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Letter to the Administrator, Federal Security Agency, on Raising the Level of the Nation's Health.

January 30, 1948

Dear Mr. Administrator:

The health of our people is of such importance to our national welfare and security that I wish to make certain that we are taking all possible steps to contribute to its improvement. I have, as you know, repeatedly requested the Congress to enact legislation designed to expand basic health services and to bring them within the reach of all the people. While such legislation is of primary importance, its enactment alone will not assure that we shall reach the highest possible levels of health. The attainment of such a goal requires the cooperation of State and local governments, voluntary organizations, the medical and health professions, as well as all of our citizens working together.

Our people want good health and are willing to work to achieve it. Notable progress has already been made. But I am convinced that we have scarcely scratched the surface and that, as a Nation, we can make rapid progress in the immediate future.

I should like to ask you, therefore, to undertake a comprehensive study of the possibilities for raising health levels and to report to me, at your early convenience, upon feasible goals which might be realized by the American people in the next decade. I should appreciate further any suggestions you may wish to make concerning the most practicable methods of achieving such goals. In preparing this report, you will undoubtedly wish to confer with interested persons both in and out of the Government.

Very sincerely yours,


[Honorable Oscar R. Ewing, Administrator, Federal Security Agency, Washington 25, D.C.]

Note: Mr. Ewing's report "The Nation's Health: a Ten Year Program" (186 pp., Government Printing Office) was transmitted to the President on September 2, 1948. It was made public by the President during his news conference of that date (see Item 181 [2]).

Harry S Truman, Letter to the Administrator, Federal Security Agency, on Raising the Level of the Nation's Health. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232681

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