Fact Sheet: President Clinton Signs Children's Health Act of 2000 (10/17/00)
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                                                                         |
|          PRESIDENT CLINTON SIGNS CHILDREN?S HEALTH ACT OF 2000          |
|                            October 17, 2000                             |
|                                                                         |
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|



Building on eight years of improving the quality of health care for our
nation?s children, today President Clinton signed into law the Children?s
Health Act of 2000.  This bipartisan legislation authorizes expanded
research and services for a variety of childhood health problems,
reauthorizes programs of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA), addresses the problem of youth substance abuse and
the violence associated with it, and works to improve the health and safety
of children in child care.  The Clinton-Gore Administration has made
unprecedented strides in improving the quality and access of children?s
health care by: enacting the largest single investment in children?s health
care since 1965; raising childhood immunization rates to an all-time high;
and increasing access to care to more than 2.5 million previously uninsured
children.  Today?s action expands on these steps to ensure the health and
well-being of our nation?s future leaders.

PROMOTING NEW RESEARCH AND TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN?S HEALTH. Because of the
longstanding commitment of the Clinton-Gore Administration, and the
leadership of First Lady Hillary Clinton, the National Institute of Health
(NIH) currently supports the highest levels of research ever on nearly all
types of disease and health conditions, making breakthroughs possible in
vaccine development and the treatment of chronic and acute disease.
However, more needs to be done.  The Children?s Health Act of 2000 expands,
intensifies, and coordinates research, prevention, and treatment activities
for diseases and conditions having a disproportionate or significant impact
on children, including autism, diabetes, asthma, hearing loss, epilepsy,
traumatic brain injuries, infant mortality, lead poisoning, and oral
health.

?    Special focus on autism research.  The legislation authorizes Centers
of Excellence at both NIH and the Centers for Disease Control to promote
research on the cause, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, control, and
treatment of autism.

?    Training of Physicians Who Care for Children.  The legislation also
extends the authorization of funds through 2005 to reimburse freestanding
children?s hospitals that train health professionals ? a priority of this
Administration.

?    Research on child development and the environment.  This bill
authorizes new research provisions, which will increase our understanding
of children?s health, including a long-term development study on
environmental influences on children?s health and a loan repayment program
at NIH for health professionals conducting pediatric research.

?    Authorizing Healthy Start for the first time.  Finally, this bill
takes the long overdue step of authorizing the Healthy Start demonstration
program, which is designed to reduce the rate of infant mortality and
improve birth outcomes in targeted communities by expanding access to
health care services for pregnant women and infants in targeted
communities.

IMPROVING THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF CHILD CARE CENTERS.  The President?s
Child Care initiative, outlined in his 1998 State of the Union address and
spearheaded by the First Lady, included investments to help make child care
more affordable for working parents, improve its quality, and strengthen
enforcement of state health and safety standards. The legislation the
President will sign today supports his Child Care initiative by providing
greater assurance to the millions of parents who rely on child care
providers during the workday that their children are receiving child care
that protects their safety and health. The Children?s Day Care Health and
Safety Act, a component of the Children?s Health Act, will provide grants
to states to improve the safety and health of child care by: training and
educating child care providers on preventing injuries and illnesses;
improving state health and safety standards; improving enforcement of
standards, including increased unannounced inspections; renovating child
care facilities to meet health and safety standards; enhancing child care
providers? ability to serve children with disabilities; and conducting
criminal background checks on child care providers.

ENSURING SAFE AND QUALITY MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT.  This legislation
requires providers to inform the Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS) of: any death that occurs when it is reasonable to assume that the
death was caused by the use of restraints or seclusion; deaths that occur
while a patient is restrained or in seclusion; and deaths that occur within
24 hours after a patient is restrained.  Failure to comply with these
requirements will disqualify these facilities from participation in any
program supported in whole or in part by the Public Health Service Act.
These new reporting and enforcement requirements build on regulations
released by HHS last year, sponsored by Senator Lieberman and championed by
Tipper Gore, that provide critical new protections to individuals with
mental illness receiving care in all hospitals participating in the
Medicare program.

REAUTHORIZING THE SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
ADMINISTRATION.  The reauthorization of the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration will improve mental health and substance
abuse services for Americans of all ages by ensuring the continuation of
grants that promote research on mental health issues; training grants to
educate providers about the best ways to serve those in need; funds to
support communities in need of additional services; and system change
grants to support family and consumer networks in states. The bill also
includes critical provisions that will help to curb drug and alcohol use,
especially among our nations?s youth.   Although the substance abuse
treatment gap has narrowed, far too many people still cannot get the
treatment they need. This bill takes a comprehensive approach to addressing
illegal drug abuse, beginning with the reauthorization of the Substance
Abuse Block Grant, as well as the authorization of several grant programs
targeted to youth drug treatment and early intervention.  It provides
states more flexibility in the use of block grant funds in exchange for
accountability based on performance.

COMBATING YOUTH AND ADULT DRUG USE.  The bill will help to combat the use
and spread of the dangerous emerging drugs of methamphetamine and Ecstasy
by providing important new support for law enforcement.  Among other
provisions, the bill includes investigative training on clandestine
methamphetamine laboratories, additional resources for High Intensity Drug
Trafficking Areas, and strengthened punishment for meth lab operators, and
amphetamine and Ecstasy traffickers.  The legislation also creates a
Methamphetamine and Amphetamine Treatment Initiative at the Center for
Substance Abuse Treatment, provides for additional research to treat
addiction to these dangerous drugs, and establishes prevention grants to
teach children about the dangers of meth, Ecstasy, and inhalants. This
legislation will build on the Administration?s National Methamphetamine
Strategy as well as overall efforts to reduce drug abuse, including the
Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, and the historic expansion of drug courts
that have been shown to reduce future drug use and recidivism.

SUPPORTING A COMPREHENSIVE RESPONSE TO SCHOOL SAFETY AND YOUTH VIOLENCE.
To help communities promote school safety, this bill provides additional
funding for the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative. The SS/HS
Initiative is an unprecedented effort to give students, schools and
communities comprehensive educational, mental health, social service, and
law enforcement services. The Center for Mental Health Services supports
this initiative in partnership with the Departments of Justice and
Education.

BUILDING ON A RECORD TO IMPROVE CHILDREN?S HEALTH.  The Clinton-Gore
Administration has led an aggressive effort over the last 8 years to ensure
our nation?s children receive the care they need.  Though more must be done
to ensure that all children have access to high-quality health care, these
efforts have resulted in record improvements:
?    Enacted single largest investment in children?s health care since 1965
with the State Children?s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) -- providing
meaningful health care coverage to 2.5 million previously uninsured
children.
?    Enacted legislation to help young people leaving foster care remain
eligible for Medicaid up to age 21, thus maintaining health care coverage.
?    Enacted legislation to extend the availability of the $500 million
fund for children?s health outreach for states to use towards the costs of
simplifying their eligibility systems and conducting enrollment outreach.
?    Issued regulation requiring drug companies to provide adequate testing
to ensure that prescription drugs safely satisfy the unique needs of
children.
?    Launched new effort to increase childhood immunizations, resulting in
all-time high rates with 90 percent or more of America's toddlers receiving
critical vaccines by age 2, nearly eliminating racial and ethnic
disparities.
?    Launched new public-private effort to ensure that children with
emotional and behavioral conditions are appropriately diagnosed, treated,
and monitored by enhancing parent education, research and improved
pediatric labeling.
?    Initiated national strategy to fight childhood asthma, launched by
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, which enhanced school-based and
state-wide disease management programs, research and public information
campaigns.

                                   # # #


President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement

Help

Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E