Statement by the President: Health Insurance Coverage (9/28/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
September 28, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     New data released today by the Census Bureau show that the number of
Americans without health insurance dropped significantly last year -- the
first such decline in 12 years.  The 1.7 million decline in the uninsured
-- including over 1 million children -- is making a real difference in
these Americans? lives.  It means that they are likely to receive needed
medical care, less likely to be hospitalized for avoidable conditions like
pneumonia or uncontrolled diabetes, and less likely to rely on an emergency
room as their primary source of care. Clearly, access to affordable,
high-quality insurance makes a difference.

     I am extremely pleased with today?s announcement.  I believe it
validates our health care and economic policies, which have helped the
country begin to reverse the unacceptable numbers of uninsured in this
country.  I am particularly proud that the enactment of the Children?s
Health Insurance Program and our success in maintaining a strong economy -
which led to increases in employer-based coverage - have laid the
foundation for this turnaround.

     Although I am pleased with today?s development, there is much work to
be done.  The data from this report well document that the states that most
aggressively conducted outreach campaigns to eligible populations have been
the most successful at enrolling children.  We need to encourage states
that are not doing as well to accelerate their activities in reaching out
to uninsured children.  And we need to provide targeted programs to build
on our success.

     Today, I want to once again call on the Congress to pass my bipartisan
health care coverage initiative, including the Vice President?s proposal to
expand coverage to parents, as well as our initiatives that would expand
coverage to 55 to 65 year olds, workers between jobs, employees of small
businesses, and legal immigrants.  My balanced budget shows that we have
the resources to do this while still paying down the debt by 2012.  It?s
long past time that we take the next step towards expanding coverage and
making the nation?s uninsured one of our top priorities.


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