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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Each Institute received only half a million dollars more in the Administration budget and all of it was to go providing more beds in the Clinical Center at Bethesda. Mrs. Hobby's disregard of the recommendations of the five Councils turned out to be an error on her part. It was the means by which Florence and I were able to sell Senator Hill on getting the Senate to vote nearly the total amount the Councils had recommended. We said, “Look, the Councils, as citizens' groups, have recommended X-number of dollars. They've been totally disregarded. Do you take the advice of the Budget which doesn't ever hold hearings and doesn't ever look into this in any detail, or do you take the advice of the groups that have been appointed by the Public Health Service? These are their recommendations.”

Well, Hill saw that this was an excellent selling point and he used it. We gave him a list of the members of the various Councils and we told him that these people were better in touch with medical research needs than either the Budget Bureau or Mrs. Hobby, to say the least. This was the handle that Hill needed to sell the Appropriations Committee, which he did magnificently, and he got 23 million dollars more for the five Institutes of Health. This was the first substantial amount more in any one year, as I recall.


So this was a boomerang, really.

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