George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following a Meeting on Health Care and an Exchange With Reporters in Omaha

December 05, 2007

The President. It is a joy to be here at the OneWorld Community Health Center in Omaha. I want to thank Andrea and Dr. McVea for the tour.

I say it's a joy because the spirit here, the spirit of community, the desire to help people who are less fortunate is prevalent. People here feel a great sense of community and accomplishment. And as well they should because community health centers, not only here in Omaha but around the country, provide a very vital service. I happen to think they're an integral part of a health care system because they provide care for the low-income, for the newly arrived, and they take the pressure off of our hospital emergency rooms.

And so I've come to thank the staff and the providers of compassionate health care here for their work. I remind the people of Omaha that this is a public-private partnership. The Federal Government is a— and my administration strongly supports the expansion and the extension and the reach of these community health centers. But the private sector, the public, needs to support these centers as well.

We spent a little time talking about whether or not the community understands the importance of a community health center. This community does. I think there is some awareness of how important OneWorld is, and I would hope that other citizens that aren't aware would find out the importance of a community health center.

When I—in 2000, when I was running, I said, look, I believe these are important centers because they provide an integral service, and they take pressure off of our health care systems around the country. And so I laid out a goal of expanding and— the health care centers by 1,200, and we're meeting that goal. And I want to thank Members of Congress from both parties for understanding the importance and the vitality of community health centers. And I look forward to working with Congress to continue to expand the reach of these important facilities.

And so, again, I want to thank you all for your hospitality. I really appreciate you giving me a chance to come to—a part of our national strategy is to make sure the uninsured can find good, quality primary care. This center serves—85 percent of its people don't speak English as a first language. By far, the vast majority are low-income, and yet they're receiving first-class quality care. So I thank the docs and the nurses and the social workers and all the people who are making this facility such a good one.

Thanks for having me.


Q. Iran's President said the NIE is a victory for Iran. They want an apology from the United States and compensation, sir. Will you do that? Is the NIE a victory for Iran?

The President. [Laughter] You can mark down I chuckled.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:23 a.m. in the Adah and Leon Millard Foundation Conference Room at OneWorld Community Health Centers. In his remarks, he referred to Andrea Skolkin, executive director, and Kristine McVea, medical director, OneWorld Community Health Centers. A reporter referred to President Mahmud Ahmadi-nejad of Iran. A portion of these remarks could not be verified because the tape was incomplete.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Meeting on Health Care and an Exchange With Reporters in Omaha Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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