For the past seven years, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have been guided by three core values : building a community of all Americans; creating opportunity for all Americans; and demanding responsibility from all Americans. Pursuing policies based on these values has resulted in tremendous progress for our nation, and a strong America at the dawn of the 21st Century. The President and Vice President are committed to a "New Opportunity Agenda" to build on our progress and expand our prosperity until it reaches every corner of the nation.
The Strongest Economy in a Generation Longest Economic Expansion in U.S. History. In February 2000, the United States entered the 107th consecutive month of economic expansion -- the longest economic expansion in history.
Moving From Record Deficits to Record Surplus. In 1992, the deficit was $290 billion, a record dollar high. In 2000, we have a projected budget surplus of $167 billion -- the largest dollar surplus on record (even after adjusting for inflation) and the largest as a share of our economy since 1951. This is the first time we have had three surpluses in a row in more than a half century.
Paying Off the National Debt. We are on track to pay down $297 billion of debt over three years. In 1998 and 1999, we paid down $140 billion in debt. This year, we are on track to pay down $157 billion of debt - bringing the three-year total to $297 billion. Public debt is $2.4 trillion lower in 2000 than was projected in 1993. Debt reduction brings real benefits for the American people -- a family with a home mortgage of $100,000 might expect to save roughly $2,000 per year in mortgage payments. Reduced debt also means lower interest rates and reduced payments on car loans and student loans. With the President's plan, we are now on track to eliminate the nation's publicly held debt by 2013.
Over 21 Million New Jobs. 21.2 million new jobs have been created since 1993, the most jobs ever created under a single Administration -- and more new jobs than Presidents Reagan and Bush created during their three terms. 92 percent (19.4 million) of the new jobs have been created in the private sector, the highest percentage in 50 years. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, the economy has added an average of 248,000 jobs per month, the highest under any President. This compares to 52,000 per month under President Bush and 167,000 per month under President Reagan.
Fastest and Longest Real Wage Growth in Over Three Decades. In the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased 3.7 percent -- faster than the rate of inflation. The United States has had five consecutive years of real wage growth -- the longest consecutive increase since the 1960s. Since 1993, real wages are up 6.8 percent, after declining 4.3 percent during the Reagan and Bush years.
Unemployment Is Nearly the Lowest in Three Decades. Unemployment is down from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 4.1 percent in March 2000 -- nearly the lowest unemployment rate in thirty years. The unemployment rate has fallen for seven years in a row, and has remained below 5 percent for 33 months in a row. African-American unemployment has fallen from 14.2 percent in 1992 to 7.3 percent in March 2000 -- the lowest rate on record. The unemployment rate for Hispanics has fallen from 11.6 percent in 1992 to 6.3 percent in March 2000 -- and in the last year has been at the lowest rate on record. For women the unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in March -- nearly the lowest since 1953.
Highest Homeownership Rate in History. In 1999, the homeownership rate was 66.8 percent -- the highest ever recorded. Minority homeownership rates were also the highest ever recorded.
Lowest Poverty Rate in Two Decades. The poverty rate has fallen from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 12.7 percent in 1998. That's the lowest poverty rate since 1979 and the largest five-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years (1965-1970). The African-American poverty rate has dropped from 33.1 percent in 1993 to 26.1 percent in 1998 -- the lowest level ever recorded and the largest five-year drop in African-American poverty in more than a quarter century (1967-1972). The poverty rate for Hispanics is at the lowest level since 1979, and dropped to 25.6 percent in 1998.
Largest Five-Year Drop in Child Poverty Rate Since the Ď60s. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, child poverty has declined from 22.7 percent in 1993 to 18.9 percent in 1998 -- the biggest five-year drop in nearly 30 years. The poverty rate for African-American children has fallen from 46.1 percent in 1993 to 36.7 percent in 1998 -- a level that is still too high, but is the lowest level in 20 years and the biggest five-year drop on record. The rate also fell for Hispanic children, from 36.8 percent to 34.4 percent - and is now 6.5 percentage points lower than it was in 1993.
Families and Communities
Strengthening Americaís Working Families.Tax Cuts for Working Families. 15 million additional working families received additional tax relief because of the Presidentís expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 1998, the EITC lifted 4.3 million people out of poverty - double the number lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993. This year, the President proposed expanding the EITC to provide tax relief to an additional 6.8 million hard-pressed working families.
