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NOTE: This proclamation and its annex were pub- nouncing the first Presidential correspondence lished in the Federal Register on February 17. with a foreign head of state using electronic mail. The text of Prime Minister Bildt’s message to the President follows: Letter to Congressional Leaders on Dear Bill, Trade With Kazakhstan and Romania Apart from testing this connection on the global February 16, 1994 Internet system, I want to congratulate you on your decision to end the trade embargo on Viet- Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) nam. I am planning to go to Vietnam in April I am writing to inform you of my intent and will certainly use the occasion to take up the to add Kazakhstan and Romania to the list question of the MIA’s. From the Swedish side we of beneficiary developing countries under have tried to be helpful on this issue in the past, the Generalized System of Preferences and we will continue to use the contacts we might have. (GSP). The GSP program offers duty-free ac- cess to the U.S. market and is authorized by Sweden is—as you know—one of the leading the Trade Act of 1974. countries in the world in the field of telecommuni- cations, and it is only appropriate that we should I have carefully considered the criteria be among the first to use the Internet also for identified in sections 501 and 502 of the political contacts and communications around the Trade Act of 1974. In light of these criteria, globe. I have determined that it is appropriate to Yours, extend GSP benefits to Kazakhstan and Ro- Carl mania. This notice is submitted in accordance with section 502(a)(1) of the Trade Act of Interview With of WFAN 1974. Radio in Sincerely, February 17, 1994 William J. Clinton Mr. Imus. Here now, on the ‘‘Imus in the NOTE: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Morning’’ program, the President of the Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, , . Good morning, and Albert Gore, Jr., President of the Senate. Mr. President. Health Care Reform The President. Good morning, Don, how are you? Electronic Mail Message to Prime Mr. Imus. Well, I’m not that great, be- Minister Carl Bildt of Sweden cause your wife was here in New York 2 or February 16, 1994 3 months ago to do that ‘‘Sesame Street,’’ and it is broadcast from the same studio com- Dear Carl: plex we are. So she sent down the Secret I appreciate your support for my decision Service to get me. And of course, when they to end the trade embargo on Vietnam and showed I didn’t know what they were here thank you for all that Sweden has done on for. It made me kind of nervous. the question of the POW/MIA’s. But anyway, I was talking to her, and I I share your enthusiasm for the potential told her that since I had last talked to you of emerging communications technologies. I had had major lung surgery, and I have This demonstration of electronic commu- health insurance. And out of my pocket, nications is an important step toward build- though, even with health insurance, it cost ing a global information superhighway. me $20,000. So I’m for any health care Sincerely, plan—[laughter]—including yours. Bill The President. Well, that’s good. I hope the surgery worked well. Your lungs seem NOTE: The President’s message was released as to be in good order as nearly as I can tell. part of a statement by the Press Secretary an- [Laughter]

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Mr. Imus. Well, I feel pretty good. She premiums when she got sick, how much she was astonished that it cost that much. I ex- resented the fact that she did it and others plained that I was in a private room and stuff didn’t. I mean, if you really go out there and like that. But still, there was a lot of expense. talk to real people about how the system real- And I—just curious to me how ordinary peo- ly works, it’s very different than what these ple, the median wage in this country being ads say. And the ads are designed to mislead around $19,000 a year, how they could pay people about our plan so that we can keep for that stuff. the same financing system we’ve got. That’s The President. Well, it’s really tough. She why the health insurance industry’s running was in Maine last week and talking to a them. woman that broke her wrist and was charged But as a result of the way they do things, $40 for sitting on a cot in a hospital in an some people pay much more for insurance emergency room for 30 minutes, charged for than others because they’re older. Some peo- an Ace bandage she didn’t use and things ple pay more just because they’re in small like that. There are a lot of problems in the businesses. Some people cannot get any in- health care system, mostly related to the way surance or can never change jobs because we finance it. The health care of this coun- they’ve got a preexisting condition. No other try—the delivery system, the doctors, the country in the world does this. nurses, the