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pd18oc99 Statement on the Conclusion of the Independent Counsel's Investigation...
grateful to you for helping us to create it and for helping us put it into effect. But as your president said, somewhere between 10 and 11 million children in America still lack health insurance. That's way over 15 percent. The majority could be covered under either CHIP or Medicaid. We've still got 2 or 3 million kids out there who are Medicaid- eligible who aren't covered--if we can get word out to their families and sign them up. We know that children who lack health insurance have higher rates [[Page 2012]] of treatable conditions like asthma, ear infections, vision problems. We know when a child can't see a blackboard clearly or hear the teacher precisely or pay attention to anything other than his or her own pained breathing, the kids aren't going to be able to learn. CHIP and Medicaid can change all that for millions of people. And when we passed the CHIP program, we thought it would insure 5 million people, if we could also get the Medicaid insurance rates up, and solve at least half the problem. Now, 2 years later, we've only insured a million. But it was only this year, to be fair, that all 50 States had their programs in place. So we're now at the take-off point, and we will be judged--you and I and all of us--on how well we do from here on out. This year--or last year, I established an inner-agency task force to come up with some innovative strategies to get the word out to parents about CHIP and Medicaid. Today I'm releasing their first annual report, which details a lot of promising outreach efforts. Just for example, the Department of Agriculture, which administers the school lunch program, has added information on CHIP and Medicaid to applications it sends to every school district in America. Millions of parents who fill out their school lunch forms now will have a chance to learn about these health programs. Other promising innovations are also in the works. Thousands of AmeriCorps and Vista volunteers who deal directly with low-income families every day will soon have information in their training manuals on how to enroll children in CHIP and Medicaid. Tens of millions of elderly Americans who may have grandchildren eligible for CHIP and Medicaid will soon be able to read about these programs in the annual letters they receive from Social Security and Medicare. But as the Vice President has been saying for months and months and months, if we're going to bring health care coverage to more children, we have to start with where the children are--in the schools. That's why today, I am issuing an Executive order to the Secretaries of Education, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services, directing them to find the most innovative school-based strategies now being pursued at the State and local level, to report back to me in 6 months on how we can replicate them in every community in the country. I'm also sending a letter to States, clarifying that they can use the CHIP fund for school-based outreach efforts. And we're going to dedicate over $9 million in new research grants to find out what outreach methods in schools or elsewhere work best. I believe these things will go a long way toward bringing health coverage to our children. But we need help from the churches, from the YMCA's and the YWCA's, from all the community organizations. And we need help from all the physicians and the public health units throughout our country. It is simply inexcusable that we're sitting here, and have been, with the money for 2 years to provide health insurance to 5 million kids, and 80 percent of them are still uninsured. And it is conceivable that we could do better than 5 million children with the money appropriated if we had effective enough outreach. And to those of you who see a lot of people whose parents' first language is not English, I know we have trouble there. But I would implore you, do what you can, when you go back home, with your local groups and your local medical societies and your local health clinics and your local schools, to get them to do this. There is no stigma associated with this. Most people will walk through a wall to get their kids decent health care coverage if they know it is available. This is simply a question--the average person who's not covered by this doesn't know CHIP from block. [Laughter] Or Medicaid from Lego, or whatever. You know, we've got to deal with people that--you know, most normal people worry about their lives, not Government acronyms. And we're dealing with--a lot of these folks don't know anything about this. And you can help to make sure, in your community, that the schools and the community groups and the religious organizations and everybody, is doing their outreach on this. It is profoundly important. Now, let me just say this last point. If every child eligible for CHIP and Medicaid were enrolled, there would still be millions who [[Page 2013]] lacked coverage. You know it, and I do, too. You know that I and Hillary and the Vice President, we have always believed it is wrong for any American, much less any child, not to have affordable, quality health care. I know that the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that. I will keep working to change that as long as I am President. I will keep