THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Thursday, February 18, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
QUALITY HEALTH CARE FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE
As the Baby Boom becomes the Senior Boom, long-term care will become a growing need. So it is more important than ever that we help families provide that essential kind of care for their loved ones. In my balanced budget, I have proposed and paid for a long-term care tax credit of $1,000 to help families do exactly that.
President Bill Clinton
February 18, 1999
Today, President Clinton travels to New Hampshire to meet with a panel of local residents to discuss current health care challenges facing the nation. The President will highlight health care initiatives in his FY 2000 budget including the targeted tax credit designed to defray the costs of long term care services, and contrast his fiscally responsible proposals with risky alternatives. The President will also praise New Hampshire's efforts to improve health care, including programs to expand community based care services to Medicaid enrollees and efforts to expand coverage to uninsured children.
Targeted Tax Cuts Addressing Growing Long Term Care Needs. The President's FY 2000 budget includes a historic new initiative to support elderly and disabled Americans with long term care needs or the family members who care for them. Over five years, this long term care initiative invests over $6 billion, including:
- A $1,000 tax credit to compensate for long term care services;
- $625 million for the National Family Caregiver Program to help states provide services and support for family members who care for their elderly;
- A new proposal to help states to provide home and community based care to people whose income level qualifies them for nursing home care under Medicaid.
Improving Economic Opportunities for Americans with Disabilities. Currently, the unemployment rate among working-age adults with disabilities is over 70 percent. To address the barriers many of these Americans face, the President has proposed $3.2 billion in new initiatives over the next five years including full funding of the Jeffords-Kennedy-Roth-Moynihan Work Incentives Improvement Act which will enable workers with disabilities to buy into Medicaid and Medicare; a $1,000 tax credit to offset work-related costs; and an increase in the amount people with disabilities can earn and still receive much-needed Social Security benefits.
Enabling Small Businesses to Provide Health Care Coverage for Their Employees. The President's budget includes a $44 million investment in targeted tax credits encouraging small businesses to participate in voluntary purchasing coalitions that provide relatively low cost health care options by providing a 10 percent tax credit to small businesses that decide to join these coalitions. Additionally, the initiative encourages private foundations to make tax-exempt donations to these coalitions, and offers technical assistance to small business coalitions from the Administrators of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan.
Implementing the Children's Health Insurance Program. The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) the President signed into law in 1997 is the largest investment in children's health in a generation. The Administration has launched an outreach campaign to sign up every child eligible for Medicaid or CHIP coverage. New Hampshire is one of 46 states that has implemented the CHIP program.
Protecting Patients with a Strong Enforceable Patients Bill of Rights. The President will again call on Congress to pass a strong enforceable Patients Bill of Rights including guaranteed access to needed specialists, access to emergency room care when the need arises, and access to an external appeals process to resolve disputes with health plans, and an enforcement mechanism to compensate those who are injured due to a health plan's actions.