1946 Senate Hearings on a National Health Program

1946 Senate Hearings on a National Health Program


Image: President Harry Truman giving a radio address in 1946.

A major push for a national health program was mounted by President Harry Truman and Democratic leadership after the end of WWII in 1945. Truman had become president after the death of Franklin Roosevelt in April, and war had come to an end in September. Two months later, President Truman proposed national health care reform in a speech to Congress, which focused on how the crisis in access to healthcare had undermined the war effort and impacted soldiers.

The vehicle for implementing President Truman’s proposal was the National Health Act, introduced to the 79th Congress by Senator Robert Wagner as S. 1606 and by Representative John Dingell as H.R. 4730.

The Senate Committee on Education and Labor held 35 days of public hearings on S. 1606 in April – July of 1946.

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Index of Public Hearings


1946 Committee on Education and Labor Hearings on “To Establish a National Health Program”

Public Hearings hosted on S. 1606 by the Committee on Education and Labor (Part 1: April 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 16, 1946):

Public Hearings hosted on S. 1606 by the Committee on Education and Labor (Part 2: April 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, and 24, 1946):


Public Hearings hosted on S. 1606 by the Committee on Education and Labor (Part 3: April 25, 26, 30, and May 1, 2, 3, and 7, 1946):

Public Hearings hosted on S. 1606 by the Committee on Education and Labor (Part 4: May 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 31, and June 18, 20, 21, 1946):

Public Hearings hosted on S. 1606 by the Committee on Education and Labor (Part 5: June 24, 25, 26, 27, and July 10, 1946):