looking for ways to end this unconscionable and growing gap of uninsured care. Our hospitals will continue to have problems--and again, I would say, this has nothing to do--and you can help us with this--this has nothing to do with the Government taking over health care. The Government's not taking over health care in the CHIP program or Medicare or Medicaid. If we'd let these people--next to the kids, the fastest growing group of uninsured people are 55 to 65 years old, who retire and can't get employment-based health insurance anymore. We ought to let them buy into Medicare. You know, I get into all these fights with the insurance companies--and I hate to fight with them all the time--but the truth is, America has a system of financing health care that dictates high levels of uninsured, which dictates enormous burdens on the health care system of the country and burdens on everybody that buys insurance. And they can deny otherwise as long as they want to, but all you have to do is look around at other examples, and you know it's simply not true. There is no other conceivable explanation. It is the system by which we finance our care which has got us in the fix we're in now. And so we are trying to do this, and we are trying to do the bill for the disabled, and there are lots of other things we can do. But if you look at everything we do that's going to make a difference, it's because we have changed the financing. And those are facts, and you can get them out there. For the last 6\1/2\ years, I have had the great honor to serve as President of this country. I have about a year and 4 months left, maybe a little more. I've worked hard to turn this country around and then to keep the American people always thinking about tomorrow, about the challenges and the opportunities of the new century and the new millennium. Well, now we have turned America around. And the great test is whether we are going to take this moment and shape our tomorrows. That's what you do every day, every time you take some preventive measure, every time you do something to help a child. There may be some screaming and crying, but you know they're all going to be better off tomorrow. I just would like to see all of us here in Washington take the same attitude toward the future of all our children's tomorrows that you take toward each child's tomorrow. If we do, America's best days lie in the new millennium. Thank you very much. Note: The President spoke at 11:37 a.m. at the Washington Convention Center. In his remarks, he referred to Dr. Joel J. Alpert, president, and Dr. Donald E. Cook, president-elect, American Academy of Pediatrics. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 2013-2015] Monday, October 18, 1999 Volume 35--Number 41 Pages 1991-2064 Week Ending Friday, October 15, 1999 Memorandum on School-Based Health Insurance Outreach for Children October 12, 1999 Memorandum for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Agriculture Subject: School-Based Health Insurance Outreach for Children The lack of health insurance for millions of Americans remains one of the great challenges facing this Nation. To help address this issue, I worked with the bipartisan Congress to create the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the single largest expansion of children's health insurance in 30 years. The 1997 Balanced Budget Act allocated $24 billion over 5 years to extend health care coverage to millions of uninsured children in working families. CHIP builds on the Medicaid program, which currently provides health coverage to most poor children, and together, these programs could cover most uninsured children. Yet too few uninsured children eligible for CHIP or Medicaid participate. Barriers to enrollment include parents' lack of knowledge about the options; cultural and language [[Page 2014]] barriers; complicated application and enrollment processes; and the ``stigma'' associated with so-called welfare programs. The Vice President and I have made removing these barriers to enrollment a high priority. In 1997, I launched a major public-private outreach campaign called ``Insure Kids Now.'' Foundations, corporations, health care providers, consumer advocates, and others have participated through activities such as setting up enrollment booths at supermarkets and promoting the national toll-free number (1-877-KIDS NOW) on grocery bags, TV and radio ads, and posters. In addition, we created a Federal Interagency Task Force on Children's Health Insurance Outreach in February 1998, which has implemented over 150 new activities to educate and train Federal workers and families nationwide about the availability of Medicaid and CHIP. Today I am directing the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Education, and Agriculture to focus children's health insurance outreach on a place where we know we can find uninsured children: schools. State experience indicates that school systems are an ideal place to identify and enroll uninsured children in Medicaid or CHIP because schools are accepted by parents as a conduit for important information. In addition, health insurance promotes access to needed health care, which experts confirm contributes to academic success. We have learned that children without health insurance suffer more from asthma, ear infections, and vision problems--treatable conditions that frequently