A Long Running Debate

On January 15, 1973 Senator Edward Kennedy addressed the Tufts Community and public at large on the topic of health reform. Below is an excerpt from the speech. If you would like to read the full text, please visit the Digital Collections and Archives, Tisch Library Building, ground floor from 9-4 Monday through Friday.

Senator Kennedy with Mr. and Mrs. David Slater, Mrs. Herbert Karol and Mrs. Burton C. Hallowell.

From Senator Edward M. Kennedy's speech, January 15, 1973:

"I am delighted to be here at Tufts and to participate in the development of a new program in community health and the delivery of health services. That this innovative approach to the study of health care issues is being carried out at the undergraduate level is remarkable - it reaffirms Tufts leadership position in the education and training of future health professionals.

Several years ago, Tufts sponsored the Northern New England Student Health Projects. Health Science students from across the country joined together to study the health care problems of Massachusetts communities. Much of what was pioneered by these students at Tufts has now been incorporated into traditional medical school curricula; and the common theme of those summer projects --- that health care is a basic human right --- has now been accepted by the majority of the health establishment.

But the question remains as to how to make that right a reality for all our citizens.

In recent days the news media have been focusing on the epic struggle shaping up between the Congress and the White House. Commentators describe the confrontation in constitutional terms; they ask when the Congress will assert itself in the development of foreign and domestic policy. this is a critical question. It is critical not only because the processes of policy development have been challenged by the President [Nixon], but because the focus of the existing programs would be altered if the White House is successful. And those alternations would be made behind closed doors, shrouded in secrecy, without the restraining influence of public accountability. . . ."