The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin on July 25, 1965 · Page 14
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The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin · Page 14

Racine, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 25, 1965
Page 14
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Racine, Wisconsin Sunday. July 25, 1965 End of a Long, Rough Road Medicare, that convenient and popular abbreviation for medical care for the aged financed through Social Security, is being called a social revolution as it nears final legislative action by the Congress and the president. If it is, it is a fairly old revolution—as an idea, about 30 years old. The drive for a governmentally-sponsored medical care program spans the administrations of four presidents, three of whom liked the idea and one who didn't. It has consumed the attention of dozens of congressional leaders, and it has been a point of controversy between two of the nation's most powerful pressure groups—organized labor and the medical profession. The major credit for the final adoption of the medicare program will go to the Johnson administration, and properly so, because President Johnson has given it top priority in his legislative program and provided the unique Johnsonian technique for legislative accomplishment. But the idea for medicare originated in the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 30 years ago. * * * In 1935, Roosevelt's committee on Economic Security endorsed the principle of compulsory national health insurance, covering not only the aged but everyone. Roosevelt sent the report to Congress but never pushed the medical insurance plan, feeling that its controversial nature would jeopardize the Social Security Act, which he was then pushing through Congress. The idea was revived in a bill proposed in 1940 by Sens. Robert Wagner, James Murray and John D. Dingell, and President Truman was the first chief executive to give the plan, presented as the Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill, strong White House support. It wasn't strong enough, however, to overcome the American Medical Assn.'s horrified cries of "socialized medicine," and the bill was killed in 1949. But the demand for some federal action in the medical field was so strong that that progressive conservative. Sen. Robert Taft, saw the need for an alternative, and successfully sponsored, in 1946, the first federal grants to the states for medical care for those receiving certain types of public assistance. This alternative, in various forms, has been general congressional reply to demands for medical assistance programs up until now. * * * President Dwight Eisenhower gave medicare no support in his eight years in office. To him, like the AMA, it was "sociaHzed medicine." But Eisenhower did sign the Kerr-Mills Bill, which set up matching grant programs to the states for medical care for the aged who could not finance their own. The Kerr-Mills programs were a mixed success; in some instances they only provided the states an excuse for lowering their own expenditures in the public assistance field, and the so-called "pauper's oath" did not increase the plan's popularity. In 1957, organized labor came into the field with all-out support for Rep. Aime Forand's bill to provide medical care for all old aged assistance beneficiaries. The Forand Bill, incidentally, was the first attempt to segregate age groups in the medical assistance controversy. President John F. Kennedy's administration provided the medicare plan we now know by that name. But Kennedy had no luck with it in Congress in 1961 or 1962. The Senate adopted the measure in 1962, but it died in a Senate-House conference committee. At that point, the Johnson administration picked up the plan, and the president made it a major campaign proposal. His overwhelming election last fall was construed as national endorsement of the plan, and made its adoption this year inevitable. A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME .... More Confusion to Worry About! Keeping U. S.-Soviet Lines Open *** *** *** Talks Could Counteract Viet Nam Friction Frye If you think it's a confused world, wait a while. There is something really confusing on the horizon: the conversion of our traditional system of inches-feet- yards-miles, ounces-pounds-tons, pints- quarts-gallons, and Fahrenheit degrees of temperature, to something^ called the metric system of measurement. The change will not come today or tomorrow, and perhaps not in our lifetimes (although we are growing increasingly wary of using that phrase), but Housewives would drive 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) to the supermarket to buy a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of steak and 2 liters (2.1 quarts) of milk. The consequences of the change-over in such things as industrial tooling and real estate abstracts are staggering to imagine. * * * But there are good arguments for the system. First, it is infinitely more logical, easier to learn and handle. The old Brit- chances are good that it will eventually ish-American system is totally arbitrary; come. The costs, complications and consequences to any change in the system of measurement in a society as complex as ours are incalculable. But members of Congress, notably Sen. Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, are asking for a study to make those calculations, and support for it is growing. To be made by the Department of Commerce, it would take three years and cost $2.5 million. * >i< JK What triggered the new demand for a study of the use of the metric system in the U.S. was the recent announcement by Great Britain that it would make the switch from our "English-speaking" system of measurement to the metric system within the next ten years. Canada followed with plans for a feasibiUty study. If Canada follows Britain, that would leave us Americans in a very lonely position as the only major nation of the world on the old system, and a change would be indicated, if not dictated. Nobody could deny that the change would be confusing and costly, and that it would touch nearly every aspect of our domestic, industrial and commercial lives, as well as education, government and practically everything else. We would watch football games from the 50-meter-line, in shirtsleeve autumn weather of 20 degrees (centigrade). originally, three barleycorns made an inch, and later 12 peppercorns was an inch; 12 inches made a foot for no good reason, nor was there any scientific backing to the 5,280 feet to the mile. The metric system, on the other hand, is based scientifically on the meter equaling one ten-millionth of the distance between the equator and true north, and carried out on the decimal system (factors of ten): a kilometer is 1,000 meters, a kilogram is 1,000 grams, etc. Second, the change would put us in step with the world. About 90 per cent of the population of the world now lives and works under the metric system. Third, we are losing $10 billion to $20 billion dollars in trade with the "metric world" because we do not use the same .system of measurement. In the long run, this trade would offset the cost of the change to American business and industry, which is variously estimated at $100 billion to $500 billion. « * * Whatever the outcome, the study Senator Pell proposes should be made, so that we can get a true picture of the change. If it does come, we will bear with it. For anyone who has lived more than two or three decades, change has been a way of life, and one more won't kill us. By William R. Frye UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. — Soviet-American relations are passing through an excep tionally sensitive and critical period. Much more is happening than appears readily on the surface. The Harrim a n "v a c a- tion" in Moscow — one of the more active vacations of recent diplomatic history— is one facet of the story. The 17-nation Disarmament Conference, which resumes in Geneva Tuesday, is another. Viet Nam is, of course, still another. What is involved is an effort to undo, or minimize, the damage to East-West relations which Viet Nam has caused, especially since the United States started bombing the North. Blow to Detente The Soviet - American detente of 1963-64 has been called the principal casualty of that bombing, though in fact the ouster of Nikita Khrushchev in October 1964 dealt the detente a considerable blow, months before the bombing began. There are some tentative indications that the post- Khrushchev regime in the Kremlin, having tried and failed to reconcile its differences with Peiping, has decided that a reconciliation is impossible on any acceptable terms. If such a decision has in fact been made, its logical consequence would be a new opportunity for the West to seek a detente. Viet Nam is a major obstacle to any such effort, but perhaps — in the wake of the Harriman mission—not an insuperable one. The world must not expect sudden or dramatic developments. The Kremlin's diplomacy is still severely inhibited by its struggle with Red China. The surface appear ance—and much of the sub surface reality—will certainly continue to be sharp Soviet-American antagonism. But it may be possible to Looking Backward 40 YEARS AGO July 25, 1925 — Maximum, *; Minimum, *. The Ringling Circus announced that they would forego the traditional parade through downtown streets on their annual visit to Racine. The circus grounds were set for Howe St. between 22d and 24th Sts. Ajax Motors Co. officials said that the new Ajax Six would be introduced and displayed in several metropolitan centers around the nation in August. able. superintendent of the Chicago public schools. Chief planner Frederick Schulte laid the groundwork for the Aug. 7 civic music festival at Washington Park. John Opferkuch was organizing the bandsmen and Earl Gere and Irvin Oneson had charge of the singers. 20 YEARS AGO July 25, 1945 — Maximum,! 90; Minimum, 68. i Eighteen persons appearedj at a public hearing on thej proposed city zoning ordinance to protest provisions or propose amendments. The Chicago regional Fed- Temperatures not avail-|eral Housing office allotted 50 homes to Racine for construction under the war housing program. Over $30,000 of the $36,000 estate of Mark Hum was willed to the Holy Communion Lutheran Church of Ra- 30 YEARS AGO July 25, 1935 — Maximum, 82; Minimum, 69. Maj. F. L. Heals, former head of Racine Military Academy, was named assistant cine. play the diplomatic game on two levels with two different degrees of antagonism. Seek Accommodation It may be feasible to seek tentative private accommodations, largely on peripheral subjects, with the object of decreasing tension, strengthening what might still be called the Khrushchev (or pro-detente) faction in the Kremlin, and insulating the two capitals against the kind of explosive confrontation that might otherwise take place in Viet Nam in coming weeks and months as both sides increase their commitment there. The Harriman mission appears to have been helpful in this direction. There will be further opportunity at Geneva. Just how much genuine disarmament