Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on Senate Passage of a Catastrophic Illness Health Insurance Bill
The President commends the Senate for passage of a catastrophic health insurance bill with bipartisan support. This action brings to fruition an effort the President has promoted for many years. He is pleased that the plan that has passed is modeled after the proposal he sent to Congress earlier this year.
The Senate-passed catastrophic health insurance plan for the elderly meets the President's three goals:
-- The program provides protection for senior citizens against financial ruin associated with catastrophic illness.
-- The program is deficit-neutral, because it is entirely funded by premiums paid by beneficiaries and will be administered under a separate trust fund.
-- The program's costs are contained and the program's growth is limited by safeguards that will prevent premiums from becoming a financial burden on the elderly.
The President wishes to recognize the dedication and hard work of several members of the Senate Finance Committee in helping shape the bipartisan plan, which answers his call for catastrophic insurance in his 1987 State of the Union Address.