The first was Oscar R. Ewing, an attorney who headed Federal Security Agency from 1947 to 1953.
The Federal Security Agency
controlled Social Security, the Public Health Service
, the Food and Drug Administration
, and the Civilian Conservation Corps
, later becoming Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).
Ewing also served as Vice Chairman of the Democrat National Committee and was a long-time Truman policy advisor.
was the lead Truman official supporting nationalized health care. He
argued strongly that inability to afford care resulted in a "barrier of formidable properties between the doctor and his
claimed that the administrative overhead would be no more than 5 to 7 percent of the wage deductions.
For those without jobs, who were indigent, or were bad risks there would be a means test and the government would pay.
estimated that the cost to cover these people would be only 14 to 25 percent above the payroll tax.
The government would provide the additional funds (from where he
did not say…).
did admit that the services offered would have to be determined by "what we're willing to pay" to cover the unemployed, indigent, and bad health risks.
Though the terms rationing and death panels were not used, the issues raised were the same as today.
What services, at what cost?
After seeing that nationalized health care would not pass, Ewing
became the main proponent of Medicare for those over 65.
The cost estimates Lull offered were significantly higher than those quoted by Ewing
, requiring the payment of "six percent initially and as much as eight to ten percent" in payroll taxes on top of social security and federal income taxes.
 Oscar Ewing
and George F. Lull, MD, "How Shall We Pay for Health Care?
 "Oscar R. Ewing," Social Security History, Social Security Online, accessed on August 8, 2012.
 Oral History Interview with Oscar R. Ewing, May 1, 1969, by J.R. Fuchs, Truman Library, accessed on August 8, 2012.
 Ewing, p. 3.