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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 13, 2000


TREATMENT, AND PREVENTION Urges Congress to Fully Fund Racial Disparities Health Initiative

Today, at the national conference of the NAACP, the President will announce that the National Institutes of Health and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation will immediately release $5 million to 10 research sites worldwide to fund new clinical trials attempting to replicate the breakthrough "islet transplantation" protocol that has apparently cured a small number of individuals with Type 1 diabetes. He will also highlight that the Administration's Mid-Session review budget commits another $300 million over five years for research on and prevention of all types of diabetes. As he outlines this major new financing commitment, the President will unveil findings from a new report documenting that adolescent birth rates, infant mortality, and childhood immunization rates are improving across all segments of the youth populations, including minorities. However, the President will also note that racial disparities in health status persist, and call on the Congress to fully fund the Administration's initiative to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities amongst American minority populations. Today, the President will:

ANNOUNCE SIGNIFICANT NEW FUNDING INVESTMENT IN DIABETES RESEARCH AND PREVENTION. Approximately 16 million people nationwide have diabetes, a chronic disease with no cure that costs the health care system approximately $98 billion annually. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people aged 20 to 74, affecting up to 24,000 people each year. It is also the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations - more than 56,000 a year. In addition, people with diabetes are more than twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than people without the disease. One in four African American women over the age of 55 has diabetes, and African Americans are more likely to have diabetes than whites.

HIGHLIGHT A NEW REPORT INDICATING THAT THE WELL BEING OF AMERICA'S CHILDREN CONTINUES TO IMPROVE, BUT MORE MUST BE DONE TO ADDRESS RACIAL DISPARITIES. Today, the President will highlight the findings of a new government report entitled "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2000" by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics detailing that the health and well-being of American children continues to improve. Key findings include:

While the racial disparities in these indicators is troubling, it is encouraging that enrollment in early childhood education is up, particularly among children living in poverty, among children with mothers who were not in the labor force, and among black, non-Hispanic children.

URGE THE CONGRESS TO FULLY FUND THE ADMINISTRATION'S RACE AND HEALTH INITIATIVE. The President will note more needs to be done to address racial health disparities. For example, African Americans are 40 percent more likely to die from heart disease than whites. Native Americans suffer significantly higher rates of infant mortality and heart disease. And Asian Americans are as much as five times more likely to die from liver cancer associated with hepatitis. In order to address these and other racial health disparities, President Clinton launched a new initiative in 1998 that set a national goal of eliminating by the year 2010, longstanding disparities in health status that affect racial and ethnic minority groups in six key areas: 1) infant mortality; 2) diabetes; 3) cancer; 4) heart disease; 5) HIV/AIDS and 6) immunizations. The President's FY 2001 Budget includes $35 million for these demonstration projects. Recently, the Senate provided only $30 million. The President will reiterate his call to the Congress to fully fund this critical initiative.

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