Clinton Speaks at IIAA Legislative Conference

May 4, 2000

President Bill Clinton told independent insurance agents from around the nation that a tax credit for long-term care, Medicare prescription drug coverage and improvements in health care that will result in Americans living longer, will all have an affect on the insurance industry.

Speaking before more than 800 insurance agents attending the Independent Insurance Agents of America’s 24th annual National Legislative Conference, President Clinton said he supports a $3,000 annual tax credit to help Americans pay for long-term care for a family member.

Noting that 60 percent of senior citizens lack prescription drug insurance coverage, the President endorsed a voluntary prescription drug program as part of Medicare.

While he did not advocate any particular proposal being considered on Capitol Hill, he said retirees with incomes up to $50,000 annually should be eligible to take part.

Clinton said independent agents should follow the issue because they don’t want to be “left holding the bag” if they have insurance policies that don’t sell because of policy coverage that consumers don’t want. When coupled with improvements in gene therapy that will enable Americans to live longer, “that will completely change insurance,” he said.

Clinton noted that, with the strong economy, now is the time to tackle issues such as prescription drug coverage and a tax break for long-term care. “I don’t think we want to squander this enormous opportunity,” he said. “How well we did with prosperity is a great measure of a great country.”

Clinton congratulated agents for diversifying the industry and appointing the first woman on the board of the IIAA. He also recognized their involvement with minorities and thanked them for the quality of representation in Washington.

In 1977, 83 agents made the first trip to Washington to discuss how the various insurance legislative proposals would affect their livelihood. Today, the IIAA National Legislative Conference has grown to one of the largest and most effective gatherings of its kind in Washington.

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