Helping Parents Balance Work and Family. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for seriously ill family members, new born or adoptive children, or their own serious health problems without fear of losing their jobs. Nearly 91 million workers (71% of the labor force) are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act and millions of workers have benefited from FMLA since its enactment. President Clinton has proposed expanding FMLA to allow workers to take up to 24 unpaid hours off each year for school and early childhood education activities, routine family medical care, and caring for an elderly relative.
Improved Access to Affordable, Quality Child Care and Early Childhood Programs. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal funding for child care has more than doubled, helping parents pay for the care of about 1.5 million children in 1998, and the1996 welfare reform law increased child care funding by $4 billion over six years to provide child care assistance to families moving from welfare to work. Since 1993, the Clinton-Gore Administration has increased funding for the Head Start program by 90 percent, and in FY 2000, the program will serve approximately 880,000 children - over 160,000 more children than in 1993.
Increased the Minimum Wage. The minimum wage has risen from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour, increasing wages for 10 million workers. The President and Vice President have called for an additional increase to $6.15. Enacted the Workforce Investment Act. The Workforce Investment Act reformed the nationís employment and training system so that it works better for today's workers. The WIA empowered individuals by giving adults more control and choice over their training or retraining and providing universal access to core labor market services; streamlined job training services by consolidating a tangle of individual programs into a simple system and creating a nationwide network of One-Stop Career Centers; enhanced accountability through tough performance standards for states, localities, and training providers; and increased flexibility so that states can innovate and experiment with new ways to train America's workers better.
Signed the Landmark Work Incentives Improvement Act. Americans with disabilities often become ineligible for Medicaid or Medicare if they work, forcing a choice between health care and employment. The Work Incentives Improvement Act keeps people with disabilities from losing their Medicare or Medicaid health coverage when they go to work. It also includes a $250 million demonstration, which the President insisted on fully funding, that allows people with disabilities who are still working and are not yet sufficiently disabled to qualify for Medicaid to buy into the program.
Signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act. The Adoption and Safe Families Act, which was based in large part on the recommendations of the Clinton-Gore Administration's Adoption 2002 report, made sweeping changes in adoption law so that thousands of children in foster care move more quickly into safe and permanent homes. In 1998, 36,000 children in foster care were adopted, up from 28,000 in 1996. This is the first significant increase in adoption since the national foster care program was established nearly 20 years ago.
Enacted the Foster Care Independence Act. Nearly 20,000 young people leave foster care each year when they reach age 18 without an adoptive family or other guardian. The Foster Care Independence Act will ensure that those young people will get the tools they need to make the most of their lives by providing them better educational opportunities, access to health care, training, housing assistance, counseling, and other services. Putting Families First. The President and Vice President developed and implemented first-ever plan to protect our children from tobacco and end tobacco marketing targeted to young people. They also required the installation of V-chips in all new televisions, and encouraged schools to adopt school uniform policies to deter school violence and promote discipline.
Supporting Community Service. In just five years, AmeriCorps has allowed 150,000 young people to serve in their communities while earning money for college or skills training. President's One America Initiative. President Clinton has led the nation in an effort to become One America : a place where we respect othersí differences and embrace the common values that unite us. The President has been actively involved in public outreach efforts to engage Americans in this historic effort, and followed up on the work of the Initiative on Race by appointing Robert B. (Ben) Johnson as Assistant to the President and Director of the new White House Office on the Presidentís Initiative for One America. The office is working to ensure that we have a coordinated strategy to close the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities and the underserved in this country, and build the One America we want for all of our nationís children.
The Presidentís FY 2001 budget includes $5 million for One America dialogues to promote and facilitate discussions on racial diversity and understanding. President Clinton has appointed the most diverse Cabinet and White House staff in history, presiding over an Administration that looks like America. Welcoming New Americans. Since 1993, the United States has welcomed 4.4 million new American citizens. Faced with this unprecedented number of applications, the Administration undertook an initiative that has significantly reduced the backlog of citizenship applications and is restoring timely processing. Furthermore, the Administrationís English as a Second Language/Civics Education Initiative will provide limited English speaking adults with instruction in both English literacy and critical life skills necessary for effective citizenship and civic participation. Providing Fairness for Legal Immigrants. The President believes that legal immigrants should have the same economic opportunity and bear the same responsibility as other members of society. In 1997 and 1998, the President fought for and succeeded in restoring disability, health and nutritional benefits for certain legal immigrants, and he will continue to press for additional restorations.
