Harry Truman And The Fair Deal

The 80th Congress (1947-1949) Vs. The 118th Congress (2023- )

It has often been claimed that the 80th Congress (1947-1949) under President Harry Truman was unproductive, or as Truman claimed it in his 1948 Presidential campaign, a “Do Nothing” Congress.

While it is true that the Republican dominated 80th Congress worked against Democratic President Truman and his “Fair Deal” proposals, most notably passing the anti Labor Taft-Hartley Act over the President’s veto, in reality a lot was accomplished in that Congress.

The following actions were accomplished:

The Truman Doctrine
The Taft-Hartley Act
The Presidential Succession Act
The National Security Act–including the Defense Department at the Pentagon in Virginia, the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, separate Department of the Air Force, and the Central Intelligence Agency
The Marshall Plan
22nd Amendment to the US Constitution

At the same time, NOTHING significant has been passed into law in the present first session of the 118th Congress, making it the least productive in modern times since the Great Depression 1931-1933 72nd Congress, split between a Democratic House of Representatives and Republican Senate under President Herbert Hoover!

Lyndon B. Johnson And Medicare: 58th Anniversary!

It has been 58 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare Act, a pathbreaking turning point in health care, after much resistance for a half century.

Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, as the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party Presidential nominee, was the first President to suggest health care should be a national commitment.

His distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, considered the issue, but had enough of a battle over Social Security being legislated into law in 1935, as part of his “New Deal”.

Harry Truman promoted, as part of his “Fair Deal”, the consideration of some sort of national health care, but it went awry in the divisive politics of the “Red Scare” and the Cold War.

John F. Kennedy also pushed the issue, but did not have the clout to get it past House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills of Arkansas.

Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the issue of national health care as part of his “Great Society”, and got it done, and it has been a godsend to millions of elderly people and disabled people, and added to the following year by the adoption of Medicaid.

Most Republicans opposed it then and since, and continue to call it “Socialism”, and ten states, including Texas and Florida, refuse to expand Medicaid, denying the poor the care they need, and this by a party that claims to be “Pro Life”! 🙁

And Barack Obama, in promoting the Affordable Care Act or “ObamaCare”, expanded health care, and it continues to survive despire blistering Republican and conservative attacks!

So this is a time to salute LBJ, as the savior of the promotion of national health care!