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STATEMENT BY GERALD W. MCENTEE, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT OF AFSCME, TO THE WHITE HOUSE HEALTH CARE TASK FORCE PUBLIC MEETING

 WASHINGTON, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement will be delivered by AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee today at a White House Health Care Task Force hearing on the campus of George Washington University. McEntee is a participant on the Labor Panel, scheduled to begin at 5:50 p.m. at the George E. Smith Center:
 Members of the Health Care Task Force, I am Gerald W. McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Our members work on the front lines of the health care crisis, in hospitals and clinics and home health care agencies around the country. They know from the patients they treat, and the governors and mayors they work for, that national health care is America's number one priority.
 Regardless of whether they work or not, every American must be able to get the health care he or she needs.
 And the only way to do that -- and control skyrocketing health care costs with a budget, as President Clinton has said -- is to require every employer and every individual -- with no exceptions -- to participate.
 Anything less than this, any opt-outs for companies like General Electric or Marriott, or any other business, is to grant special favors for the few at the expense of all the people.
 The problem with health care in America is that the system works for the businesses who can figure how to shift their costs to their workers or to government or to some other business.
 As the first lady and Ira Magaziner have said throughout these meetings, all the micro-management in the world hasn't stopped hospitals, doctors and insurance companies from raising prices and people from losing coverage.
 Let's face facts -- an employment-based system of health insurance has no place in the competitive world of the 1990s.
 The last thing we need is a health insurance system that treats workers differently based on who their employer is, or requires more costly micro-management to track what is spent on health care.
 The last thing we need is more market segmentation where employers with young, healthy workers opt out, creating incentives for age and health status discrimination in the workplace.
 The last thing we need is to single out public sector workers, once again, just to subsidize the costs of all the employers who opt out of the purchasing cooperative in their area.
 Members of the Health Care Task Force, we can succeed in 1993 if we all join together to solve our health care crisis. No special deals and no special interests -- one system of free choice for all Americans.
 -0- 3/29/93
 /NOTE: Gerald W. McEntee is a member of the AFL-CIO Committee on Health Care. He serves as a commissioner on the National Commission on Children. In addition, he chairs the AFL-CIO's Work and Family Committee./
 /CONTACT: Sondra Dimond, 202-429-1130, or Jody Hoffman, 202-429-1155, both of AFSCME/


CO: AFSCME ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: EXE

KD-MH -- DC013 -- 0462 03/29/93 11:21 EST
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Date:Mar 29, 1993
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