medical research, all of that—it’s But one thing we do have more than any- very, very good. But the delivery system is body else in the world is clerical workers, messed up by the way it’s financed. This is in hospitals, in doctors’ offices, insurance of- the only country in the world that has 1,500 fices, keeping up with all these forms that separate health insurance companies writing are required so we can see who doesn’t get thousands and thousands of different poli- what coverage and make sure you pay all that cies. You’ve got to read the fine print to fig- $20,000. I mean, that’s the way the financing ure out what’s the copay, what’s the deduct- system works. That’s what needs to be re- ible, how much cash do you have to put up worked. if you have something like the operation you Mr. Imus. When you and the First Lady had. It’s a really tough deal. lobbied the business council, and they voted Mr. Imus. Well, you know, one of the two-to-one against the plan, were you sur- ways, Mr. President, you could settle all this prised about that or—— is for you and the First Lady to take on Harry The President. No, they’ve never—you and Louise from those insurance company know, mostly they’ve not been for any of this. commercials in like a segment of ‘‘American I was surprised that we have as much big Gladiators.’’ [Laughter] business support as we do. What I wanted The President. Yes, you know, I wouldn’t them to do, although it’s largely ideological, mind that actually. The first I heard about most of them are paying premiums which are them, I thought they were Thelma and Lou- too high now. I thought we might get them ise, you know. [Laughter] I tried to take them for the first time to go along with the require- on a little bit yesterday in New Jersey. The ment for universal coverage or guaranteed problem is that they don’t reflect real people, private health insurance, because every other but they can scare real people because when country has it. That’s what their competitors we hear something about health care, we al- provide. And all their competitors have lower ways want to calculate it, as we should, in health costs than these guys do. terms of, well, how is this going to affect me But I was very disappointed that they and my family and our policy. didn’t do it. Now, the Chamber of Com- But real people out there are in trouble. merce came out for universal coverage yes- I mean, I was at a little delicatessen in Co- terday, which was encouraging. But the big lumbus, Ohio, the day before yesterday talk- business group I still think supports universal ing to the woman who ran it, and she insured coverage. There were some other—they’ve her 20 full-time employees even though a lot got some members who don’t support some of her competitors didn’t. She told me the parts of our plan. And the group that came stories about what had happened to their to see me said that, ‘‘Well, we really are not

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for this other plan. We think it’s better strat- my question to you is, do you think you’ve egy to say, ‘Well, we ought to start with changed? that.’ ’’ The President. Oh, I think it changes you But the truth is, you know, I didn’t expect some. What you have to guard against is get- them to be in the vanguard of health care ting the bad changes with the good. I mean, reform. But a lot of these big companies ac- I think anyone who assumes this office who tually are paying more than they should be- really wants to make a difference here in- cause of all the cost-shifting. That’s another stead of just to occupy the White House big problem in our system. A lot of people changes. I think, you know, I am much more who don’t have health insurance ultimately focused every day than I have ever been in get health care, but they get it when it’s too my public life on the work at hand and what late and too expensive. They show up at the I can do. I think that the responsibilities are emergency room, and then the hospitals have so great it requires much more concentra- to pass those costs on to the people who do tion. And you just have to kind of filter out have insurance, which really runs the cost up a whole lot of things that once might have of companies that have good health policies. occupied your time and attention. On the other hand, you have to guard The Presidency against becoming more isolated, because it is so easy to get isolated here. I mean, you’ve Mr. Imus. A lot of these mainstream got to—because of the security concerns, the friends of mine who appear frequently on Secret Service is always here and you’re al- this program, like and folks like ways—you travel in an armored limousine that, they think that I hang out with you, you and you travel on Air Force One and you’re know, and like set policy. [Laughter] always—it’s just easy to get isolated from the The President. Don’t disabuse them, you people. So what I have to do is to try to make know. Is Russert—is that