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Health and Accident Underwriters Conference, letter from John P.
Hanna, managing director, transmitting memorandum re Reader's
Digest article..


Health Insurance Council, annual survey, accident and health cover-
age in the United States, December 31, 1952-


Estimated number of persons covered by major medical insur-
ance as of October 1, 1953, table----


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(Voluntary Health Insurance)




Washington, D. C.

The committee met at 10 a. m., the Honorable John W. Heselton (acting chairman) presiding.

Mr. HESELTON. The committee will please come to order.

Before starting the formal part of the hearing, in behalf of the committee I want to welcome a group who are guests of the committee. Under the auspices of the American University there is being conducted what is known as the Washington semester program, a cooperative program of 47 colleges and universities from all parts of the Nation. It is designed to give the students a realistic and firsthand knowledge of the operations of the National Government. They attend this hearing as one of the sessions of their seminar on government in action. They will later discuss what they see and hear at a further seminar session at the university.

I might say to whoever is in charge of the program I am sure the committee will welcome having the results of that discussion. If they could be reduced to writing and sent to the committee, I am sure that the chairman and all of us will be very much interested.

The students who will attend today are juniors and seniors chosen on an honor basis from Alfred University, Bethany College, Cornell College, Drew University, Earlham College, Grinnell College, Hunter College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Park College, Rockford College, Sheppard College, Simpson College, Stetson University, Washington College, and Western Reserve University.

As I said, I am very happy for the entire committee to welcome you here. I hope that you will get a lasting example of the method of so-called committee hearings, which is not frequently understood. I think almost all major legislation that passes through the House and Senate is substantially in the form in which the legislative committees and the Appropriations Committee report such legislation. It is rare that a committee report is turned down by either the House or the Senate.

Possibly, in order to make this particular hearing of more direct interest to you I should outline some of the jurisdiction of this committee, which is the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. It is one of the oldest committees in Congress. I believe it was the third committee appointed after Congress became an institution.

Under the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1947 this committee and other committees were given specific jurisdiction in certain


fields. The jurisdiction of this committee is among the broadest of any in the House. I will run over briefly its jurisdiction.

First, interstate and foreign commerce generally.

Second, regulation of interstate and foreign transportation, except transportation by water not subject to the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Third, regulation of interstate and foreign communications.
Fourth, civil aeronautics.

Fifth, Weather Bureau.

Sixth, interstate oil compacts; and petroleum and natural gas, except on the public lands.

Seventh, securities and exchanges.

Eighth, regulation of interstate transmission of power, except the installation of connections between Government waterpower projects. Ninth, railroad labor and railroad retirement and unemployment, except revenue measures relating thereto.

Tenth, public health and quarantine.

Eleventh, inland waterways.

Twelfth, Bureau of Standards, standardization of weights and measures, and the metric system.

I believe the first public health institution operated by the Federal Government was the building of a seamen's hospital back in the last century. Since that time the Federal Government's jurisdiction over a great many of the health institutions has been broadened and its interest in public health matters has been broadened. The hearings we have been holding so far have brought us up to date with testimony as to the great advances that have been made, not only through the medical profession, but through Government institutions and the people who are engaged particularly in research in these Government institutions.

I am sure those who are here this morning will be willing to let me read briefly the initial statement of our chairman who, incidentally, has been called away and unfortunately will not be here this morning but hopes to be able to return tomorrow for the hearings.

The initial statement that he made some 10 days ago is already in the record and does not need to be recorded, but I will read it as follows:

(The initial statement was read.)

I think that gives to our guests something of the background of the progress that has been made during these particular hearings.

This morning the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce opens its second series of hearings in the committee's hearings on health problems.

From October 1 through October 12 this committee received extensive testimony on the present state of research into the causes and control of some of the major diseases of mankind. The committee has been impressed by the splendid cooperation that exists among the private and public agencies and the men and women in these agencies who have devoted their lives to research in the fields of major diseases. These research activities have produced marvelous results with regard to prevention and treatment of several of these diseases. The very fact, however, that we are now able to treat many of these diseases and prolong human lives has resulted in new problems of an

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