talk there will be this coming week at the Palais des Nations is problematical; perhaps more than usual. But in any event, there are expected to be informal Soviet-American contacts behind the scenes. The Soviets surprised many in the West by agreeing to hold the Geneva meeting at all. They apparently wanted, among other things, continuing contact with Americans of a kind they have found it embarrassing to permit in Moscow. They also may want to hear what the United States has to say on the atom and West Germany. There is a distinct possibility that the United States will come to Geneva willing, for the first time, to modify or abandon the Atlantic Nuclear Force — that is, to abandon plans for sharing nuclear capability with West Germany — if the Russians will talk turkey on curbing nuclear proliferation. Too Many Bombs "Nuclear proliferation" is disarmament shorthand for the peril of a dozen or more countries possessing the atom bomb—the peril which President Johnson, Senator Rob­ ert F. Kennedy and many others have highlighted. American disarmament specialists have been interested in the subject for years. They have offered a comprehensive program of measures to combat it: an underground test ban, a "cut-off" in the production of fuel for nuclear weapons, transfers of bomb fuel to peaceful uses, and safeguards against secret diversion in the opposite direction—from peaceful uses to bombs. Some of these steps Robert M. Hutchins Let's Bring Professors Back to College Campuses Having established that the American university is a combined diploma mill, center of research and home- away- from home for adolescents, let us set about the task of making it into a community of people who think. Let us do so remembering that our object is more flatulent Hutchins to add So They Say e 1965 ^ NEA, Inc. "White Knight Alpha says we's In an area where there are more advisers than advisees!" I'm hoping for the day when the American people will mature to the point that the sins of the father are not heaped upon the children. —Rep. Frank Annunzio, D- 111., upon receiving the resignation of his administrative secretary, Anthony P. Tisci, son-in-law of reputed crime czar Sam (Moe) Giancana. * * * If we ignore the plight of those unborn generations which, because of our un­ readiness to take corrective action in controlling population growth, will be denied any expectations beyond abject poverty and suffering, then history will rightly condemn us. —Former President Eisenhower, on birth control. * * * These are times in which the sneering jibe, the racial slur, the verbal brutality can undo months and even years of patient work. They are times that call for the best that is in us. —Negro Police Capt. Eldridge Waith, after being appointed precinct commander in a Harlem neighborhood. would involve inspection missions in many countries. The Russians have said they sought a similar objective, but have made clear their minimum price for a treaty would be curbs on West Germany. A special presidentia study panel, headed by Ros well L. Gilpatric, a former deputy secretary of defense, recommended last January, in effect, that this price be paid An acceptable treaty, in volving inspection in the Soviet Union, seems extreme ly remote in the present at mosphere. But talk on the subject could be useful, es pecially if Moscow were im pressed with the possibilities it could provide a kind of bait luring the Kremlin westward toward an ultimate settlement in central Europe. Reverse Alliances? Keeping West Germany out of the nuclear club has long been an objective of very high priority for the Soviets. It could be they would come a long way if this kind of inducement were dangled be fore their eyes. What the West ultimately wants is for Moscow to come all the way to a reversal of alliances—that is, all the way to assisting the West in containing Red China. That is a very long way indeed, and many other things would have to happen first. But it is important that the Kremlin feel an interest in keeping doors to the West open. So long as it does, the peril of Viet Nam will be less likely to get out of hand. not wordage to the reams of exhortation that have already appeared, but to make practical proposals for reform. Let us begin at the beginning, with simple, ordinary things that everybody can understand. Let us begin with the material base of a thinking community. Let us begin with the professors and their rewards. It will be admitted, I think, that a university has to have professors and that if it is to be a community the professors have to be there. Professors Elsewhere They are unlikely to be there now. Perhaps my sense of their absence is slightly exaggerated. On a recent visit to an eastern campus, I planned to see five of them. They were all away consult- ng, conferring or lecturing. We may hope these engagements were more important to the future of mankind than the teaching and research they were alleged to be carrying on. But we have no way of knowing. They may have been after money. I mention this in no censorious tone. Every self- respecting citizen is supposed to be after money. This is, as I understand it, the basis of the free enterprise system and the American Way of Life. But we are trying to figure out how to have a community with professors in it, and our problem is how to reconcile their normal. r self-respecting desire t<ft^ money with our somewhat ^ uniisual ambition to have an' academic community. The answer is perfectly, clear: pay them properly for, the work they are expected, to do. And, since we mus^ti encourage