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The John E. Fogarty Papers

Letter from President Lyndon B. Johnson to John E. Fogarty pdf (244,544 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from President Lyndon B. Johnson to John E. Fogarty
Johnson replied to Fogarty's letter of March 15, 1967, acknowledging his concerns about the budgets proposed for HEW, and explaining that the Great Society program needs had to be balanced with America's international commitments (i.e. the war in Vietnam.)
Number of Image Pages:
2 (244,544 Bytes)
1966-04-25 (April 25, 1966)
Johnson, Lyndon B.
Fogarty, John E.
Original Repository: Phillips Memorial Library, Special and Archival Collections at Providence College
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Exhibit Category:
"Mr. Public Health": Later Career, 1960-1967
Metadata Record Letter from John E. Fogarty to President Lyndon B. Johnson (March 15, 1966) pdf (761,402 Bytes) ocr (4 Bytes)
Box Number: 57
Folder Number: 665
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
April 25, 1966
Dear John:
I very much appreciated your thoughtful letter of March 15 in which you express the concern of yourself and other members of the Subcommittee regarding the adequacy of the 1967 budget for the National Institutes of Health. I fully recognize the strength of your convictions and the sincerity of your views. Accept my assurance that they have had my personal and lengthy consideration.
For many months now we have had the Federal budget under constant review. Only the other day I talked at length with the Mayors and later with the heads of all departments and the major Federal independent agencies about the economic situation of the country and the need to practice restraint and make sure that we spend only that which we must spend. During our budget reviews last November and December we strove to provide the Congress a budget which would meet our international commitments, and would also permit us to press confidently forward towardthe Great Society. I did not want to stop progress on any front, but it was clear that we could not meet all our goals at one time. Therefore, with the greatest reluctance, I found it necessary to request the Congress for a slower rate of advance in many programs than I would have liked. I still believe that our choices were right.
Yet in our Great Society programs -- health, labor, training, education, war on poverty, housing and community development -- the 1967 budget proposed administration budget expenditures of $12.9 billion, an increase from 1964 of $6.2 billion. Exclusive of added Viet Nam costs and unavoidable interest paying payments, all other budget expenditures were cut back by $3.7 billion between 1964 and 1967.
I found the budget choices particularly difficult in the field of health, for as you know, I am personally dedicated to the need for the highest quality of medical care for all Americans. Taking all Federal programs into account, including trust fund payments for Medicare, Federal health expenditures rise from $5.1 billion in 1964 to $10.3 billion in 1967. The NIH expenditures are more than 10 percent of these total health expenditures.
I share your view that the budget for NIH does not propose to do all the researchers -- or you and I -- would like to see done in 1967. But for all NIH except construction the budget increase of $93.5 million is the largest single increase for NIH proposed by a President in his January budget. No Institute was cut below 1966, funds are requested for all newly authorized programs, and as explained in the budget document, funds for an artificial heart will be requested if important new breakthroughs occur. The amounts requested for health research construction will be channeled to new medical schools so that no delay will occur in their planned progress toward expanding our enrollment of medical students.
Reasonable men may differ when these difficult choices are made. I understand the positive sentiments which motivate your statement of views, and after you have considered the balance which must be maintained in our economy and among our Great Society programs I know that you will decide in terms of what you think is the best national interest.
[handwritten] Lyndon Johnson
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