Largest Investment in Education in 30 Years Opening the Doors of College to All Americans. In 1997, President Clinton proposed and passed the HOPE Scholarships and Lifetime Learning tax credits to provide tax relief to nearly 13 million Americans each year who are struggling to pay for college. The Hope Scholarship helps make the first two years of college universally available to about 5.6 million students annually by providing a tax credit of up to $1,500 for tuition and fees for the first two years of college. The Lifetime Learning tax credit provides a 20 percent tax credit on the first $5,000 of tuition and fees for students beyond the first two years of college, or those taking classes part-time (in 2003, this increases to $10,000 of tuition and fees). In his FY01 budget, the President has proposed to expand the Lifetime Learning tax credit with a 10-year, $30 billion College Opportunity tax cut, which will give families the option of taking a tax deduction or claiming a 28 percent credit for the first $5,000 of college tuition and fees until 2002, and $10,000 thereafter.
Expanding Work Study and Pell Grants. One million students will be able to work their way through college because of the President's expansion of the Work Study Program, and nearly four million students will receive a Pell Grant of up to $3,300, the largest maximum award ever. The maximum award has increased 43 percent under the Clinton-Gore Administration. This year President Clinton proposed a $77 million increase in Work Study to continue to support one million awards, and a $200 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award, to raise it to $3,500.
Making College More Affordable. The Clinton-Gore Administration has cut student fees and interest rates on all loans, expanded repayment options including income contingent repayment, and improved service through the Direct Loan Program. Students have saved $8.7 billion since 1993 through the reduction in loan fees and interest rates.
More High-Quality Teachers with Smaller Class Sizes. The Clinton-Gore Administration won a second installment of $1.3 billion for the Presidentís plan to hire an additional 100,000 well-prepared teachers to reduce class size in the early grades, when children learn to read and master the basic skills. Already, 29,000 teachers have been hired through this initiative. This year's budget provides $1.75 billion, a $450 million increase -- enough to fund nearly 49,000 teachers.
Turning Around Failing Schools. 11 million low-income students in 13,000 school districts now benefit from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards through Title I-Aid to Disadvantaged Students. The FY 2000 budget provides a $134 million accountability fund to help turn around the worst performing schools and hold them accountable for results through such measures as overhauling curriculum, improving staffing, or even closing schools and reopening them as charter schools. This year, the President is proposing to double funding for this fund to turn around the nation's failing schools to ensure all children receive a quality education. Providing Safe After-School Opportunities for 850,000 Students Each Year. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program will provide enriching after-school and summer school opportunities for 850,000 school-age children in rural and urban communities in FY 2000. Extended learning time has not only been shown to increase achievement in reading and math, but to decrease youth violence and drug use. Funding for this program more than doubled from FY 1999 to FY 2000. For FY 2001, the President's budget calls on Congress to invest $1 billion in the 21st Century Program and to ensure that all children in failing schools have access to quality after-school and summer school opportunities. This proposal will double funding and triple the number of students served to 2.5 million.
Expanding Choice and Accountability in Public Schools. The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to expand public school choice and support the growth of public charter schools, which have increased from one public charter school in the nation when the President was first elected to more than 1,700. More than 250,000 students nationwide are now enrolled in charter schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia. The President won $145 million in FY 2000 -- and has proposed $175 million in his FY 2001 budget -- to continue working toward his goal of establishing 3,000 quality charter schools by 2002.
Teaching Every Child to Read by the 3rd Grade. The President challenged Americans to unite to be sure that every child can read well and independently by the third grade -- 1,400 colleges and universities took up his challenge, and 26,700 college work-study students now serve as reading tutors to help every child to read well and independently by the third grade.
