Dwight Eisenhower on Health Care



1953: Suffered ileitis attack requiring emergency surgery

On June 7, I was stricken with an ileitis attack and had to undergo a serious emergency operation. This was my 2nd illness in a year. This time, the doctors said I could expect a rapid and complete recovery. However, since the operation received tremendous emphasis in the press, many persons became justifiably doubtful once more of the soundness of my decision to run again for the Presidency. In this their fears were heightened by the medical dissertations of several columnists who, for one reason or another, took it upon themselves to publish their disagreements with the doctors' optimistic prognosis.

One columnist, for example, announced the discovery that ileitis recurs in one out of 3 cases within 2 years. The doctors explained their prognosis (to those who chose to listen) by citing the demonstrated truth that ileitis, a young man's disease, almost never recurs in anyone of my age group, a fact that a responsible reporter could have easily found out in advance.

Source: Waging Peace, by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, p. 9 , Jan 1, 1965

Science for Peace: eradicate malaria by world cooperation

We now have it within our power to eradicate from the face of the earth that age-old scourge of mankind: malaria. We are embarking with other nations in an all-out five-year campaign to blot out this curse forever. We invite the Soviets to join with us in this great work of humanity.

Indeed, we would be willing to pool our efforts with the Soviets in other campaigns against the diseases that are the common enemy of all mortals--such as cancer and heart disease.

If people can get together on such projects, is it not possible that we could then go on to a full-scale cooperative program of Science for Peace? We have as a guide and inspiration the success of our Atoms-for-Peace proposal, which in only a few years, under United Nations auspices, became a reality in the International Atomic Energy Agency.

A program of Science for Peace might provide a means of funneling into one place the results of research from scientists everywhere and from there making it available to all parts of the world

Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1958 State of the Union message , Jan 9, 1958

Private plans instead of socialization of medicine

I am flatly opposed to the socialization of medicine. The great need for hospital and medical services can best be met by the initiative of private plans. But it is unfortunately a fact that medical costs are rising and already impose severe hardships on many families. The Federal Government can do many helpful things and still carefully avoid the socialization of medicine.

The Federal Government should encourage medical research in its battle with such mortal diseases as cancer and heart ailments, and should continue to help the states in their health and rehabilitation programs.

A limited Government reinsurance service would permit the private and non-profit insurance companies to offer broader protection to more of the many families which want and should have it. On January 18 I shall forward to the Congress a special message presenting this Administration's health program in its detail.

Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1954 State of the Union message , Jan 7, 1954

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Other past presidents on Health Care: Dwight Eisenhower on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

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V.P.Joseph Biden
V.P.Dick Cheney
V.P.Al Gore
V.P.Dan Quayle
Sen.Bob Dole

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Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022