A Common Thread of Service . Legislation (1971)


Public Law 92-5, signed March 17, 1971, provided for: (1) a 10 percent across-the-board increase in Social Security cash benefits (with a 5 per cent increase in the special payments for certain people over age 72); (2) an increase in the contribution and benefit base ($7800 under prior law) to $9000, effective for 1971; and (3) an increase in the previously scheduled social security contribution rates for years after 1975.

Public Law 92-31, signed on June 30, 1971, amended and extended the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act for one year. The original act authorized the Department to make grants to a state agency for planning, training and the development of improved practices and techniques in dealing with delinquents. The amendments raised the Federal matching share from 60 percent to 75 percent, and created the Interdepartmental Council on Juvenile Delinquency to coordinate all Federal juvenile delinquency programs.

Public Law 92-54, signed on July 12, 1971, was designed to provide jobs in needed public services during times of high unemployment, and specifically includes health workers in its provisions. It has speeded the identification of personnel needs in the health care field that could be met under its provisions.

The Comprehensive Health Manpower Training Act, P.L. 92-158, signed on November 18, 1971, was aimed at eliminating, by 1980 the shortage of doctors and other trained medical personnel in the Nation by providing substantial new Federal support to medical education. The measure gave programs of aid to schools of medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry, pharmacy, and their students, totalling $2.9 billion over a 3-year period.

The Nurse Training Act, P. L. 92-158, signed on November 18, authorized grants and loans with interest subsidies for the construction of facilities for schools of nursing; provided special project grants to schools of nursing and other non-profit agencies including assistance to nursing schools in financial distress; start-up grants for new nurse training programs; and scholarship grants and contracts to encourage full utilization of education talent for the nursing profession.

The National Cancer Act, P.L. 91-218, signed on December 23, 1971, authorized mounting a concerted national campaign against cancer. It authorized the spending of $1.6 billion over the next three years for research and related activities. The cancer fight will be kept within NIH's National Cancer Institute, but NCI will be able to send its budget directly to the White House, bypassing both the head of NIH and HEW. The directors of both NIH and NCI will be Presidential appointees and the President will monitor the fight through a three member watchdog panel reporting directly to him.