Expanding Access to Technology. With the Vice President's leadership, the Clinton-Gore Administration has made increasing access to technology a top priority. The President and Vice President created the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund to help connect every school to the Internet, increase the number of multimedia computers in the classroom and provide technology training for teachers. They increased overall investments in educational technology from $23 million in 1993 to $769 million in FY 2000, and tripled funding for Community Technology Centers to reach at least 120 low-income communities. Through the E-rate program, they secured low-cost connections to the Internet for schools, libraries, rural health clinics and hospitals, benefiting more than 80 percent of America's public schools. They also increased investment in education research to ensure all children benefit from educational technology. In 1999, 95 percent of public schools were connected to the Internet -- up from just 35 percent in 1994.
Supporting Local Education Reform Efforts. The President signed the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 (Ed-Flex) into law in April 1999, giving all states greater flexibility in the use of federal education funds in exchange for greater accountability for helping all students reach high academic standards.
Establishing the GEAR-UP Mentoring Program for Middle School Children. President Clinton and Vice President Gore created and expanded GEAR-UP, a nationwide mentoring initiative, to help over 750,000 low-income middle school children finish school and prepare for college. The President's FY 2001 budget would expand services to 1.4 million students.
Providing Early Education to Nearly 900,000 Children with Head Start. The President and Vice President have expanded Head Start funding by 90 percent since 1993. Head Start will reach approximately 880,000 low-income children in FY 2000 and, with the President's proposed increase for the program, will be on the way to reaching the President's goal of serving 1 million children and their families by the year 2002. The Administration also created Early Head Start, bringing Head Start's successful comprehensive services to families with children ages zero to three, and set high quality standards for both programs.
Crime and Drugs
Lowest Crime Rates in 25 Years Lowest Overall Crime Rate in 25 Years. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, America has experienced the longest continuous drop in crime on record. Violent crime rate fell 7 percent in 1998 and 27 percent since 1993. The murder rate is down more than 25 percent since 1993, its lowest point since 1967. The overall crime rate is the lowest in 25 years.
Putting 100,000 More Police on the Streets. In 1999, ahead of schedule and under budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration met its commitment to fund an additional 100,000 police officers for our communities. As a part of the COPS Program, the President announced new grants to increase community policing in high-crime and underserved neighborhoods. To help keep crime at record lows, the President won funding for the first installment toward his goal to hire up to 50,000 more officers by 2005.
This year, the Clinton-Gore budget includes over $1 billion to continue the successful COPS initiative to hire more officers, hire new community prosecutors, give police the tools they need to fight crime, and to fund community-wide crime fighting efforts.
More Than Half a Million Felons, Fugitives and Domestic Abusers Denied Guns. Since the President signed the Brady Bill into law, more than 500,000 felons, fugitives and domestic abusers have been prevented from purchasing guns. And the historic 1994 Crime Bill banned 19 of the deadliest assault weapons and their copies, keeping assault weapons off our streets. The homicide rate dropped 7 percent in 1998 - almost entirely due to a decrease in homicides committed with guns. Since 1993, there has been a more than 35 percent drop in gun-related crime and a 57 percent decrease in juvenile gun homicide offenders. Giving Police the Tools They Need to Fight Crime.
President Clinton won $230 million in FY 2000 to provide law enforcement with the latest crime-fighting and crime-solving technology. This funding will help make crime mapping technology -- which enables police agencies to track crime hot spots and target their resources to where they are most needed -- more widely available, to improve compatibility among law enforcement communications systems, and aid development and expansion of innovative tools to help law enforcement fight crime.
Developed Comprehensive Anti-Drug Strategy Including a $195 Million National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The President appointed Barry McCaffrey, a four-star general, to lead the Clinton-Gore Administration's anti-drug strategy as the nationís Drug Czar. Illicit drug use among young people age 12-17 declined from 1997 to 1998, and the average age of first-time use went up. Overall drug use is down since its peak in the 1970's, drug-related murders have fallen by 40 percent since 1992, and youth drug use is on the decline for the third straight year.
National Campaign Against Youth Violence. In August 1999, President Clinton announced the formation of an independent, national campaign to address the problem of youth violence. The Campaign plans to launch anti-violence activities including a major media campaign, concerts, town hall meetings, in- and after-school programs. The Campaign will also highlight effective youth violence initiatives in cities across the country.
