Reagan praised as medicine's friend

Whether speaking against socialized medicine or addressing cost concerns, the former president made his presence felt.

By Damon Adams — Posted June 21, 2004

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President Ronald Reagan, who died June 5, used his skills as the "Great Communicator" to address health issues facing physicians.

In 1962, actor Reagan worked with the Women's Auxiliary to the AMA (now the AMA Alliance) and spoke on a record opposing "socialized medicine." The recording was played at the group's Operation Coffee Cup receptions to rally opposition to proposed Medicare legislation.

In 1983, President Reagan addressed the AMA House of Delegates at the Annual Meeting, where he spoke about the rising costs of health care and was well-received.

"The American Medical Association joins the nation in mourning the death of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Those who strive for freedom worldwide will remember President Reagan fondly for his tremendous contributions towards liberty in our nation and the world," said AMA President Donald J. Palmisano, MD.

"President Reagan was a believer in the unsurpassed quality of American medicine. In his final years, President and Mrs. Reagan's honest portrayal of living with Alzheimer's disease helped shed a spotlight on this illness affecting 4.5 million Americans and their families. We express our deepest sympathy to the family of President Reagan."

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