Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Health Care Sales Pitch Previewed

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Health Care Sales Pitch Previewed

Article excerpt

By Sabin Russell

San Francisco Chronicle

LOS ANGELES _ First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday criticized the neglect of women's health issues and called for a national commitment to primary and preventive medical services.

In a preview of the sales pitch she will use when the president's health care reforms are released in September, Mrs. Clinton pledged that the new plan would cover all Americans and end the fear that illness or unemployment could cost a family its health insurance.

"First and foremost," she said, "We must promise that no matter who you are, no matter who you work for, no matter what pre-existing conditions you may have, you will have health insurance."

It was Mrs. Clinton's first public appearance in California since her husband took office. She gave the speech on a stopover of her return trip to Washington, D.C., from a vacation in Hawaii.

Mrs. Clinton stressed that prevention and primary medical care are vital to managing health care costs. "We have done it backwards for too long," she said. "We paid for surgery, and not mammography."

She spoke at a luncheon at the posh Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel before an group of 750 of Los Angeles' social elite, who paid up to $10,000 per table in a fund-raiser for a local breast cancer screening center.

The event raised $400,000 for the Iris Cantor Breast Imaging Center, a UCLA unit that operates a mammography van to provide cancer screening in poor neighborhoods.

Mrs. Clinton made it clear she believes that women have been shortchanged by medical research biased in favor of diseases affecting men.

She decried the "unfair emotional burden inflicted on women because of the inequities of the system."

Although women live longer than men, she said, they "do not have a medical advantage" in dollars allotted to research. "We have been on the medical and scientific sidelines," she said.

Breast cancer, she noted, kills one American woman every 12 minutes. …

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