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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 8, 1999


                         CARE AGENDA THIS FALL
                           September 8, 1999

Today, at a White House event with Secretary Shalala and a practicing family physician from Georgia, the President will urge the Congress to make this fall a time of constructive achievement, not destructive politics, and to pass the health care quality and coverage initiatives that have long been on the nation's agenda. The President will unveil a "health care checklist" detailing the work that still needs to be done, including passing:

(1) a strong, enforceable, Patients' Bill of Rights; (2) Medicare reforms that strengthen and modernize the program; (3) long-overdue medical records privacy protections; (4) health care options that empower Americans with disabilities to work free from concern over being uninsured; (5) legislation to increase the price of cigarettes and decrease the number of children who smoke;
(6) increased funds for children's health insurance outreach; (7) critical provisions that provide Americans in need of long-term care services or their caregivers financial assistance and support services and coverage of legal immigrants; and (8) additional funds for essential public health priorities, such as biomedical research, mental health services, and Indian Health Services.

The President will also announce that this fall, the Administration will release a proposed regulation to protect medical records privacy. He will also announce that with today's approval of the Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) in Washington and Wyoming, all 50 states are expanding coverage to uninsured children through CHIP.

URGE THE CONGRESS TO MAKE THE FALL A SEASON OF HEALTH CARE LEGISLATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS. Underscoring the fact that there are numerous health care initiatives that now have broad-based bipartisan support, the President will challenge the Congress to pass: