DR. SPOCK AND NATIONAL HEALTH CARE

Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 08/27/2009 - 13:01.

I’ve been stirring memories as I look through memorabilia as I near 50 years of news reporting. I came across two long interviews with Dr. Benjamin Spock from 1967.

 

Much of it dealt with his anti-war activity. I asked him naturally about the opposition he encountered over his anti-Vietnam positions. But I also asked him, “Did you take much abuse over your Medicare stand?”

 

I don’t remember the nature of his position but his response reveals even today the bitterness in the fight for health care reform.

 

His answer:

 

“Yes, I think that I angered my colleagues and friends at the medical center (University Hospitals) more about that than I did about peace. I think that they think of peace views as rather crazy. But medical, I think a lot of conservative doctors felt (it) was a direct threat to them, going to impair the whole, if not, destroy the whole basis of private practice.”

 

We have come some way since then but still have a long way to go.

 

It’s amazing how much you forget of the past. At least I do. The interviews covered 20 single-spaced pages of typewritten questions and mostly answer from Spock. He had the patience and kindness to sit through these long conversations.

Another aspect that caught my attention in scanning the pages was his bitter feelings toward President Lyndon B. Johnson. It might not seem strange since Johnson did escalate the Vietnam War. However, there was a more personal reason for Spock. He had backed Johnson’s candidacy.

 

“I felt betrayed and outraged when Johnson suddenly escalated in February 1965. It was a wrong policy to start with and then to help and elect a President whose campaigned on the basis that he is not going to escalate and then  turns around and does escalate seems to me was outrageous,” said Spock.

 

I can still hear the passion in his voice.

 

Raised in a staunch Republican family, Spock became someone who thought for himself and was ready to pay the consequences.

A person to be emulated. Where are such citizens today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Spock

  Definitely a hero...with a local impact.  I had the good fortune to wait on him and his family at an event held at That Place on Belleflower in University Circle.  You can tell a lot about a person when you are the person doing the serving.  Gracious, kind are words that come to mind after my encounter with Dr. Spock and his family.  I waited on a lot of luminaries at That Place on Belleflower :) 
 

50 years of roldo

somehow we have to capture these memories and writings into an anthology or a library, Roldo.  You make such a difference and present the real side of so much utter bullshit that is handed to us.

Debbie 

what a beautiful man

 when i was blessed with a newborn baby (and we had two dimes to rub together, but that was it!) I had no parenting role model to follow but I did have two books - one by Dr. Benjamin Spock and one by Dr. James Dobson.

i was also blessed with the common sense to literally throw the Dobson book in the trash.

Spock was a guiding light and a great sense of re-assurance. What a beautiful man.

Thanks for the nice

Thanks for the nice comments.

I should add that the story on Spock ran in the Wall Street Journal on August 24, 1967.