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Statement on Signing the Preventive Health Amendments of 1993

December 16, 1993

Since the beginning of my Administration, we have worked with the Congress on ways to strengthen the Nation's health care system. This partnership for the personal security of America's families moved forward when I signed into law H.R. 2202, the Preventive Health Amendments of 1993.

The primary purpose of this new law is to extend the early detection and disease prevention activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), especially by strengthening our efforts for the early detection of breast cancer. While it contains a number of excellent provisions, I am especially pleased to advance the Nation's agenda as it relates to women's health concerns.

Among the provisions of H.R. 2202 are new funds authorized for appropriations in the form of grants by the CDC to States for the detection and treatment of women's reproductive and breast cancers. This program addresses an important national need.

Over 2.5 million women in the United States have breast cancer, and about 182,000 additional cancers are expected to have been detected this year. Once every 12 minutes, a woman dies from breast cancer in the United States, often leaving behind a grieving husband, desolate children, and anguished friends. While mammography is by no means a cure, in many instances, it does detect cancer and leads to reductions in the death rates from the illness among women when appropriate follow-up treatment occurs. Though we don't know what causes breast cancer, how to prevent it or cure it, we do know that broader access to mammograms will make an important medical, personal, and economic difference due to increased early detection.

The legislation expands our efforts not only in breast and cervical cancer prevention but also in areas such as injury control, violence prevention, tuberculosis prevention and research, and trauma care. It is an excellent example of how a bipartisan approach to improving the health care available to Americans can provide needed benefits to so many people.

Much more can and must be done. Health care reform is going to change fundamentally and for the better the manner in which we deal with women's health, especially breast cancer. We know we can reduce deaths from breast cancer by insuring that all women see their health care provider on a regular basis and have access to the tests they need, including mammography when appropriate. Under my Health Security Act, no woman who needs a mammogram will ever be denied one because she cannot pay for it.


The White House,

December 16, 1993.

NOTE: H.R. 2202, approved December 14, was assigned Public Law No. 103-183. This statement was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 17.

William J. Clinton, Statement on Signing the Preventive Health Amendments of 1993 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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