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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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saying that he was going to devote his time and much of his fortune to promoting health insurance and he testified before the Senate on the subject. This really frightened the AMA, and they thought they had to organize, and they really began and they really frightened us. But I'll tell you.

The Health Assembly was in '48. It was an effort to interest people in health insurance. Albert was ill and I went to Washington to be present at the dinner without him. I sat on the left hand of Mr. Ewing and the President was on the right. It was a period when Truman was very unsuccessful as a speaker--this was just before his whistle-stop campaign in '48--and he used to read his speeches as if he had never seen them before and was extremely dull. Mr. Connolly and others in the White House were anxious to change his speaking style and Clark Clifford wrote a speech that I thought was unusually good for this particular evening. I leaned over to the President and said, “Mr. President, I'm looking forward so much to hearing what you're going to say tonight.” He replied to me, “Oh, I'm a dud at speaking!” Actually, he spoke quite well, but, of course, irritated the AMA's representatives very much by his plea for health insurance. Remember, Morris Fishbein was there and the AMA was beginning to really fear the possibility that some health insurance bill might be passed.

While President Truman sincerely felt the need for more medical care through insurance and other parts of his

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