writing, traveling,, conferring, consulting and; lecturing whenever and wherr^. ever the cause of learning, demands these activities, we, shall interpose no objectioi) when our professors engage in them—provided they turn the money over to the univerp . sity. My guess would be that, i this simple arrangement would lead professors to dis-, i cover that 90 per cent of their trips were unnecessary. What Pay? The workability of this , modest proposal turns on, what is meant by proper pay- . ment. Professors have a cer,- , tain security, a certain leisure and, in scientific an^ technical fields, a certain dignity that are denied most' , of the population and that should be taken into account, in determining their compensation. Nevertheless, even with these items thrown in ' at a fair cash value, the best professors — and we want nothing but the best—are paid about half what they ought to be receiving. If we compared what the best professors should be getting with what the lowest- paid junior executives at General Motors make in a year, I suspect we should find, without knowing much about the automobile business, that the professors were far be- ; hind. By doubling professors* *' salaries we would seem to be committed to doubling the payroll, with only a trifling deduction for the money earned from those outside ' activities which the professor thought worthwhile on scholarly grounds. But this is not so. The thing to do is to cut the number of professors in half. How to do this I shall tell you another time. CARMiCHAEL WE'LL H/WB TO EMUARG^ THE Reading a Columnist's Moil With Tex Reynolds Agrees on Problem of 'Averoge People' Dear Tex: I am writing in wholehearted agreement with "A Worried Mother's" letter the other night. As a renter I too hope that something will be done very soon to help us average people. It is very difficult to find a place in a decent neighborhood or one convenient to a place of employment if transportation is a problem or one that will accept children. Very few young couples can afford to become homehomers as soon as they are married and with the outrageous rents for a half-way decent place, both are forced to work or the husband has to hold down two jobs. I see and read about all the new apartment buildings being constructed including carpeting, drapes, air conditioning, etc. These things are nice, but how can the average earner afford these luxuries which raise the rent well over $100? I'm sure many will agree that the average person would be very happy without such things and a rent they don't have to strain to meet, would like a clean, simple apartment in the $80-$85 rent range. Can't some of these future apartment projects be geared to the average income level and located on the southsidc of Racine instead of so many on the new, executive north- side. Let's give these businessmen some practical ideas if we want some decent, safe and reasonable places to live. —AN AVERAGE CITIZEN Adults Should Look Back at Own Youth Dear Tex: In a youth magazine I found an article about teenagers and what the all- round population thinks of them. I've come to only one conclusion: people think teenagers are crazy or sick. It's not really funny, or anything like that, but if adults would just once look back at the times when they were that young, they'd realize how ridiculous they sound. We young people have minds and feelings too. We are not sponges and we are not mechanical beings who have to listen to parents gripe about being lazy and no good. heard one elderly woman 'say to another that she was scared to death of teenagers because they were so vulgar and corrupt! My gosh! What do they think we are? Teenage werewolves? I know that some of us young people have done some pretty rotten things, but then, so have adults. It wasn't teenagers who started the govern- , mental problems. Yes, some day we will have quite a load on our shoulders, but it'll be , a load that was left to us by our elders and to look at it '. now it's a pretty gruesome sight. So if no one minds, I think I'll enjoy my life to its fullest extent. —KAREN THOMPSOI^ * * * Must Teach Dog the Difference Dear Tex: My collie dog,'' Major, often rides with me and barks at other dogs hd' sees along the way. The other day I stopped at a restaurant and a convertible pulled alongside. The driver was a girl with one of those ' "sheep dog hairdos." Major immediately started barking at her enthusiastically, and I had a hard time getting him' to quiet down while I had a bite to eat. ' ' How am I going to train' him so he can tell the differ-' ence between a sheep dog and a girl with that kind of a hair-" do? —S. E.McKEE, Route I, Burlington. * * • Offers Suggestions to 'Worried Mother' Dear Tex: This is an answer to "Worried Mother": , ,, If your husband has a, steady income, why not buy,, a home; talk it over, pray for,, guidance and help, and then, see an honest real estate, agent and lay your cards on the table? Tell him of your present setup and see what. > he has to offer. There are , some nice homes available, with a small down payment.., Look for an older home ir> i good condition. Your realtor, pastor, or one of the officials at the bank may know of someone willing to loan yoi^. enough for the down pay-,, ment; you may find an older couple willing to help you, get started. Don't contract for high monthly payments; arrange for an amount you . can handle and get the pressure off your husband. Remember where there is a will there are 100 ways. , Don't cease praying and don't , give up. Good luck. —MRS. M. F. 1;

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