Fighting Hate Crimes. The President enacted the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act in 1994. He held the historic White House Conference on Hate Crimes, where he called for passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act -- bipartisan legislation which would strengthen hate crimes laws and make it clear that America will not tolerate acts of violence based on race, color, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Protecting Children from Sex Offenders. President Clinton signed Meganís Law and the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, requiring states to set up sex offender registration systems and require community notification when sex offenders are released from prison.
Welfare Reform and Community Empowerment
Moving Millions of Americans from Welfare to Work.
Lowest Number of People on Welfare Since 1969 as More Recipients Go to Work. President Clinton has kept his promise to reform the welfare system and move more Americans from welfare to work. The number of Americans on welfare is at its lowest level since 1969 as record numbers of people move from welfare to work. Since January 1993, the welfare rolls have fallen by more than half, from 14.1 million to 6.9 million. More than 1.3 million welfare recipients went to work in 1998 alone, and the percentage of adults still on welfare who were working reached 27 percent in 1998, compared to just 7 percent in 1992 -- nearly a fourfold increase. Through the Welfare to Work Partnership launched by the President, 12,000 businesses have hired 650,000 former welfare recipients since 1997.
Creating New Tools to Help Families Move from Welfare to Work. The 1997 Balanced Budget Act signed by President Clinton included $3 billion to move long-term welfare recipients and low-income non-custodial fathers into jobs. The Presidentís Access to Jobs initiative helps communities design innovative transportation solutions, such as van services, to help former welfare recipients and other low-income workers get to work.
President Clinton has secured 110,000 new housing vouchers in the last two years to help welfare recipients and hard-pressed working families move closer to job opportunities, and this year he is proposing $690 million for 120,000 new housing vouchers. And the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire long-term welfare recipients.
Nearly Doubled Child Support Collections. President Clinton signed into law the toughest child support crackdown in history. Federal and state child support programs broke new records in 1999, collecting $15.5 billion -- nearly double the amount collected in 1992. The number of paternities established rose to nearly 1.5 million in 1998 - more than triple the number from 516,000 in 1992. The number of child support cases with collections rose 59 percent, from 2.8 million 1992 to 4.5 million in 1998.
Breaking the Cycle of Dependency. The teen birth rate has fallen seven years in a row, by 18 percent from 1991 to 1998. The teen pregnancy rate is now the lowest rate on record.
Child Abuse Declines for Five Years in a Row. In a trend which began five years ago, the number of children abused and neglected has decreased approximately 11 percent from a record 1,018,692 in 1993. While this represents progress, President Clinton and Vice President Gore continue to work to protect the health and well-being of America's children, and ending child abuse.
Expanded Investment in Urban and Rural Areas. The Clinton-Gore Administration created 31 rural and urban Empowerment Zones and more than 100 Enterprise Communities that have created new jobs, new opportunities and stronger communities.
Encouraging Investment in Underserved Communities with the New Markets Initiative. President Clinton's New Markets Initiative is helping to bring economic development and renewal to communities that have not benefited from the soaring economy. The President's New Markets Tour of underserved communities generated nearly $1 billion in private sector investment commitments. On his second New Markets trip, the President highlighted the role that universities, professional sports franchises, and agricultural cooperatives can play in bringing jobs and economic development to underserved communities. During the trip the President announced partnerships worth a total of nearly $200 million of dollars to underserved communities.
Providing Incentives to Save. President Clinton signed legislation creating Individual Development Accounts, providing incentives for low-income families to save for a first home, higher education, or to start a new business, a key part of his 1992 community empowerment agenda. In FY 1999, $10 million was awarded to establish savings accounts for over 10,000 low-income workers in 40 communities, and an additional $10 million will be awarded in FY 2000. The Presidentís budget provides $25 million for IDAs in FY 2001 and proposes to allow low-income working families to use IDAs to save for a car that will allow them to get or keep a job.
