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The Michael E. DeBakey Papers

Letter from Thomas D. Cronin, Raymond O. Brauer, and William G. Taylor [to their patients] pdf (145,253 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Thomas D. Cronin, Raymond O. Brauer, and William G. Taylor [to their patients]
The doctors were urging their patients to contact their Congressman to vote against a bill that would create "socialized medicine."
Number of Image Pages:
3 (145,253 Bytes)
1962-02-28 (February 28, 1962)
Cronin, Thomas D.
Brauer, Raymond O.
Taylor, William G.
Courtesy of Katrin DeBakey.
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
State Medicine
Exhibit Category:
Building Baylor College of Medicine and Expanding Surgical Frontiers, 1948-1963
Metadata Record Letter from Thomas D. Cronin to Michael E. DeBakey (March 29, 1962) pdf (59,202 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1921-2007
SubSeries: A-Z [photographs], 1930-2007
Folder: C-D, 1931-2003
28 February 1962
To Our Patients and Friends:
Our Federal Government seems determined to find excuses to spend our hard-earned tax money faster than we can make it -- in the process making us ever more dependent on the Federal Government. They do not hesitate to concoct a false crisis to justify such proposals, as Federal Aid to Education, A Cabinet Post for Urban Affairs, Foreign Aid, etc. These are all problems demanding your most serious consideration, but there is one about which we, as doctors, have special knowledge. It is one which, if passed, would sadly affect every citizen eventually and result in deterioration of the finest medical service ever enjoyed by any nation in the world. What is this Bill?
The King-Anderson Socialized Medicine Bill (H.R.4222) would give "free" medical care regardless of need to everyone over 65 years of age with a social security number. In an attempt to justify this Bill, the proponents have manufactured another crisis: the claim that practically all old people are destitute. All available, unbiased information indicates quite the contrary. Although many have reduced incomes, most manage satisfactorily with their own resources, insurance, pensions, etc.
A small, but clamorous group of socialists have been fighting for years to install socialized medicine in the United States. Having failed to arouse any wide-spread National desire for this, they have resorted to attempts to introduce the system piece-meal. They know that there will be plenty of advocates for a lowering of the age limit of beneficiaries from time to time until the whole population is covered. When the income tax was first introduced, it was 1% of income over $10,000.00 (and $10,000.00 was a lot of money in those days -- 1913). The base rate now for even the most lowly paid is 2% and goes up to a maximum of 91% -- truly confiscation. So there is no question but that this would be just the beginning of establishment of a vast new Federal bureaucracy with eventual complete control of all hospitals, doctors and yes, you the patient! As tax payers we are willing and anxious to accept our obligation to help the needy, but we can see no excuse for this illogical proposal which would provide free medical care under the Social Security System for millions well able and willing to take care of themselves, while other millions of the elderly, not under Social Security and probably including a more needy group, would not be covered at all. The backers of this scheme admit that it will be necessary to raise your Social Security taxes to finance it. Past experience has shown that repeated raises in taxes should be expected.
The elderly have already been taken care of by passage last year of the Kerr-Mills Bill. This Bill sensibly provides help for all the aged who need help. Furthermore, the Kerr-Mills Bill functions on a state level with matching Federal funds, State officials are in a better position than Washington Bureaucrats to know the local needs of their citizens and to efficiently and economically meet them.
Khrushchev in 1959, said, "We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have communism."
Please write your Congressman and Senator now and express opposition to these "small doses of socialism". Just a brief note will do. Write Congressman Wilbur Mills, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and encourage him to hold the King-Anderson Bill in Committee and not pass it to the House floor.
Thomas D. Cronin
Raymond O. Brauer
William G. Taylor
The Honorable Wilbur Mills
Chairman, Ways and Means Committee
House of Representatives
Washington 25, D.C.
Texas Senators:
The Honorable Senator Ralph Yarborough
460 Senate Office Building
Washington 25, D.C.
The Honorable Senator John Towers
142 Senate Office Building
Washington 25, D.C.
Texas Representatives (Houston):
The Honorable Albert Thomas
212 House Office Building
Washington, 25, D.C.
The Honorable Bob Casey
222 House Office Building
Washington 25, D.C.
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