[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)] [July 1, 1998] [Page 1158] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]
Statement on New Medicare Benefits July 1, 1998 I am pleased to announce that starting today Medicare will cover two new preventive benefits to help detect osteoporosis and manage diabetes. These important benefits were part of the Balanced Budget Act I signed into law last year, which contained the most significant reforms in Medicare since the program's enactment in 1965. Medicare's new prevention benefits will provide older Americans the tools they need to fight some of our most devastating chronic diseases. While one out of two women over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis- related fracture during her lifetime, many women are not aware that they have this disease until they have a broken bone or fracture. I am extremely pleased that the First Lady, Mrs. Gore, and Secretary Shalala will be helping to publicize this new benefit to help women detect this disease early. Also, the new diabetes benefit is critical to the over 7 million Medicare beneficiaries who suffer from this disease. This benefit is part of our diabetes initiative that the American Diabetes Association believes is ``as important to people with diabetes as the discovery of insulin in 1921.'' This month marks the 33d anniversary of the Medicare program--one of our Nation's most important commitments to older Americans and people with disabilities. I am extremely pleased that we can strengthen this important program and help some of our most vulnerable Americans stay healthier and stronger.