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pd31ja00 Interview With Jim Lehrer of PBS' ``NewsHour''...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, January 31, 2000
Volume 36--Number 4
Pages 133-179

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]



Addresses to the Nation

    State of the Union--160


Addresses and Remarks

    California, Democratic National Committee luncheon in Los Angeles--
    Equal pay initiative--139
    Federal budget, FY 2001--145
    Radio address--133
    U.S. Conference of Mayors breakfast reception--172


Communications to Congress

    China, letter on permanent normal trade relations status--143
    Deployment of military forces for stabilization of areas of the 
        former Yugoslavia, letter reporting--159

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Delegation of Authority To Conduct Assessments and Promulgate 
        Regulations On Public Access to Off-Site Consequence Analysis 
        Information, memorandum--160

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters in the Briefing Room--145
    Interview with Jim Lehrer of PBS' ``NewsHour''--151

Statements by the President

    Death of Bob Squier--143
    Supreme Court decision on campaign financing--142

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--179
    Checklist of White House press releases--179
    Digest of other White House announcements--178
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--179

Editor's Note: The President was in Quincy, IL, on January 28, the 
closing date of this issue. Releases and announcements issued by the 
Office of the Press Secretary but not received in time for inclusion in 
this issue will be printed next week.


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly 
Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
other Presidential materials released by the White House during the 
preceding week.

The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published pursuant to
the authority contained in the Federal Register Act (49 Stat. 500, as 
amended; 44 U.S.C. Ch. 15), under regulations prescribed by the 
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Distribution is made only by the Superintendent of Documents, Government
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There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.

[[Page 133]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 133-134]
Monday, January 31, 2000
Volume 36--Number 4
Pages 133-179
Week Ending Friday, January 28, 2000
The President's Radio Address

January 22, 2000

    Good morning. In just a few days, I will report to the American 
people and the Congress on the State of the Union, and I'll propose new 
ways to meet the many challenges of this exciting new century. One of 
the most important challenges we have is strengthening and modernizing 
Medicare. Today I want to give you a progress report on our efforts to 
do just that, through our ongoing fight against fraud, waste, and abuse 
in the Medicare system.
    For more than 30 years now, Medicare has helped us fulfill one of 
our most fundamental obligations, to protect the health of older 
Americans. But when I became President, Medicare was projected to go 
bankrupt by 1999. Since I took office, we have made tough choices to 
strengthen Medicare. We've extended the life of the Trust Fund until at 
least 2015, with better management not only of Medicare but of the 
economy and by waging a sustained campaign against Medicare fraud.
    Medicare fraud and waste are more than an abuse of the system; 
they're an abuse of the taxpayer. By overbilling, charging for phony 
procedures, and selling substandard supplies, Medicare cheats cost 
taxpayers hundreds of millions a year. That's why we've assigned more 
Federal prosecutors and FBI agents than ever to fight this kind of 
fraud, and why we've invested in new tools to investigate and prosecute 
these crimes. All told, our efforts have prevented the wasteful spending 
of an estimated $50 billion, and aggressive enforcement has recovered 
nearly $1.6 billion for the Medicare Trust Fund.
    Today I'm releasing two reports that show just how effective this 
fight against fraud has been. Americans can be proud. The first report 
shows that in 1999 we recovered nearly half a billion dollars in fines 
and settlements and returned three-quarters of that to the Medicare 
Trust Fund. The second report, on Medicare integrity, shows our success 
in catching fraudulent claims and preventing $5.3 billion worth of 
inappropriate payments in the last year alone. So when it comes to 
prosecuting fraud and abuse, we're doing more than filing cases; we're 
also winning convictions.
    In the last year, convictions in health care fraud cases shot up by 
a fifth, for an increase of more than 410 percent since I became 
President. Just this week the Department of Justice won another 
important victory for Medicare beneficiaries. A health care company had 
been bilking Medicare by sending patients for needless tests and 
procedures. The more tests providers ordered, the more kickbacks they 
got in return--lavish dinners, yacht trips. Federal prosecutors took the 
company to court and won the largest such settlement in history, 
recovering nearly half a billion dollars.
    The more cases we win, the more criminals we convict, the clearer 
the message becomes: Medicare fraud is a serious crime with serious 
    Though our efforts are stronger than ever, Medicare contractors 
still pay false claims totaling in the billions. That is simply 
unacceptable. So today I'm announcing a new initiative to crack down on 
fraud and abuse in Medicare. My balanced budget for 2001 will create a 
team of Medicare fraud fighters--one in the office of every Medicare 
contractor in America--and take other new steps to ensure that our 
response to fraud is coordinated and quick. The budget also funds new 
technologies to track false claims.
    I urge Congress to make these investments and to give Medicare the 
authority to bid competitively for contractors who administer the 
program, as well as for services provided directly to beneficiaries.
    Medicare is vital to the health of our Nation. It's too important 
ever to be compromised. If we take these steps to reform