Increasing Access and Improving the Nation's Health Enacted Most Comprehensive Medicare Reforms in History. In the 1997 Balanced Budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration protected, modernized and extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund while offering new options for patient choice and preventive care. New preventive benefits passed include coverage of annual mammograms, coverage of screening tests for both colorectal and cervical cancer, and a diabetes self-management benefit. The President proposed a plan to reform and modernize Medicareís benefits, including an optional prescription drug benefit that is affordable and available to all beneficiaries. The President has also proposed a reserve fund to help Medicare beneficiaries with extremely high prescription drug costs. Extending the Life of the Medicare Trust Fund. When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, Medicare was expected to run out of money in 1999. Now, the life of the Trust Fund has been extended until 2023. Medicare is now in the soundest shape it has been since 1975.
Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for Children since 1965. The five year, $24 billion State Childrenís Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) will provide health care coverage for up to five million children. Two million children have already been enrolled, and in October 1999 President Clinton announced new outreach initiatives to enroll millions more uninsured, eligible children. Last year, the President launched a nationwide ďInsure Kids NowĒ campaign that will bring together major TV and radio networks, healthcare organizations, religious groups and other community-based organizations to help enroll more children in the Children's Health Insurance Program, with the goal of enrolling 5 million of the estimated 10 million children eligible for health insurance under CHIP within 5 years. This year, the budget includes several of Vice President Gore's proposals to accelerate enrollment of children in CHIP.
The President is also proposing a new FamilyCare program, which would give States the option to cover parents in the same plan as their children. Passed Meaningful Health Insurance Reform. The President signed into law the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which helps individuals keep health insurance when they change jobs, guarantees renewability of coverage, and ensures access to health insurance for small businesses. As many as 25 million people will benefit from this law. The bill also eliminated the discriminatory tax treatment the of the approximately 10 million Americans who are self-employed; strengthened efforts to combat health care fraud, waste and abuse by creating a stable source of funding; and provided consumer protections and tax incentives for private long-term care insurance.
Enacted Historic Comprehensive FDA Reform that Expedited the Review and Approval of New Drug Products. The President signed into law the 1997 FDA Modernization Act that includes important measures to modernize and streamline the regulation of biological products; increase patient access to experimental drugs and medical devices; and accelerate review of important new medications. This reform builds on the administrative initiatives implemented under the Vice Presidentís reinventing government effort which have led U.S. drug approvals to be as fast or faster than any other industrialized nation. Average drug approval times have dropped since the beginning of the Administration from almost three years to just over one year.
Signed Mental Health Parity Provisions into Law. To help eliminate discrimination against individuals with mental illnesses, the President signed into law mental health parity provisions to prohibit health plans from establishing separate lifetime and annual limits for mental health coverage. In 1999, the White House held the landmark, first-ever Conference on Mental Health and released the Surgeon Generalís first Report on Mental Health. This year, the President's budget includes an investment of $100 million for mental health services, an increase of 16 percent over last yearís funding level and a 90 percent increase since 1993. Signed Legislation to End Drive-Through Deliveries. President Clinton signed into law common sense legislation that requires health plans to allow new mothers to remain in the hospital for at least 48 hours following most normal deliveries and 96 hours after a Cesarean section.
Extended Strong, Enforceable Patient Protections for Millions of Americans. Leading by example, the President directed all federal agencies to ensure that their employees and beneficiaries have the benefits and rights guaranteed under the proposed Patientsí Bill of Rights. 85 million Americans covered by federal health plans have the security of knowing they will have fair access to health care thanks to the President's work. The President and Vice President have called for passage of the bipartisan Patients Bill of Rights Act, to ensure that all Americans have essential protections, such as guaranteed access to needed health care specialists; access to emergency room services when and where the need arises; continuity of care protections to assure patient care if a patientís health care provider is dropped; access to a timely internal and independent external appeals process with a medical necessity standard; assurance that doctors and patients can openly discuss treatment options; and an enforcement mechanism that ensures recourse for patients who have been harmed as a result of health plan actions.
Fighting Medicare Fraud and Waste. Since 1993, the Clinton-Gore Administration has assigned more federal prosecutors and FBI agents to fight health care fraud than ever before. As a result, convictions have gone up a full 410 percent, saving more than $50 billion in health care claims. The Balanced Budget Act gave an array of new weapons in our fight to keep scam artists and fly-by-night health care out of Medicare and Medicaid.
