February 3, 1999


I believe that if we take these actions today, we will ensure that Medicare is there for the today's seniors, for Baby Boomers, and for generations to come.

President Bill Clinton
February 3, 1999

Today, President Clinton addresses the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) where he will emphasize the need to dedicate 15 percent of the budget surplus to secure the Medicare Trust Fund until 2020. Under the President's proposal, securing Medicare will be part of a broader effort to strengthen and reform the program.

Reserving Part Of The Budget Surplus To Shore Up The Medicare Trust Fund. Medicare provides health care assistance for 39 million older Americans and people with disabilities. As baby boomers retire, the strain on the program will become even greater. Improving competition, efficiency, and traditional savings alone cannot secure Medicare -- we would have to reduce Medicare growth to 2.8 percent, 60 percent below projected private sector growth, to ensure Medicare's solvency until 2020, but by doing so, we would reduce the value of spending per Medicare beneficiary. Virtually every independent health analyst agrees that Medicare cannot be significantly strengthened without adding outside financial support, such as a portion of the budget surplus.

Strengthening Medicare For The 21st Century. President Clinton is committed to strengthening Medicare and ensuring its solvency through at least 2020 as part of a broad effort to reform the program. In today's address, the President will outline four principles by which he will evaluate any Medicare reform proposal. The President believes that any broad-based reforms should:

Meeting The Challenge Of The Senior Boom. The President's plan to stabilize and secure Medicare builds on his commitment to use this period or prosperity to strengthen our economy for the 21st Century:

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