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PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITAL CLOSINGS

BEFORE THE

House,

HEARINGS

4 - DECI 8

Copy 1972
United States Congress,

COMMITTEE ON
MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

NINETY-FIRST CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION

ON

AN INVESTIGATION OF REPORTED PLANS BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE
AND THE ADMINISTRATION TO CLOSE ALL OF THE
NATION'S U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITALS AND

CLINICS

DECEMBER 22, 30, 1970

Serial No. 91-43

Printed for the use of the
Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

WASHINGTON : 1972

55-467

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EDWARD A. GARMATZ, Maryland, Chairman LEONOR K. (MRS. JOHN B.) SULLIVAN, WILLIAM S. MAILLIARD, California Missouri

THOMAS M. PELLY, Washington FRANK M. CLARK, Pennsylvania

CHARLES A. MOSHER, Ohio THOMAS L. ASHLEY, Ohio

JAMES R. GROVER, JR., New York JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan

HASTINGS KEITH, Massachusetts ALTON LENNON, North Carolina

HENRY C. SCHADEBERG, Wisconsin THOMAS N. DOWNING, Virginia

JOHN DELLENBACK, Oregon JAMES A. BYRNE, Pennsylvania

HOWARD W. POLLOCK, Alaska PAUL G. ROGERS, Florida

PHILIP E. RUPPE, Michigan FRANK A. STUBBLEFIELD, Kentucky GEORGE A. GOODLING, Pennsylvania JOHN M. MURPHY, New York

WILLIAM G. BRAY, Indiana JOSEPH E. KARTH, Minnesota

PAUL N. MCCLOSKEY, JR., California WILLIAM D. HATHAWAY, Maine

LOUIS FREY, JR., Florida WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina

JACK H. MCDONALD, Michigan
ROBERT L. LEGGETT, California

M. GENE SNYDER, Kentucky
MICHAEL A. FEIGHAN, Ohio
FRANK ANNUNZIO, Illinois
SPEEDY O. LONG, Louisiana
MARIO BIAGGI, New York
CHARLES H. GRIFFIN, Mississippi
GLENN M. ANDERSON, California

ROBERT J. ABLES, Ohief Counsel
RALPH E. CASEY, Special Counsel
ROBERT J. McElroy, Chief Clerk
RICHARD N. SHAROOD, Minority Counsel

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Hearings held-

December 22, 1970

December 30, 1970-

Statement of —

Boggs, Hon. Hale, a Representative in Congress from the State of

Louisiana.

Brooks, Hon. Jack, a Representative in Congress from the State of

Texas.

Cardwell, James B., Assistant Secretary, Comptroller, HEW.

Clark, Earl W., Codirector, Labor-Management Maritime Committee.

Egeberg, Dr. Roger, Assistant Secretary, Health and Scientific Affairs,

HEW

Gottlieb, Bertram, Director of Research, Transportation Institute -

Haddock, Hoyt S., Codirector, Labor-Management Maritime

Committee..

Hébert, Hon. F. Edward, a Representative in Congress from the

State of Louisiana.

Mailliard, Hon. William S., a Representative in Congress from the

State of California

Pelly, Hon. Thomas M., a Representative in Congress from the State

of Washington.

Pepper, Hon. Claude, a Representative in Congress from the State of

Florida

Richardson, Hon. Elliot L., Secretary, Department of Health, Edu-

cation, and Welfare.

Spong, Hon. William B., a U.S. Senator from the State of Virginia...

Vahey, Robert, Economist, Transportation Institute

Whitehurst, Hon. G. William, a Representative in Congress from the

State of Virginia...

Wilson, Dr. Vernon, Administrator, Health Services, and Mental

Health Administration, HEW..

Additional information submitted by-

HEW-

Legal opinion on authority to close PHS hospitals, dated Janu-

ary 21, 1971.-.

Per diem costs-general hospitals, table-
Profile of VA hospital operations, June 1967 to June 1970.--
Veterans' Administration hospital trends in port cities having

PHS hospitals, fiscal years 1968–70, table-

Labor-Management Maritime Committee:

Legislative history of PHS beneficiary enactments from "Medical

and Hospital Care for Merchant Seamen,” volume 1, pages

40-42..

The Nation's health crisis.

Murphy, Hon. John M., table giving bed availability of VA hospitals.
Communications submitted by-

Adams Hon. Brock, letter dated January 7, 1971 with 4 other Wash-

ington State members.
Baker, Hon. Howard H., with four others, letters dated Janu-

ary 12, 1971..

Begich, Hon. Nick, a Congressman-elect, from Alaska, letter dated

January 8, 1971.-

Brinkley, Gorman G., director, Virginia Council on Alcoholism &

Drug Dependence, Inc., letter dated December 23, 1970...

