[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 25, 1948


Author Affiliations

Editor The Journal of the American Medical Association

JAMA. 1948;138(17):1254-1256. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.62900170003021

Fifteen years have passed since Harvey Cushing wrote one of his most important essays, entitled "Medicine at the Crossroads."1 Now, in 1948, the forces of medicine are assembling at a point of decision which may well determine the nature and the freedom of medical practice for many years in the future.

The 80th Congress, which was harshly criticized by the President in his campaign speeches because of its failure to enact some legislation which he favored and for enacting other legislation which he did not favor, paid much attention to problems of health and medical care. Extensive hearings were held on both the Taft-Smith-Ball-Donnell bill, which proposed to advance medical science by the well established principle of federal grants to the individual states, and the Wagner-Murray-Dingell bill, which would establish a nationwide system of compulsory sickness insurance.

Few persons realize how greatly our federal government enters into the care