[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book II)]
[October 21, 1993]
[Pages 1791-1792]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Exchange With Reporters on Health Care Reform
October 21, 1993

    Q. Mr. President, why is it taking you so long to draft the health 
care legislation?

    The President. The legislation has been drafted. What we have to 
do--and let me say we're doing something that no administration, as far 
as I know, has ever done before. But the reason that we had to delay 
introducing it is to go back and do two more runs at higher inflation 
rates, because most people believe that inflation will be a little bit 
higher because economic growth has come back into the economy.

    So we originally ran all the numbers at a 2.7 inflation rate, which 
was what we were asked to do, what was recommended by the Congressional 
Budget Office. We now went back, after consulting with our folks, and 
ran it at a 3.5 percent inflation rate, and then we went back and 
doublechecked all the numbers with all the actuaries. So unlike a lot of 
the other bills, we actually have, you will see when the bill comes up, 
extremely detailed budgetary estimates about which part will cost how 
much and how it all works.

    So essentially, there were no problems in drafting or the policy so 
much as it was trying to make sure that we had the numbers right. Also, 
the proposal will increase the reserve fund as a hedge in case, for 
example, the small business discounts cost more than we thought. We 
decided to go back to make the Congress and the country feel better 
about the costs to increase the reserve fund. So just working out the 
dollars is what has taken all the time, because we wanted to have good 
numbers ready for them when we came back.

    Q. When will it be ready? When will it be ready?

    The President. Oh, I think they're going to put it in early next 
week sometime.

[[Page 1792]]

    Q. Next week?
    The President. Yes.
    Q. The 75-cent cigarette tax is final?
    The President. That's what will be in the bill.

Note: The exchange began at approximately 11:54 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt 
Washington Hotel. A tape was not available for verification of the 
content of this exchange.