June 22, 1998


The federal commitments I am enacting today give government a new flexibility --cutting across agency lines, forging relationships with private organizations, pooling resources to protect the most vulnerable Americans. This is more than good policy; it is a fundamental obligation to our families. As we approach the 21st century, I am confident we will fulfill that responsibility --and have healthier and stronger families, and a healthier and a stronger America.

President Bill Clinton
June 22, 1998

Today, President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton attend the Seventh Annual Family Re-Union Conference being hosted by Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore in Nashville, Tennessee. The President announces several important health care initiatives aimed at improving the health of older Americans and children, and reaffirms his support for a Patients' Bill of Rights to make the health care system more responsive to the needs of families.

A Plan For Tracking Teenage Tobacco Use. Before leaving for the Family Re-Union Conference, President Clinton called on the Department of Health and Human Services to gather more accurate and in-depth data on teen tobacco use, provide information on teen tobacco use by brand, and give parents and public health officials greater information on how marketing campaigns affect teen smoking habits.

A Forum To Discuss Family Issues. Since 1992, the Vice President and Mrs. Gore have moderated an annual conference to explore ways in which public policy can be viewed through the lens of the family. These "Family Re-Union" Conferences provide the Vice President and others who make policy at the federal, state and local level an opportunity to hear from and learn from the experience of families themselves, and those who work with them. The theme of this year's conference is families and health, the President and Vice President will announce a series of major policy initiatives to improve the quality of health care for our nation.

Signing Up Uninsured But Eligible Children For State Health Insurance Programs. Over 4 million children are eligible for Medicaid but are not enrolled, and as the new Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is implemented, even more families will have children who are eligible for State/Federal health insurance coverage. Today, the President will sign an Executive Memorandum instructing eight federal agencies to implement over 150 new initiatives to help sign up the millions of children who are eligible for, but not enrolled in, health insurance. These initiatives include:

A National Campaign To Improve The Health Of Older Americans. Today, the President and Vice President will:

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