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President Blasts ‘Extremist Interests’

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Trying to push health care legislation over the finish line in Congress, President Clinton said Saturday that “violent, extremist interests” are trying to keep the government from insuring health coverage for all Americans.

Clinton, addressing a $1-million fund-raiser for Michigan Democrats, said Republicans were refusing to compromise on health care and declared: “It is time to stop playing politics with the health care of the people of the United States of America.”

He accused critics of Democratic health care plans of trying to deny all Americans the benefits they already enjoy.

“The violent, extremist interests in this country that are trying to keep health care out of the reach of ordinary American working people are a disgrace to the American dream,” Clinton said in brief remarks at the airport. “Most of them have health care and most of them have parents on Medicare. Why do they not want you to have the same thing that they have?”

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In his weekly radio address before leaving Washington, the President said the nation faces historic decisions “that call on us to break through partisan barriers and political rhetoric” on both health care and crime legislation.

“Let’s stop playing games with these two important issues,” Clinton said. “Let’s get the job done.”

In the Republican response, Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana complained that health care reform proposals were developed “behind Democratic closed doors.”

Burns said Congress should approve reforms that a majority in the House and Senate agree on, and avoid socializing “the greatest health care delivery system on this planet.”

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