Health Care Act

Sinatra’s 1946 song for NC health plan sounds current notes

Frank Sinatra, shown around 1951 with Ava Gardner, recorded a song with Dinah Shore in 1946 promoting North Carolina’s Good Health Plan.
Frank Sinatra, shown around 1951 with Ava Gardner, recorded a song with Dinah Shore in 1946 promoting North Carolina’s Good Health Plan. AFP/Getty Images

More than 50 years before America had the Affordable Care Act, North Carolina had the Good Health Plan – and Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore cut a single to promote it.

It’s All Up to You” was released in 1946. But the title could just as easily describe today’s health care revolution, in which individuals are expected to take more responsibility for their own health, pay more of their own bills and get more involved in cutting costs, Brad Wilson, CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, said recently.

Wilson opened a talk at The Employers Association with a brief history lesson, talking about how the state was shamed when North Carolina led the nation in draftees rejected for service in WWII because of poor health. State leaders launched a push for new and better hospitals and medical training.

His mention of the song was a clever segue into his talk about modern trends, but I wanted to hear it. I found a link to the recording from the state archives. The lyrics:

Even Superman supports the Good Health Plan.

He knows what it will do.

It’s all up to you. It’s all up to you.

Spread the health alarm to every town and farm

And preach the good health view.

It’s all up to you. It’s all up to you.

You’ll find being healthy means more than a well-filled purse.

What good’s being wealthy when you can’t buy a doctor or a nurse?

When the job is done we’ll wind up Number One

Instead of 42.

It’s all up to you. It’s all up to you.

We need vitamins and medicines and beds to spare

Places where the sick can go to get some care

Lots of new equipment to combat disease

Clinics where the poor can go for moderate fees.

Funny how music on the the scratchy record sounds so dated while the sentiments seem so current.

Of course, now I’m waiting for someone wittier than I am to suggest an Obamacare song.

Helms: 704-358-5033;

Twitter: @anndosshelms. This blog post is done in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  Comments