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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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legislation to President Roosevelt, because Roosevelt had always stayed clear of health insurance. Anna and Judge Rosenman had discussed the importance of health insurance at my urgent request with Roosevelt many times, and Roosevelt had promised, about a month before, to send a special health message to Congress, which we hoped would include a demand for health insurance. His promise was a great triumph, as no President had ever been willing to discuss a health program or national health insurance in any public statement. It had never been thought of before it was suggested to Roosevelt, I guess, and Roosevelt had never been willing to do anything about it until he suddenly agreed with them about a month before the inauguration.


Had you ever talked about this subject with Mrs. Roosevelt? It seems like a natural subject for her interests?


She was not interested in things that needed legislation, usually. At least in my contact with Anna Rosenberg, I felt that we had to get him to be persuaded directly and that she wouldn't be likely to be effective in this particular area, because this demanded a big effort, a big legislative effort. At any rate, I didn't take it up with Mrs. Roosevelt in any pressing way, I'm sure.

Shortly after the inauguration, President Roosevelt went to Yalta, and as everyone knows he got sick and was never really

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