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JFK Speaks Out on Medicare Legislation

June 13, 1963 - President Kennedy, in a fiery speech lashing Congressional opponents, today predicted passage of his controversial medicare legislation this session “if members of the House and Senate have a chance to vote on the bill.” Mr. Kennedy took a slap at House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur D. Mills (D-Ark.), who opposes the bill. Mr. Mills’s committee has been the major stumbling block to medicare. The President received a standing ovation before delivering a five-minute address to 1,000 members of the National Council of Senior Citizens. Pounding the lectern, Mr. Kennedy declared: “Your being here once again brings to the attention of Congress, the government, and the nation the need for this very essential piece of legislation.” He added that the King-Anderson bill, placing medical care for the elderly under Social Security, would mean that every man and woman over 65 “will never be a burden on their children or a charity case to the Federal government because they have earned their way, and that is what we want.”


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