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February 9, 1994

Lack of Physician Representation in Framing Policy on National Health Insurance—1938

JAMA. 1994;271(6):428-429. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510300028025

To the Editor.  —Health care reform is a major focus of the Clinton administration. The American people, the medical profession, various health-related industries, and the media are anxiously awaiting the report of Hillary Rodham Clinton's task force. Several past administrations also addressed health care reform. The debate was especially intense during the Roosevelt, Truman, and Johnson administrations when several "current" issues were the subject of controversy.Access to health care and its cost have been discussed in America for decades. Moreover, the relative roles of politicians, physicians, and others with interest in the issues have been hotly debated in the past. Recently, many individuals and organizations expressed concern that Hillary Rodham Clinton's task force does not include adequate physician representation. In 1938, during an intense debate over national health insurance, JAMA editor Morris Fishbein, MD, responded to a letter from Alfred Cohn, MD, an influential clinical scientist at the Rockefeller