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CLINTON CALLS FOR REFORM AS A GIFT TO MOMS

SHARE CLINTON CALLS FOR REFORM AS A GIFT TO MOMS

Making a Mother's Day pitch for health-care reform, President Clinton urged Americans to consider the importance of the "gift of good health care" for women who too often go without.

Clinton, who lost his mother to breast cancer in January, used his Saturday radio address to stress his administration's efforts to redress "inequities" in health care for women."I ask every mother's child to send another card this Mother's Day," Clinton said. "Address it to your senator or representative in Congress. Tell them this health-care reform plan is important because it may help the most important person in your life."

In the Republican response to Clinton's address, Rep. Porter Goss of Florida put a different spin on the link between Mother's Day and health care.

Goss said the expression "Mom knows best" should apply to health-care decisions, and that Clinton's plan would "take away that freedom" by limiting consumer choices in picking doctors and treatments.

"Clinton health reform says government may make better decisions about your health care than you and your family doctor," Goss aid. "Republicans don't think so - and neither do most Americans."

Critics say Clinton's plan will push Americans into health maintenance groups with limited choice in doctors. Clinton, however, maintains Americans will have more choice among insurance plans under his health reform package.

The president urged changes in a health-care system that "too often leaves women behind."

The president said women more often lack adequate insurance to cover medical care because more of them work part-time or in jobs that don't provide insurance. In addition, he said, medical research historically has tended to focus on men, "leaving women more vulnerable to many diseases."

"Tomorrow, mothers all across America will enjoy the flowers, cards and breakfasts in bed," he said. "But we should remember another gift that will improve and prolong their lives - the gift of good health care."

Clinton said his health care reform plan would emphasize preventive care and make research on women's health problems a priority.