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July 5, 1965

Remarks of the President

JAMA. 1965;193(1):23-25. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090010029007

In my last hour of stewardship of the office of President of the American Medical Association, it becomes necessary for me to describe to you, the elected representatives of American medicine, our present status in our legislative struggle. Perhaps a brief review of the highlights will suffice.

You will recall that the first national attempt to socialize health care occurred in 1937-1938 shortly after the social security system was established. Mr. Roosevelt resisted because of his conviction that the idea was too radical to warrant his support.

Then, Mr. Truman in 1949 proposed such legislation, but his proposal never reached a vote in either the House or the Senate. No popular support could be engendered. In 1950, there was a sweep of both House and Senate by conservative candidates, which reflected, in part, the anti-medicare sentiment of the time.

Then Congressman Aime Forand in 1957 introduced the first medicare bill

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