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Memorandum of Disapproval of a Bill To Promote Training in Family Medicine.

December 26, 1970

I AM WITHHOLDING my signature from S. 3418, a bill designed to promote training in family medicine. The authority provided in this bill is unnecessary and represents the wrong approach to the solution of the nation's health problems.

In my press conference on December I o, I stated that a health program will be one of the highest priority proposals I will submit to the Congress next year. We will propose a broad pattern of reforms to deal with the nation's health problems and needs on a systematic and comprehensive basis. In contrast, the piecemeal bill I am rejecting today simply continues the traditional approach of adding more programs to the almost unmanageable current structure of Federal Government health efforts.

The Federal Government already has at least four programs on the books that provide funds which can be used to promote the training of family medicine practitioners. Moreover, the entire concept of American medicine is in an evolutionary stage. There are differing opinions on how best to organize and train personnel to provide comprehensive and continuing care to individuals and families.

Under these circumstances, I do not believe it wise to place heavy emphasis on the establishment of separate departments of family medicine in medical schools, as S. 3418 would do. This is only one--and not necessarily the most efficient--method of achieving our national health care objectives, and should not be fixed in law.


The White House

December 24, 1970

Note: The memorandum was dated December 24, 1970, and released December 26, 1970.

Richard Nixon, Memorandum of Disapproval of a Bill To Promote Training in Family Medicine. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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