Fixing The Broken Health-Care System . . .In 1940.


Since today marks the one year anniversary of the signing into law of our present comprehensive health-care system (the one sneeringly dubbed Obamacare by the ones standing the most to benefit from it), it's always nice to remember this thing has a history and it goes back for decades.

It goes back way before even this broadcast from January 18, 1940, part of the America's Townhall Meeting Of The Air series to 1909. But for argument's sake (and since radio didn't really get started until the late 1920's), here is a reminder the argument has been around and so have the detractors. On this program the debate is carried on between various members of the medical community and from Johns Hopkins University and from Yale.

Dr. C.E.A. Winslow: “We need, in other words, a broad national health program employing various procedures in the sense in which it was formulated by the conference held in Washington during the summer of 1938. Progress must be gradual and evolutionary. But if any progress at all is to be made, it is essential that Federal grants should be made available to stimulate experimentation by the various states. We stand still and quarrel about details and about hypothetical damage to our vested interests, while men and women and children suffer and die for the lack of the resources of modern medical science, Let us forget slogans and avoid vague terminologies which arouse the secretion of the Endocrine glands instead of stimulating the higher nerve centers. Let us recognize that the situation is serious and calls for action. Let us remember that there is no single easy solution of the problem. But that what we need is a national health program so constructed as to enable the people of these United States to obtain and to pay for the medical care they need, whether they pay for it as individuals, as groups or as tax payers.”

Depending on who you spoke to, Winslow was either revered as a pioneering member of the Medical profession or reviled as a self-serving Quack. Even in 1940, no one was above the smear, especially when it came to fixing a system that was broken. Much the same way it is now. There is a whole section of the electorate who would prefer things stayed broken, that any attempts to fix it are ploys by some conspiracy bent on subjugating the American people into a Socialistic society. They used that argument in the 1930's and they continue to use that argument - it hasn't changed in tone very much - the fear is still the same.

And even now there is a well-funded movement afoot to repeal the health-care law signed last year. A law that, even though far from perfect, is still the first one of its kind since it was talked about in this broadcast.

How ever shaky the ground is, the health-care law is still standing a year after it was signed.


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