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1965 Lyndon Johnson Medicare Bill Signing Pen
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,508.00
It was with this very pen that Lyndon Johnson signed the historic Medicare bill (H.R. 6675) in 1965, thus insuring that seniors would receive affordable health coverage as part of their social security plan. The pen, an Easterbrook fountain pen, is lettered "The President - The White House" and is accompanied by a copy of the original letter sent to the recipient of this significant piece: Dr. E. Michael Bluestone. The letter, dated August 9, 1965, was sent to Bluestone by Lawrence F. O'Brien, Special Assistant to the President, and reads in full: "Dear Dr. Bluestone: The President regrets your inability to attend the signing of H.R. 6675, the Medicare Bill. However, he has asked me to send you the attached pen used when he signed this legislation." Rarely does one find a Presidential signing pen accompanied by the original identifying correspondence, especially one used in the signing of such a significant bill. "H.R. 6675," known as the Medicare Bill, was signed by Johnson on July 30, 1965 in Independence, Missouri, in the presence of former President Harry Truman. It was Truman who, in a special message to Congress in 1945, first proposed a comprehensive, prepaid medical insurance plan for all people through the Social Security system. Twenty years later, he finally saw his plan come to fruition. Dr. Bluestone is considered to be a pioneer in the field of home health care and the founder of a hospital-based home-care program at Montefiore Hospital in New York City in 1947. Lawrence O'Brien, who was also a Special Assistant to John F. Kennedy, is best known today more for his role in the field of sports rather than politics. In 1975 O'Brien became Commissioner of the NBA, serving in that capacity for nine years. In 1991 he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport. The pen (length: 6 inches) has been handsomely mounted and framed together with both the accompanying letter (8 x 10 inches, Vg, with tape reinforcement along the borders and fold lines) and a large black-and-white print (10.5 x 13.5 inch) of Lyndon Johnson. Total dimensions: 28.5 x 22.5 inches. LOA from Steve Grad & John Reznikoff/PSA DNA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $1,508.00
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