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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

Aid to Medical Education bill was passed, which called for aid to medical schools in the training of more doctors; a Local Public Health Units bill, which was to aid states to service more full-time Public Health Service units in counties; and a bill calling for a survey of sickness.

Q:

The whole effort was snowballing at this point.

Lasker:

Yes.

There were 40 million people living in counties where full-time public health services were not available and 96 million people more lived in counties where the local health departments were inadequately staffed.

As to the Survey of Sickness bill, it was intended to make an up-to-date survey of the number of people who were sick in the United States on any one day or during any short period with any of the major disabling or crippling diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, mental illnesses, and blindness, and others. There had been no up-to-date survey of sickness in the United States since the WPA survey in 1936 and '37 and such a survey was long overdue.

This bill passed the Senate and Biemiller introduced it in the House. Unfortunately, Biemiller himself didn't understand the importance of it and never pushed it sufficiently, so the bill did not pass in this session of Congress and there was no Survey of Sickness bill until much later, during the Eisenhower



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