Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks to the Members of the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association.

March 14, 1953

Dr. Bauer, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

Sometimes an individual finds himself in a position that he would like to explain, even to himself. I certainly have no prescriptions to offer for anything that you people might be thinking about. So my appearance here is confined mainly to exercising my privilege of welcoming you here, on behalf of the administration, in your deliberations in this city, and to express our great belief that the decisions you reach in the administrative field, particularly as they touch upon the functions of government, will represent your views of what is best for the United States of America, and not from any other viewpoint.

I have found, in the past few years, that I have certain philosophical bonds with doctors. I don't like the word "compulsory." I am against the word "socialized." Everything about such words seems to me to be a step toward the thing that we are spending so many billions to prevent; that is, the overwhelming of this country by any force, power, or idea that leads us to forsake our traditional system of free enterprise.

Now, that is the doctrine of the administration. It is most certainly the doctrine of the Republican Party and those Republican leaders in Congress. They are here to speak for themselves, but I am sure they will allow me that one word. We live by it, and we intend to practice it.

Now, we thoroughly understand, also, the importance of your functions in our society. We also understand and are determined to meet the requirements of our population in the services that only you can provide. But we do have faith that Americans want to do the right thing, and the medical profession will provide the kind of services our country needs better, with the cooperation and the friendship of the administration, rather than its direction or any attempt on its part to be the big "poobah" in this particular field.

That is what I came to repeat. In many sections of the country, in every area, I have said these things before--and to some of you that are here today. I repeat them, and I tell you it is going to be the philosophy of this administration for the next 4 years, or as long as the good Lord allows me--all or part of it-to spend those 4 years.

That is our pledge, and again I express the confidence that you people will be helpful, according to your judgment of what is good for the United States of America.

And now let me repeat, on the part of the administration, a most hearty welcome.

Actually, right now, I have got something I can consult with you about. I have got a sore wrist, and the problem is whether I can play golf or not this afternoon. But I am going to try it, I assure you.

Goodbye, and good luck.

Note: The President spoke in the Presidential Room at the Statler Hotel in Washington at 10:35 a.m. His opening words referred to Dr. Louis H. Bauer, President of the American Medical Association.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks to the Members of the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231528

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