interfere with classroom participation; and children without health insurance are absent more frequently than their peers. As we strive for high standards in every school and classroom, it is essential that we help families ensure their children come to school ready to learn. Therefore, I hereby direct you, in consultation with State and local agencies, to report to me a set of recommendations on specific actions to encourage and integrate health insurance enrollment and outreach for children into schools, consistent with the mission of your agency. This report shall include: <bullet> Specific short- and long-term recommendations on administrative and legislative actions for making school- based outreach to enroll children in Medicaid and CHIP an integral part of school business. These may include: <bullet> Technical assistance and other support to school districts and schools engaged in outreach; <bullet> Suggestions on how to effectively use the school lunch program application process to promote enrollment in health insurance programs; <bullet> Lists of practices that have proven effective, such as integration of outreach and enrollment activities into school events such as registration, sports physicals, and vision and hearing testing; and <bullet> Model State CHIP and Medicaid policies and plans for school- based outreach. <bullet> A summary of key findings from the national and regional conferences scheduled for this fall on the topic of school- based outreach. These conferences will bring together national and State education officials, Medicaid and CHIP directors, public policy experts, and community-based organizations to examine the use of schools to facilitate the enrollment of children in Medicaid and CHIP; evaluation tools to monitor the effectiveness of current school-based outreach efforts; and best practices in school-based outreach and enrollment for children's health insurance. <bullet> Recommendations on methods to evaluate CHIP and Medicaid outreach strategies in schools. Performance measures should be an integral part of school-based CHIP and Medicaid outreach strategies, as they can inform policy-makers on the effectiveness of these strategies, as well as help to identify areas of improvement. I direct the Department of Health and Human Services to serve as the coordinating agency to assist in the development and integration of recommendations and to report back to me in 6 months. The recommended actions should be consistent with Medicaid and CHIP rules for coverage of appropriate health- and outreach-related activities. They should be developed in collaboration with [[Page 2015]] State and local officials as well as community leaders and should include recommendations on fostering effective partnerships between education and health agencies. These recommended activities should be complementary, aggressive, and consistent with my Administration's overall initiative to cover uninsured children. William J. Clinton <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 2015] Monday, October 18, 1999 Volume 35--Number 41 Pages 1991-2064 Week Ending Friday, October 15, 1999 Statement on World Population Growth October 12, 1999 Today we mark the day that the world's population reportedly reaches 6 billion. It took just 12 years--from 1987 to today--for the world's population to expand from 5 to 6 billion people. We should be thankful that people today live longer and healthier lives than ever before. But over the next few years, this rapid growth and its effect on our environment and quality of life will pose difficult challenges for all of us. In 1994 the United States helped forge a consensus at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt, on a comprehensive approach to stabilizing world population growth. We agreed to work with other nations to help prevent the spread of HIV/ AIDS, to improve the status of women, to enhance educational opportunities for children, and to support voluntary family planning and related health care. My administration has made important strides in meeting these objectives. At home, we have increased funding for family planning and reproductive health services, which have helped reduce teen pregnancies and abortions. Overseas, we have invested more than $5.5 billion in over 100 countries on health and population initiatives and on women's empowerment. We have also worked to protect our environment and ensure that it can sustain the development needs of a growing population. We are learning that technology can help developing countries grow while bypassing some of the environmental costs of the industrial age. We must promote that technology so that we can address both climate change and the challenge of providing clean energy for all the world's citizens. Finally, we have recognized that the best way to stabilize population growth is to fight poverty and to build healthy, growing economies in the developing world. The debt relief package the world's wealthiest nations agreed to in Cologne this year will help us do that. Last month, I went even further, announcing that the United States will forgive 100 percent of the debt owed us by the world's least developed countries if they will use the savings to address basic human needs. And I committed the United States to a new effort to accelerate the
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