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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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The fact that Republicans had courage to say anything about reinsurance service, even for private and non-profit insurance companies, to offer broader protection is remarkable. It showed that they felt the Truman health plans had enough popularity so that they could not ignore the problem of the people's needs for health insurance completely.

In the health message, which was sent about the 18th of January, '54, Eisenhower stated that cancer and heart research programs must be strengthened, that 25 million people would die of cancer unless new treatments and cures were found. Unfortunately, no further “strengthening” was done in the budget. The Federal Budget for the five Institutes was 10 million under what we'd gotten in the last Truman budget; however, the recognition that there were health problems alone was some degree of triumph.


What sort of press was this health message given?


Well, I have a copy of the message. You know, the Presidents' messages very seldom get very much comment unless it's about taxes or something, something that's controversial. His health message got very little editorial comment.


Mrs. Lasker, going back to Nelson Rockefeller again, have you in years since that time, when you've seen him, had occasion to talk about health legislation of any kind?

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