Released Strong New Protections for the Privacy of Electronic Medical Records. The Clinton-Gore Administration released a new regulation to protect the privacy of electronic medical records held by health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers. This rule would limit the use and release of private health information without consent; restrict the disclosure of protected health information to the minimum amount of information necessary; establish new requirements for disclosure of information to researchers and others seeking access to health records; and establish new administrative and criminal sanctions for the improper use or disclosure of private information.
Implementing Comprehensive Nursing Home Quality Initiative. The Clinton-Gore Administration has issued the toughest nursing home regulations in the history of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, including increased monitoring of nursing homes to ensure that they are in compliance; requiring states to crack down on nursing homes that repeatedly violate health and safety requirements; and changing the inspection process to increase the focus on preventing bedsores, malnutrition and resident abuse. Won $43.5 million increase in FY 2000 to fund more rigorous inspections of nursing facilities and improved federal oversight and enforcement of nursing home quality.
Ensuring Safe Food for Americaís Families. President Clinton created the Presidentís Council on Food Safety to develop a comprehensive food safety strategic plan for federal agencies. The Clinton-Gore Administration has implemented a new science-based inspection system -- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points -- and reduced the prevalence of salmonella in raw meat and poultry by as much as 50 percent. The Administration formed national computer network of public health laboratories, called PulseNet, to help rapidly identify and stop outbreaks of foodborne illness by performing DNA "fingerprinting" on foodborne pathogens. The President signed the Food Quality Protection Act, which included special safeguards for kids and strengthened laws governing pesticides and food safety. The Administration also issued new rules to prevent foodborne illness caused by pathogens such as E. coli.
Raised Child Immunization Rates to All Time High. Childhood immunization coverage rates in 1998 were the highest ever recorded. 90 percent of toddlers in 1996, 1997 and 1998 received the most critical doses of each of the routinely recommended vaccines, surpassing the Presidentís 1993 goal. Because childhood vaccination levels in the United States are at an all-time high, disease and death from diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and Hib are at or near record lows. There was only one reported case of diphtheria, 100 reported cases of measles, and no reported cases of wild poliovirus for 1998.
Issued Regulation that Drug Companies Provide Adequate Testing for Children. President Clinton directed an important Food and Drug Administration regulation requiring manufacturers to do studies on pediatric populations for new prescription drugs -- and those currently on the market -- to ensure that prescription drugs have been adequately tested for the unique needs of children. New Efforts to Help Consumers Understand Important Information on Over the Counter Drug Labels.
The President unveiled a historic new FDA regulation that, for the first time, requires over-the-counter drug products to use a new product label with larger print and clearer language, making it easier for consumers to understand product warnings and comply with dosage guidance. The new regulation provides Americans with essential information about their medications in a user friendly way and takes a critical first step towards preventing the tens of thousands of unnecessary hospitalizations caused by misuse of over-the-counter medications each year. Promoting Reproductive Health.
The Clinton-Gore Administration has taken strong steps to protect a womanís right to choose and to promote safe reproductive health services for women. The President has provided contraceptive coverage to more than a million women covered by federal health plans; provided family planning services to low income women through the Medicaid program; stood up against attempts to prohibit the FDA from approving RU-486; and continues to fight restrictions on international family planning.
Growing the Economy And Improving the Environment Preserving Our National Treasures. The Clinton-Gore Administration has protected tens of millions of acres, from the red rock canyons of Utah to the Florida Everglades. The Administration reached agreements to protect Yellowstone from mining and save the ancient redwoods of Californiaís Headwaters Forest. In the FY 2000 budget, the President and Vice President won $651 million (a 42 percent increase) for Lands Legacy, a historic initiative to strengthen federal efforts to preserve national treasures and provides communities with new resources to protect local green spaces. This year, the President's budget includes a record $1.4 billion for Lands Legacy -- a 93 percent increase and the largest one-year investment ever requested for conserving Americaís lands.
Created Four New National Monuments. The Clinton-Gore Administration has created four new national monuments: Grand Staircase-Escalante, protecting spectacular red rock canyonlands in Utah; Grand Canyon-Parashant, protecting deep canyons, mountains and buttes on the north rim of the Grand Canyon; Agua Fria, protecting extensive prehistoric ruins in Arizona; the California Coastal monument, protecting thousands of islands, rocks and reefs along the California coast. The Administration also expanded Pinnacles National Monument in California to better protect the area's unusual rock formations.
