated with medical military affairs. Chief among the topics before the House of Delegates was a report on social insurance—actually compulsory sickness insurance. The War ended much of that discussion; but the years passed, the crash came, the banks closed, unemployment and destitution increased, the problem of the aged was thrown into politics, the Social Security Law was developed, and again compulsory sickness insurance held the center of the stage. Notwithstanding the

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