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Letter to the Director, Bureau of the Budget, Concerning Integration of Federal Medical Services.

June 18, 1946

[Released June 18, 1946. Dated June 17, 1946]

Dear Harold:

Enclosed is a copy of a report prepared by my Committee on the Integration of the Medical Services of the Government. Please distribute the pertinent parts of this report to the appropriate agencies and follow up with them to insure implementation as quickly as possible.

I do not concur in the Committee's recommendation to amend Public Law 346 to provide out-patient care to veterans with non-service connected disabilities, so please do not suggest that to the Veterans Administration. With our present need for full care to veterans with service-connected disabilities, I should not like to over-burden the Veterans Administration home-town care programs. Furthermore, the Committee's proposal would not in the long run accomplish its proposed objective. Finally, Public Law 346 is in itself adequate to assure that veterans with service-connected disabilities receive priority for beds and care.

With respect to the recommendation in Part II of the Report, I concur in the need for a thorough restudy of the direct medical services of the Federal Government. I do not, however, believe that such a study should be undertaken until after the Army-Navy merger issues are resolved. When those issues are resolved and after any basic organizational changes which might be required have been made, I wish you would see to the appointment of a first-class committee of outstanding medical men to make the study. Please suggest the members of such a committee, and I will appoint them.

When the committee is functioning, I am sure it will need staff assistance. I wish your office would supply all such assistance.

Very sincerely yours,

HARRY S. TRUMAN

[Mr. Harold D. Smith, Director, Bureau of the Budget, Washington, D.C.]

Note: The White House also released the text of the report (18 pp. mimeographed) transmitted May 20 by Dr. Harold W. Dodds, President of Princeton University and Chairman of the President's Committee on the Integration of the Medical Services of the Government. The Committee was appointed on December 12, 1945, to make a study of the medical care provided by various governmental services and to make recommendations for improvement in such services and for changes in basic policy.

Harry S. Truman, Letter to the Director, Bureau of the Budget, Concerning Integration of Federal Medical Services. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232531

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