A Truman Stump For Decent Health Care - 1952


(Harry Truman - laying it out in plain, understandable English)

Harry Truman never gave up on the idea of Universal Health Care. He brought up the subject in 1945 and he was present when the Medicare Bill was signed into law in 1965.

In 1952 he addressed a convention of the American Hospital Association and, even though his term of office would be up in a few months, he still campaigned for a decent system of health care for all Americans.

Pres. Truman: “This great free enterprise system of ours has made it possible for more Americans to have more things, more of the good things of life, than any people anywhere on earth or anywhere in the history of the world. Can it now also make it possible for every American to protect his health? I would not call such a goal socialism. I would call it a goal of enterprise. American free enterprise. Meeting the health needs of our people is one of the most important ways we can make our American promises come true. It’s also one of the mainstays of national defense. Only the strong can survive and only the healthy can be strong.”

After almost 60 years, it's still sounding like a good idea.

(Technical note: The original recording of this speech is completely trashed, with a thick coat of static going through the entire speech that goes from bad to worse. I have spent several hours with ProTools trying to pull some usable portions of this one hour speech out to make it as legible as possible, but some things were just impossible to do. Therefore, it might require some close listening in order to make out what's being said. Sadly, it's the only known recording of the speech, which was never broadcast - but it's an important document of great historic importance. And for that reason I'm including it in this post. Apologies in advance - G.S.)


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