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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, February 2, 1998
Volume 34--Number 5
Pages 127-174

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]


Addresses to the Nation

    State of the Union--129

Addresses and Remarks

    After-school child care initiative--128
    Id al-Fitr, videotaped remarks--155
    Illinois, University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana--141, 145, 146
    National Defense University--156
    Radio address--127
    U.S. Conference of Mayors breakfast--161
    Wisconsin, remarks in La Crosse--147

Appointments and Nominations

    Defense Department, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice Chairman--150

Communications to Congress

    Kazakhstan-U.S. agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy and 
        documentation, message transmitting--152
    Latvia-U.S. mutual legal assistance in criminal matters treaty and 
        documentation, message transmitting--152
    Switzerland-U.S. agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy and 
        documentation, message transmitting--153
    Terrorists who threaten the Middle East peace process, message 
    Trademark Law Treaty, message transmitting report and 

Communications to Congress--Continued

    Zimbabwe-U.S. extradition treaty and documentation, message 

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Funding of international financial institutions and other 
        international organizations, memorandum--151
    New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, memorandum on 


    American Heart Month--168
    National African American History Month--169
    Year of the Ocean--150

Statements by the President

    See also Appointments and Nominations
    Bombing of family planning clinic in Birmingham, AL--160
    Japan-U.S. civil aviation agreement--167
    Senate Republican child care proposal--150

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--174
    Checklist of White House press releases--173
    Digest of other White House announcements--170
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--171


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Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
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[[Page 127]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 127-128]
Monday, February 2, 1998
Volume 34--Number 5
Pages 127-174
Week Ending Friday, January 30, 1998
The President's Radio Address

January 24, 1998

    Good morning. Today I want to talk about our continuing efforts to 
fight fraud and abuse in the Medicare system.
    For more than 30 years, Medicare has helped us to honor our oldest 
obligations to our parents and grandparents. And since I took office, 
our administration has made strengthening Medicare one of our top 
priorities. The balanced budget I signed into law last summer will 
extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund for at least a decade. But to 
ensure that Medicare is as strong in the 21st century as it has been in 
the 20th, we must also do more to root out fraud and abuse.
    Medicare fraud cheats beneficiaries and taxpayers out of billions of 
dollars every single year. It undermines the strength of this vitally 
important program. Since 1993, we've assigned more Federal prosecutors 
and investigators to fight Medicare fraud than ever before, increasing 
fraud convictions by a record 240 percent. All told, we've saved 
taxpayers over $20 billion. And the Kennedy-Kassebaum legislation I 
signed into law in 1996 has given us new resources and tools to 
investigate, prosecute, and convict dishonest providers and medical 
    On Monday, I'll send to Congress a report that shows just how 
effective those new tools have been. I'm proud to say that in the last 
year alone we've collected nearly $1 billion in fines and settlements 
for health care fraud. Money that would have lined the pockets of scam 
artists is now going instead to preserve the Medicare Trust Fund and to 
improve health for millions of Americans. We've increased prosecutions 
for health care fraud by more than 60 percent, and we've stopped health 
care fraud before it starts by keeping nearly twice as many bad 
providers out of the system.
    Now, make no mistake, Medicare fraud is a real crime, committed by 
real criminals intent on stealing from the system and cheating our most 
vulnerable citizens. Let me just give you one example.
    In New York City, a Russian immigrant, believed by Federal 
investigators to be part of an organized crime ring, defrauded Medicare 
of $1.5 million by selling substandard medical supplies to elderly 
people and billing Medicare for premium goods. We shut him down and put 
him in jail, but he never should have been a Medicare supplier in the 
first place.
    Last week, I put in place new regulations that require medical 
suppliers to post surety bonds to prove they're legitimate, solvent 
businesses. And to further ensure that medical suppliers aren't 
defrauding Medicare, the Department of Health and Human Services will 
expand its site inspections of medical supply companies all over the 
    But we must do more to crack down on fraud and abuse in the Medicare 
system. The balanced budget I'll submit to Congress next month will 
include antifraud and waste provisions that will save Medicare more than 
$2 billion. First, it will eliminate overpayment for certain drugs by 
making sure doctors receive no more and no less than the price they pay 
for the medicines they give Medicare patients. Second, it will ensure 
that when fly-by-night providers go bankrupt, Medicare is at the top of 
the list of debts to be repaid. And finally, it will bring down costs by 
allowing Medicare to purchase goods and services at a competitive price.
    We will only win the fight against fraud and abuse in the Medicare 
system with the help of the American people. We know that patients and 
honest providers want to help crack down on fraud and abuse. Starting 
next month we'll make it easier for them to do so, with a toll-free 
hotline that will now appear on every statement Medicare sends out to 
every beneficiary it serves.

