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March 22, 1947

Current Comment

JAMA. 1947;133(12):855. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880120043014

THE TAFT-SMITH-BALL-DONNELL BILL  Elsewhere in this issue appears a digest by the Bureau of Legal Medicine and Legislation of the Taft-Smith-Ball-Donnell national health bill. Physicians who read this carefully will realize that the principles set forth in this measure more nearly approximate the principles of the ten point national health program of the American Medical Association than any of the other health measures thus far proposed. It provides for a national health agency under medical direction; it provides for assembling health activities of the federal government in a single agency; it recognizes the principle of local responsibility and local control; scientifically it requires surveys to determine need before allocation of funds and does its utmost to avoid pauperization. Unusual is the inclusion of a special appropriation for prevention and control of cancer through the United States Public Health Service. The bill will be subject to hearings by the appropriate committees