December 9, 1995
Web posted at: 2:10 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With only six more days to reach a budget deal with the Republican Congress, President Clinton promised to veto any budget plan with deep cuts in Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled.
"If necessary I'll veto these deep cuts in health care for children again, and again, and again," President Clinton vowed in his weekly radio address broadcast Saturday.
Clinton vetoed a budget plan Wednesday which cut Medicaid and Medicare considerably more that the budget proposal offered by the White House.
The president said the Republican budget proposal which trims $163 billion from Medicaid over the next seven years "would repeal the guarantee of health care for poor children, people with disabilities, pregnant women and older Americans."
Specifically Clinton said the Republican plan would deny quality health coverage to eight million people including four million children.
"We don't have to hurt our children to balance our budget," said Clinton. "It's time for men and women of both parties to put aside their narrow differences and extreme ideology and together pursue the national interest."
The president said his seven-year balanced budget plan trims Medicaid without ending the guarantee of access to health care for poor Americans. (247K AIFF sound or 247K WAV sound)
Sen. Don Nickles, R-Oklahoma, who delivered part of the Republican response to the radio address, said the president's plan calls for higher taxes and higher spending and would fail to balance the budget in seven years.
Nickels denied the Republican plan would hurt seniors who rely on Medicare, and stressed the tax benefits for low- income families under the plan. Nickels then echoed Clinton's plea for compromises saying, " The American people are asking us to put aside our differences and balance the budget now."
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, who delivered the Republican response for Congress, also attacked the president's budget plan saying it falls short of balancing the budget in seven years by $400 billion. (306K AIFF sound or 306K WAV sound)
The Republican Congress and the White House have only six days to come up with a budget plan before the temporary spending measure which ended federal furloughs last month expires.
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