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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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of the people of the United States in any comprehensive fashion in the near future, and I'm still right, as of 1963: large numbers of people are covered for limited stays in hospitals and limited amounts of medical care, but they really don't have sufficient comprehensive care and very poor people in many areas don't have it at all, and especially older people.

Q:

It's rarely total coverage.

Lasker:

Yes, rarely total coverage. Now, I don't object to plans that make you pay the first $25 or first $50 but the real thing is that people need money for checkups, and for catastrophic illnesses, such as one of my maids suffered recently--her total illness cost about $3600; she had broken her hip. I paid $2400 of that. I don't know what would have happened to her if I hadn't been able to; she would have been much less well treated and very badly treated.

As I early realized, in 1940, that the voluntary plans were not going to spread quickly, I was consequently interested in what could be done about federal legislation in health insurance. I believe that the first Murray-Wagner-Dingle Bill for national health insurance was introduced around 1939. In any case, it was reintroduced in every session of Congress after that for many years, although I believe Murray's name wasn't on it in the 1952 session. I don't know why he took his name off.



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