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CLINTON REVIEWS ANTI-CRIME PROGRESS

While President Clinton reviewed the progress that anti-crime legislation has made in the past year and asked Congress for support with new anti-terrorism legislation, the GOP in its response urged the president to focus on the medical crisis during the president's weekly radio address Saturday.

"Just a year ago this week, we ended six years of partisan stalemate in Washington by pushing a tough, sweeping crime bill through the Congress," said Clinton, who is currently vacationing with his family at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming."Now it's time for members of Congress to do that again - to put aside demands for ideological purity and give the American people the reforms they want, the reforms they need," he said. "And these reforms clearly include the anti-terrorism legislation I sent to Con-gress after the Oklahoma City bomb-ing.

"It's hard to imagine what more must happen to convince Congress to pass that bill. Yet partisan politics has blocked it in the House of Representatives. I call on the House to pass that anti-terrorism bill when they return so we can continue to make all Americans safer," he said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Republican Health Care Task Force and a member of the Republican Medicare Working Group, delivered the GOP response in which he accused Clinton of trying to switch the focus of the Medicare issue "away from preserving Medicare and into the arena of the budget debate."

"We (Republicans) are taking the Medicare challenge seriously and formulating proposals to deal with the crisis," Bennett said. "Help us get your party's leadership to admit the problem exists, Mr. President, and we will help to get it resolved."

Bennett said the Medicare crisis has risen from the increasing life expectancy rate of senior citizens and the decreasing number of workers per beneficiary that has changed from 16-to-one in the 1960s to about three-to-one today.

"Next year, 1996, the Medicare trust fund will start to pay out more than it takes in for the first time," Bennett said. "In six years, all the money now in the fund will be gone and Medicare will be bankrupt."

In response to these warnings issued by the trustees of the Medicare trust fund, Bennett said the GOP has proposed a financial solution to the Medicare crisis that will allow Medicare expenditures to grow on a per-beneficiary basis from $4,800 to $6,700 per year. That is "nearly $2,000 per year, per person more money between now and 2,002," he said.

"Total Medicare spending will be $1.62 trillion over that period of time," he said. "When combined with the proposed changes in the program - designed to increase its flexibility and give seniors more choices while making it more efficient - this increase in Medicare spending is within the guidelines of solvency laid down in the trustees report. This will provide the framework for insuring that Medicare will always be there, not only for the current seniors, but for the rest of us as well."