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21

20

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90

Communications submitted by-Continued

Butler, Jack, M.D., acting director, Federal Health Programs Service;

letters dated:

September 23, 1969, to Senator Spong--

January 28, 1970, to Senator Spong--

August 10, 1970, enclosing listing of contract physician offices

and hospitals

Clark, Earl W., letters dated:

December 2, 1970, to Hon. Harley 0. Staggers.

December 21, 1970, enclosing data on PHS hospitals and clinics--

Curran, Joseph, and Spyros S. Skouras, cochairman, Labor-Manage-

ment Maritime Committee, telegram dated December 22, 1970.--

Davidson, Richardson J., executive vice president, Maryland Hospital

Association, telegram dated December 22, 1970-

Egeberg, Roger 0., M.D., letters dated:

December 21, 1970.

January 20, 1971.-

Fortson, Mary G., Sr., R.R.L., Mercy Hospital, Inc., letter dated

January 11, 1971.-

Haddock, Hoyt S., letters dated:

December 2, 1970, to Hon. Harley 0. Staggers..

December 21, 1970, enclosing data on PHS hospitals and clinics..

December 30, 1970..

Kinney, Capt. Dale, secretary, Masters, Mates & Pilots, letter dated

December 29, 1970.

Magnuson, Hon. Warren G., and 12 others, letter dated December 22,

1970.

Martire, Joseph R., M.D., letter dated December 26, 1970.

Maryland congressional delegation, letter to Secretary Richardson

dated December 22, 1970.--.

Meyer, George F., Jr., counsel, Retired Officers Association, letter

dated December 30, 1970.-

Murphy, Hon. John M., letter to Secretary Richardson dated Novem-

ber 23, 1970.-

PHS commissioned officers and employees, petition signed by several

hundred.

Poole, Patsy M., city secretary, city of Galveston, Tex., letter dated

December 24, 1970, enclosing a resolution...

Quin, E. D., letter dated December 25, 1970...

Richardson, Hon. Elliot L., telegram to Hon. Edward A. Garmatz..
Robbins, Benedict A., regional president, Northwest Fleet Reserve

Association, telegram dated December 29, 1970..

Royal, John J., secretary-treasurer, Fishermen & Allied Workers'

Union, letter dated January 8, 1971.--

Schaefer, William D., president, Baltimore City Council, enclosing

Resolution 1616 adopted January 11, 1971.-

Smith, Robert W., national commander, Disabled Officers Association,

letter dated Dec. 29, 1970.-

Stover, Francis W., Director, National Legislative Service-

Stratton, A. W., Director, Veterans' Administration Center, letter

dated January 5, 1971.--

Stringer, Herald E., director, National Legislative Commission, the

American Legion, letter dated December 22, 1970, enclosing resolu-

tion 570.-

Teague, Hon. Olin E., letter dated December 22, 1970.,
Turner, Ed., secretary-treasurer, Marine Cooks & Steward Union,

telegram dated December 29, 1970.-
Vanpoll, Cornelius C., president, Seattle Fleet Reserve Association,

telegram dated December 29, 1970.--

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PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITAL CLOSING

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1970

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,

Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to call, in room 1334, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Edward A. Garmatz (chairman of the committee) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order.

The committee has called as a witness the Honorable Elliot L. Richardson, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, to report on recent information that the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the administration are planning to close all of the Nation's U.S. Public Health Service hospitals.

In my letter yesterday to the Secretary, I told him I was very concerned about this possibility and that other members of the committee joined me in this view. I, therefore, thought it was essential to have the Secretary report to the committee about his intentions in closing these hospitals. I might add in this respect that neither I nor my staff were able to get information about the proposed closing of these hospitals from anyone else in the Department despite intensive efforts to get this information.

In calling this hearing, it should be understood that the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries has responsibility for the welfare of merchant seamen and Coast Guard families. In the 89th Congress our committee held hearings on the announced plans to close Public Health Service hospitals in Chicago, Memphis, Savannah, Boston, Galveston, Norfolk, and Detroit.

In our report (H. Rept. 610, 89th Congress) we stated it did not appear that adequate study had been given either to the desirability or practicability of closing the Public Health Service hospitals, or to the concomitant obligation of providing adequate and acceptable hospital care and treatment to PÀS beneficiaries. We also reported that the Comptroller General had found it to be illegal to close the PHS facilities and substitute the use of Veterans Administration facilities.

As a result of these hearings the committee concluded that whatever justification existed for permitting our PHS program to pass the danger point, it was time to make plans not to close hospitals, but to upgrade, modernize and expand our remaining PHS hospitals in an effort to carry out the statutory responsibility of providing the best possible medical care and treatment to beneficiaries who are entitled to such by law.

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