STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT: H.R. 4040 - Long-Term Care Security Act (9/19/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                          September 19, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 4040, the "Long-Term Care
Security Act."  It includes two titles -- the "Long-Term Care Security Act"
and the "Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act."  This bill
authorizes the creation of a new program of group long-term care insurance
for Federal employees and annuitants, active and retired members of the
uniformed services, employees and annuitants of the U.S. Postal Service and
the Tennessee Valley Authority, and relatives of these individuals.  It
also provides for a more equitable way to correct certain retirement
coverage errors affecting thousands of Federal employees and their

     Addressing the needs of an aging society has been one of my highest
priorities.  The retirement of the baby boom generation will have profound
effects not only on Medicare and Social Security but on long-term care.
Millions more seniors will need care from home and community-based
providers, nursing homes, and families.  Yet, today?s system is a patchwork
that often does not serve the needs of people with chronic illnesses.  To
address this, I announced a multi-pronged long-term care initiative in
early 1999.  It tackles the complex problem of long-term care through:  (1)
creating a $3,000 tax credit to help people with long-term care needs or
the families who care for them; (2) providing funding for services that
support family caregivers of older persons; (3) improving equity in
Medicaid eligibility for people in home- and community-based settings; (4)
encouraging partnerships between low-income housing for the elderly and
Medicaid; and (5) encouraging the purchase of quality private long-term
care insurance by Federal employees.  H.R. 4040, which is bipartisan,
consensus legislation, implements the portion of the initiative concerning
long-term care insurance for Federal employees.

     It will improve the availability and quality of private long-term care
insurance by allowing, for the first time,
families of Federal employees to access a high-quality, affordable
long-term care insurance option through the Office of Personnel Management
(OPM).  The OPM will contract for benefits with one or more private
contractors, enabling the agency to obtain the best value for the entire
Federal family.  The OPM will ensure that policies have important consumer
protections that are generally not available in individual insurance
policies, such as full portability, and that enrollees will have the option
to purchase policies that include inflation and non-forfeiture protections.
By using the size of the Federal workforce family -- about 13 million
people -- as leverage, the Federal Government will be able to provide
long-term care insurance at group rates expected to be 15 to 20 percent
lower than individual rates.  Coverage will be provided for a range of
services, including personal care, home health care, adult day care, and
nursing home care.

     Our hope is that, by making high-quality private long-term care
coverage available to the Federal family at negotiated group rates, we will
continue to serve as a model to other employers across the Nation.  This
policy is also the most responsible next step in promoting private
long-term care insurance.  Building on the financial incentives I signed
into law in 1996, this policy will increase both the number of people with
long-term care coverage and the quality of such coverage -- increasing
confidence in this growing market as people start planning for their own
future long-term care needs.

     The bill also provides a comprehensive solution to the problems faced
by many Federal employees and their families who, through no fault of their
own, are affected by retirement coverage errors.  Unlike current law, which
directs how coverage errors will be corrected, it permits those placed in
the wrong retirement coverage to choose the coverage that best serves their
needs and preferences.  This new authority to correct erroneous retirement
enrollments and the new long-term care insurance program will greatly
enhance the quality of life for Federal employees and members of the Armed
Forces.  I applaud the bipartisan congressional coalition and OPM Director
Lachance for their yeoman efforts in developing and passing this important

     In approving H.R. 4040, I note that section 1002 of the bill (new
section 9003(d)(3) of title 5, U.S. Code) provides that "the President (or
his designee) shall submit to [specified congressional committees] a
written recommendation as to whether the program . . . should be continued
without modification, terminated, or restructured."  The Recommendations
Clause of the Constitution provides that the President "shall from time to
time . . . recommend to [Congress] . . . such Measures as he shall judge
necessary and expedient."  That Clause protects the President?s authority
to formulate and present his own recommendations, which includes the power
to decline to offer any recommendation.  Accordingly, to avoid any
infringement on the President?s constitutionally protected policy-making
prerogatives, I shall construe this provision not to extend to the
submission of recommendations that the President finds it unnecessary or
inexpedient to present.

     It gives me great pleasure to sign H.R. 4040 into law.  I welcome the
opportunity to offer Federal employees, members of the Armed Forces, and
their families, this additional option to care for their aging parents, and
let their children care for them with dignity and financial security.  I
look forward to working with the Congress to pass the other critical
elements of my plan to improve long-term care for all Americans.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON

    September 19, 2000.

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