View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 2, 1994

Statement by the President

The bill unveiled by Senator Mitchell achieves what the American people want -- health coverage that can never be taken away. The bill provides health security for hard working middle class Americans who deserve nothing less. And it places a high priority on covering the nation's precious resource, our children. I applaud the Majority Leader and the members of the Senate who have been working diligently to bring a bill to the floor that works for ordinary Americans.

The Senate bill provides for universal coverage, enables Americans to keep their current insurance and their doctor, maintains quality health care and provides greater opportunity to keep health coverage affordable. It builds on the current system of shared responsibility which we already know works.

We have made tremendous progress. The Senate and House are poised to vote for legislation that covers every American for the first time in our nation's history. We have come this far, and we must not turn back now. If Congress fails to achieve universal coverage, if hard working middle class Americans are left out in the cold, and if costs are not controlled, that's simply unacceptable.

The House and Senate will soon begin this debate - a debate that will engage every American family concerned about their health security. While differences in the House and Senate bills will be worked out as the legislative process moves forward, achieving universal coverage remains the critical goal. During the course of this historic floor debate, there will be those who say that reaching universal coverage is not necessary. To those people I say: let the debate begin. Those of us who are fighting for universal coverage are fighting for middle class Americans. This is a debate that we must win and that we will win.