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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 8, 1993

Today, the White House released excerpts from Chief Executive Officers and industry leaders who have expressed support for the President's Health Care Reform Plan. These letters were received by the White House in the days and weeks following the President's speech to a Joint Session of Congress. The actual letters are attached.

"Rising costs and millions of Americans without coverage are problems that must be addressed. The overwhelming spiral of health care costs puts at risk the competitive position of American companies and workers in global markets. The President's health care reform plan is comprehensive and offers the first real opportunity for the nation to fashion a health care system that serves all Americans....The business community must be prepared to play a positive role in supporting the President's goals."

Paul A. Allaire
Chairman and CEO
Xerox Corporation
September 22, 1993

"Your plan demonstrates a vision for the future. It recognizes the need to minimize the financial burden on American firms to keep them competitive in the international marketplace, while expanding health care access to every American. The comprehensive plan you are proposing would help USX address several major challenges we are now facing: rapidly escalating health care costs, health care cost shifting, high legacy costs, increased international competition, and the preservation and creation of private sector manufacturing jobs."

Charles A. Corry
Chairman and CEO
USX Corporation
September 22, 1993

"Bethlehem supports the basic principles of the Clinton Health Care Reform Plan...Bethlehem's health care costs have been increasing each year and have risen by 46% in the last four years from $162 million in 1989 to $237 million in 1992...We support universal access so that all Americans will be provided with health care coverage..We believe that Health Alliances will provide an appropriate mechanism for the delivery of care in a more cost effective manner. Workable cost control mechanisms are absolutely essential for health care reform to be successful."

Curtis Barnette
Chairman and CEO
Bethlehem Steel Corporation
September 22, 1993

"I think most businessmen realize that the time has come for our country to bring itself up, at least to the level of other Western countries, and are willing to do what is necessary to achieve this."

Dwayne Andreas
Archer Daniels Midland Company
Chairman and CEO
September 23, 1993

"I think you are right in believing that health care reform will be good for business. If we can stop runaway health care inflation, businesses like ours can use the dollars we save to increase capital spending and add jobs..... Five years ago, I testified before Senator Kennedy's committee in favor of mandating health care benefits...Today it is widely, if quietly, recognized in the business community that we simply must have real reform..."

R. L. Crandall
Chairman and President
American Airlines
September 28, 1993

"...two aspects of your plan strike at the heart of the current problems, and that I support enthusiastically...

  1. Cost sharing and deductibles. Each individual definitely must share at least a portion of the cost...This is an absolutely essential feature in order to contain costs.
  2. Universal coverage. Every American should have access to health care, and your system steadfastly provides for this...Your plan requires every employer who is able to pay for his or her employees' health care plan to do so. Such costs, therefore, cannot be shifted to others. The load is fairly distributed. This will prove to be a pivotal element in the ability to hold down health care costs for all."

Garry N. Drummond
Drummond Company, Inc.

"Your goal to assure all Americans basic health care coverage is truly visionary and must be found for spiraling health care costs that are eroding the competitiveness of U.S. companies in international markets and causing lower wages, higher prices for goods and services, and higher taxes here at home. We appreciate your leadership in this area..."

Kenneth L. Lay
Chairman and CEO
Enron Corp

"The quality of American health care overall is the best in the world, but it is also the most expensive . Persistently rising health care costs have eroded the international competitiveness of American business. Credit should go to President Clinton for finally forcing the issue - his six principle plan is the most comprehensive and far reaching ever offered...Fairness requires that all employers should participate in the program although there may need to be some relief for small businesses."

Harold A. Poling
Chairman and CEO
Ford Motor Company
September 22, 1993

"Meeting the health care needs of Americans, keeping health cost growth in line with overall economic growth, and spreading costs fairly throughout the economy will help dictate the future standard of living for Americans, the competitiveness of American business in a global economy, and the ability of American businesses to offer well paying, high value-added jobs. To assure our nation's ability to provide expanded helath coverage, we agree it is essential to have budget discipline for the entire health system. Reducing the burden of health costs will help stimulate the economy and promote job growth. Equally important is improving the quality of health care for all individuals, which we believe your proposal will do. We obviously share your desire to see comprehensive health reform become a reality."

Robert J. Eaton
Chrysler Corporation
September 17, 1993