Preserving Our National Forests. The President directed the National Forest Service to develop and propose regulations to provide long-term protection for 40 million acres of ďroadlessĒ areas within national forests and ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the pristine wilderness. The proposed regulations would ban road building in these areas and could also prohibit logging or other activities that harm their unique ecological value.
Accelerating Toxic Cleanups and Brownfields Redevelopment. The Clinton-Gore Administration has completed clean up at 525 Superfund sites, more than three times as many as completed in the previous twelve years. Clean up of more than 91 percent of all sites is either completed or in progress. The Administration has leveraged nearly $1 billion in private sector investment for brownfields redevelopment.
Keeping Our Drinking Water Safe. The President proposed and signed legislation to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that our families have healthy, clean tap water. The Clinton-Gore Administration has required Americaís 55,000 water utilities to provide regular reports to their customers on the quality of their drinking water. The Administration also proposed new rule to reduce dirty runoff and strengthen protections for 20,000 rivers, lakes and other waterways too polluted for swimming and fishing. Ninety-one percent of Americaís tap water from community drinking water systems now meets all federal standards.
Clearing the Air of Unhealthy Pollution. The President and Vice President have adopted the toughest standards ever on soot and smog. They proposed significant reductions in tailpipe emissions from cars, light trucks and SUVs, and launched long-term effort to restore pristine skies over our national parks and wilderness areas. Since 1993, the number of Americans living in communities that meet federal air quality standards has grown by 43 million.
Reducing the Threat of Global Warming. The Clinton-Gore Administration negotiated an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an environmentally strong and economically sound way. The President and Vice President secured $1.1 billion in FY 2000 for research and development of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, and set a goal of tripling U.S. use of bio-energy and bio-products by 2010. The President issued an Executive Order directing agencies to dramatically improve energy efficiency in federal buildings, saving taxpayers over $750 million a year when fully implemented.
Science and Technology
A Strong Research and Development Agenda Unprecedented Investment in Biomedical Research. Two years ago, the President called for an increase of almost 50 percent over 5 years in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget as part of his Research for America Fund. Since that time, the NIH budget has increased by over $4.3 billion and with the funding proposed by the President this year, the Administration will be one year ahead of schedule in reaching the 50 percent goal. As a result, NIH now supports the highest levels of research ever on nearly all types of disease and health conditions, making new breakthroughs possible in vaccine development and use, the treatment of chronic disease, and prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and neurological diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
Supporting University Research, Training the Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers. The FY00 budget contained a 6.6 percent increase in the National Science Foundation research budget to support science and engineering research across all fields and disciplines. This includes $126 million for the Administration's "Information Technology for the 21st Century" initiative.
Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space Science and Exploration. The Clinton-Gore Administration won increased investment of $13.65 billion for NASA in FY 2000. This investment offers the potential of new scientific breakthroughs through an aggressive robotic series of exploration missions into the solar system, as well as enhancing our ability to monitor important changes in the earth's climate systems, and strengthening aviation safety for the traveling public.
Strengthening the Economy and National Security with Information Technology. The Administration continued our investment to help ensure that America leads the world in information technologies that predict tornadoes, design life-saving drugs, and make air travel safer and more efficient, and maintain our nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing.
Changing the Way Government Does Business : Doing More for Less
Eliminating Red Tape. 16,000 pages of Federal regulations have been eliminated by President Clinton and Vice President Gore as part of the Vice Presidentís National Performance Review.
Smallest Government Workforce Since the 1960's. There are 375,000 fewer employees in the Federal government workforce than in 1993 -- giving us the smallest Federal workforce since the Kennedy Administration.
Lowest Government Spending Since 1974. At 18.7 percent, Federal Government spending as a share of the Gross Domestic Product is at its lowest level since 1974.
Increasing Participation in Our Democracy with the Motor Voter Law. President Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act during his first year in office -- making voting easier for millions more Americans, and leading to the registration of more than 28 million new voters.
Worldís Strongest Force for Peace, Freedom and Prosperity Promoting Peace and Strengthening Democracy