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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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October 3, 1963 - Interview No. 22


It's good to be back with you again, Mrs. Lasker. I think today you want to talk about the efforts in the field of health insurance, which is a considerable story.


Yes, Mr. Mason. This section should be entitled “Our Efforts to Increase Health Insurance in the United States.”

In the middle '30s, numerous people, including Paul Reinhardt, who was then my divorced husband but for whom I still felt responsible, had long illnesses. These illnesses were extremely costly. I had read in the Reader's Digest about this time of a voluntary health insurance plan which was started in Texas, I think. It seemed to me an ideal solution for problems which many of the people must have been having to pay for adequate medical care or any medical care at all for that matter, and I was at the time, in some cases, helping to pay for these people's medical care, including my ex-husband's.


This Texas scheme, was it in the nature of Blue Cross?


It was in the nature of Blue Cross, one of the original efforts that I think helped to start the whole idea of the Blue Cross.

Later in the '30s I made some efforts to get in touch with people interested in the Blue Cross Plan in New York

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