Press Release
Tuesday, July 22, 1997

WASHINGTON--The Concord Coalition today praised President Clinton's recent efforts to encourage the House of Representatives to support Medicare "means-testing."

"The president's strong support of means-testing has taken the partisan edge off this issue," said Concord Coalition Co-Chair Warren Rudman. "He is offering political cover for those House members who remain reluctant after last year's partisan Medicare debate."

"While this means-testing proposal represents a modest reform, the president's support marks a significant shift," Rudman added. "It is a signal that he is ready to put politics aside and begin leading the debate on long-term entitlement reform."

On Sunday, July 13, the Concord Coalition ran an ad in The New York Times urging the president to "take the lead" to ensure that the House would support the Senate means-testing proposal as well as a measure that would gradually raise the Medicare eligibility age for workers retiring in the next century.

"At this important moment, Mr. President, it's up to you to take the lead," the ad stated. "After last year's bitter political battles over Medicare, the House is skittish about voting to touch senior benefits without receiving a signal that you are on board. We urge you to send that signal, loudly and clearly."

While raising Medicare's eligibility age appears to be off the negotiating table, the president's pledge yesterday to support House members who vote in favor of means-testing has apparently kept that reform in play.

Follow this link to read the text of the New York Times ad.