[[Page 128]]

    With these steps, we're making sure that the Medicare system, which 
has served our parents and grandparents so well, will also serve our 
children and grandchildren well into the 21st century.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 5:13 p.m. on January 23 in the 
Roosevelt Room at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on January 

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 128-129]
Monday, February 2, 1998
Volume 34--Number 5
Pages 127-174
Week Ending Friday, January 30, 1998
Remarks on the After-School Child Care Initiative

January 26, 1998

    Thank you very much. First, let me thank all of you who are here. 
Many of us have been working together now for 20 years on a lot of these 
issues, and this is a very happy day for us.
    I thank the First Lady for all she has done on this issue, for as 
long as I have known her. I thank the Vice President and Mrs. Gore for 
their family conference and the light it has shed on the announcement 
we're here to emphasize today. Thank you, Secretary Riley, for the 
community learning centers, and I'm very proud of what we've done there.
    Thank you, Bill White. I'll talk more about your contribution in a 
moment, but it is truly remarkable. And I thank Rand and Debra Bass for 
giving us a living, breathing example of the best of America--parents 
who are working hard to do their jobs, but also determined to do their 
most important job very well with their children. I thank Senator 
Feinstein, Senator Dodd, and Senator Boxer for being here.
    Tomorrow, in the State of the Union Address, I will spell out what 
we seek to do on behalf of our children to prepare them for the 21st 
century. But I want to talk a little bit about education today and about 
this announcement in that context.
    Education must be our Nation's highest priority. Last year, in the 
State of the Union Address, I set out a 10-point plan to move us forward 
and urged the American people to make sure that politics stops at the 
schoolhouse door. Well, we've made a lot of progress on that 10-point 
plan: a remarkable--a remarkable--array of initiatives to open the doors 
of college to every American who's willing to work for it; strong 
progress toward high national standards in the basics, the America Reads 
challenge to teach every 8-year-old to read; continued progress in the 
Vice President's program to hook up all of our classrooms and libraries 
to the Internet by the year 2000.
    This has been the most important year in a generation for education 
reform. Tomorrow I'll set out the next steps on our continuing road.
    First, I will propose the first-ever national effort to reduce class 
size in the early grades. Hillary and I worked very hard 15 years ago 
now to have very strict class sizes at home in the early grades, and it 
was quite controversial and I think enormously beneficial when we did 
it. Our balanced budget will help to hire 100,000 teachers who must pass 
State competency tests but who will be able to reduce class size in the 
first, second, and third grades to an average of 18 nationwide.
    Second, since there are more students and there will be more 
teachers, there must be more classrooms. So I will propose a school 
construction tax cut to help communities modernize and build new 
    Third, I will promote a national effort to help schools that follow 
the lead of the Chicago system in ending social promotion but helping 
students with summer school and other programs to give them the tools 
they need to get ahead.
    All these steps will help our children get the future they deserve. 
And that's why what we're announcing here is so important as well.
    Every child needs someplace to go after school. With after-school 
programs, we can not only keep our kids healthy and happy and safe, we 
can help to teach them to say no to drugs, alcohol, and crime, yes to 
reading, sports, and computers. My balanced budget plan includes a 
national initiative to spark private sector and local community efforts 
to provide after-school care, as the Secretary of Education said, to 
half a million more children.
    Now, let me say, in addition to all the positive benefits, I think 
it's important to point out that the hours between 3 and 7 at night

[[Page 129]]

are the most vulnerable hours for young people to get in trouble, for 
juvenile crime. There is this sort of assumption that everybody that 
gets in trouble when they're young has just already been abandoned. 
That's not true. Most of the kids that get in trouble get in trouble 
after school closes and before their parents get home from work. So in 

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