[[Page 134]]

and strengthen Medicare, and if we modernize it with a voluntary 
prescription drug benefit, then we will adapt a program that has worked 
in the past to the needs of the future.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 12:26 p.m. on January 21 at the 
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA, for broadcast at 
10:06 a.m. on January 22. The transcript was made available by the 
Office of the Press Secretary on January 21 but was embargoed for 
release until the broadcast.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 134-139]
Monday, January 31, 2000
Volume 36--Number 4
Pages 133-179
Week Ending Friday, January 28, 2000
Remarks at a Democratic National Committee Luncheon in Los Angeles, 

January 22, 2000

    Thank you very much. I am, first of all, delighted to be here. I 
want to thank Irwin and Lynne for putting this luncheon together on 
short notice, and I thank all of you for coming. I thank Gray and Sharon 
Davis for being here to share this moment with us and for their longtime 
friendship not only to the Deutchs but to Hillary and me.
    The first person who told me that Gray Davis was the most underrated 
politician in America was my wife. [Laughter] She's got a pretty good 
feel for those things. And I congratulate you on your success, and even 
more on the substance of what you have fought for and achieved. It's one 
thing to win elections and be popular; it's another thing to do the 
right things. You're doing the right things now. I admire you, and I 
thank you for it. It's very important.
    I thank Joel Hyatt for becoming one of our co-finance chairs. A lot 
of you don't know him as well as I do because he hasn't been in 
California very long. But he founded a remarkable company called Hyatt 
Legal Services, which swept the Northeast, and provided affordable legal 
services for real people, many of whom could never afford to come to an 
event like this, and made him a famous character because he was on 
television all the time. And he was also prominent in Ohio, democratic 
politics, where his father-in-law, Howard Metzenbaum, was our United 
States Senator. And he is a wonderful guy. So he's out here now, and I 
want you to take care of him. Make him look good by helping him raise 
money for the Democratic Party.
    I want to thank Jane Harman for being willing to serve in Congress 
again and for being there before. Our economic plan in 1993, which 
passed by a single vote in both Houses--or, as the Vice President says, 
``Whenever I vote, we win''--[laughter]--but it passed by a single vote 
in both Houses, really sparked this astonishing economic recovery we've 
had. And so there's a real sense in which Jane Harman can say, ``If it 
hadn't been for me it wouldn't have happened.'' [Laughter] And I think 
she is one of the ablest people that I have served with, with the 
Congress, and one who most embodies the philosophy that I have tried to 
get our party and our country to embrace. So thank you, Jane Harman, for 
being willing to do this.
    And of course, I want to thank the Women's Leadership Forum for this 
and for all the countless events we've had around the country, 
mobilizing a whole group of people, many of whom never have been 
involved in national political affairs before. So thank you, and thank 
all of you for coming.
    Now, I want to just make a couple of points about what has 
previously been said by Janice and Mayor Rendell, who we're very lucky 
to have, because he was a fabulous mayor of Philadelphia and always made 
sure the Clinton-Gore ticket carried Pennsylvania, which is a not 
inconsiderably important thing in the business we're in. [Laughter]
    Number one, I am very grateful for the chance that Hillary and I and 
the Vice President and Mrs. Gore have had to serve these last 7 years. I 
celebrated my seventh anniversary as President the day before yesterday, 
and I'm very grateful for that and for the progress that our country has 
made. I am grateful that it's about more than economics. Our country is 
beginning to come together more. We have the lowest female unemployment 
rate in 40 years; the lowest minority unemployment rate ever recorded; 
the lowest single-parent household poverty rate in 46 years; the lowest 
overall poverty rate in more than 20 years; the highest homeownership in 
history; cleaner air, cleaner water,

[[Page 135]]

safer food; we tripled the number of toxic waste sites we cleaned up 
from the previous 12 years; we set aside more land--a lot of you 
mentioned that to me today--we set aside more land in perpetuity to 
protect, in the continental United States, than any administration in 
our history except those of Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt.
    Over 20 million people have taken advantage of the family and 
medical leave law, take a little time off from work without losing their 
jobs to take care of a newborn or a sick parent. About 5 million people 
have now claimed the HOPE scholarship tax credit that's designed to open 
the doors of college to all Americans for at least 2 years. We've had 
about half a million people haven't been able to buy handguns because 
they have criminal backgrounds, because of the Brady bill. A lot of 
people are alive because of that. And I could go on--90 percent of our 
kids were immunized against serious childhood diseases for the first 
time in the history of the United States. And our country has been a 

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