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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 17, 2000


Today I am pleased to sign into law the Children's Health Act of 2000. This bipartisan legislation builds on my Administration's long-standing commitment to improve the health and well-being of our nation's children. I am particularly pleased that this legislation provides new authority to expand research for the treatment of chronic and acute diseases affecting children, improve the safety of child care centers, and ensure safe and quality mental health treatment services. This important legislation also addresses the critical need for substance abuse and mental health services, especially for our nation's youth, through the reauthorization of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), supporting state and community efforts to reduce youth drug use, and improving research and treatment services. In addition, the legislation will allow us to strengthen our efforts to curtail the emerging use of the drugs methamphetamine and Ecstasy, which imperil the health and safety of our nation's young people.

I want to pay special tribute to my Administration's number one advocate for children, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hillary has called the nation's attention to the special health needs of children through her work on children's health insurance coverage, asthma, pediatric labeling, juvenile diabetes and so much more. She has led the Administration's effort to improve access to health care for children, has fought hard for improving the quality and safety of child care, and has done more than anyone to improve the lives of millions of our nation's children.