mainstream? I sure that I’m growing in the job all the time don’t know. [Laughter] and continuing to deepen my ability just to Mr. Imus. I try to explain to them, I’ve focus on the big issues that really affect the talked to you five or six times on the phone, lives of the American people without getting and I’m not one of those people who claims isolated from them. to have access that doesn’t exist. How- Mr. Imus. Somebody said the White ever—— House is the crown jewel in our penal sys- The President. I’ve still got my Imus doll tem. [Laughter] in here, though, in the White House. The President. Yes, that was one of my Mr. Imus. Oh, you do? better lines, did you think? The President. You I do. I watch that Mr. Imus. Oh, that was yours. Oh, okay. head bob up and down all the time. [Laugh- The President. Yes. I said I couldn’t fig- ter] ure out whether it was America’s most beau- Mr. Imus. You know, by the way, thanks tiful public housing or the crown jewel of for the pictures you sent me. I was doing the penal system. [Laughter] an interview with the day those arrived. And this woman begged The El Camino me to give her one of them so she could Mr. Imus. Of course, I guess I could ask put it in the paper. And I said I didn’t think you, the bed in that old El Camino wasn’t the President would be interested in doing large enough to play football on, so, Mr. that. President, what was that Astroturf for? But one of the things I tell people is that [Laughter] having talked to you four or five times during The President. You’re old enough to re- the campaign and now twice since you’ve member what it was like with a pickup truck, been President, I said I thought that prob- nothing but metal in the back, right? ably I had changed more in my approach in Mr. Imus. Absolutely. that, you know, you are the President, and The President. If you wanted to put— I’m not going to ask you goofy questions. And that’s the only car I had then. I carried my

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luggage back there. It wasn’t for what every- The President. ——business, where he body thought it was for when I made the pointed out in the part of Japan where we comment, I’ll tell you that. I’m guilty of a have equal access, Motorola has 50 percent lot of things, but I didn’t ever do that. of the market. And in the Tokyo and Nagoya [Laughter] But I don’t think I should dis- area, same products, where there’s not equal claim it really; just leave it out there. access to take advantage of the whole system, Mr. Imus. I mean, it’s like saying you the Japanese have 780,000 or something didn’t inhale, Mr. President. I mean, come units, and Motorola has 12,000, less than 2 on here. [Laughter] Anyway, by the way, con- percent of the market. gratulations on that Saudi—— So we’ve now concluded that case. We’ve The President. No, it’s just that I didn’t established the facts, and we have to develop inhale in the back of the pickup. [Laughter] a response. But what you want to do is to do something that will succeed in opening Saudi Arabian Aircraft Contract their market without denying American con- Mr. Imus. Congratulations on the Saudi sumers access to products they want to buy aircraft deal. Mickey Kantor’s doing a terrific or without hurting American investments in job, isn’t he? Japan. We have increased exports to Japan The President. He is doing a great job. dramatically, but exports from Japan to I mean, he’s really been very, very good. You America have increased dramatically. And know, he’s hammered out these major trade their markets are still the most closed of any agreements, the NAFTA agreement and the advanced country in the world. GATT world trade round. And he’s worked So in the past, America for 10 years tried so hard to expand our trade operations. On 30 different trade agreements, the main this Saudi deal, we had three Cabinet mem- focus of which was to change the processes bers actually go to Saudi Arabia working on by which they dealt with, instead of to, you it: the Commerce Secretary, Ron Brown, know, achieve specific concrete results. And whose major job it is to sell American prod- nothing ever happened. I mean, the trade ucts abroad, once Mickey Kantor gets us a deficit just got bigger and bigger. So we’re fair framework; the Transportation Secretary, going to try to pursue a much more aggres- because it was airlines, Federico Pen˜ a; and sive policy now which will actually open mar- the Secretary of State because it affected our kets. foreign policy. They all went through Saudi And I might say there’s a lot of people Arabia and made an effort to help sell it. And in Japan who agree with us. This is a problem you know, this is going to have a positive im- for them, too, because as rich as that country pact on about 60,000 jobs, which is an amaz- is, the average Japanese pays almost 40 per- ing thing. cent more for consumer products than the average American because their market’s so Japan-U.S. Trade closed. Mr. Imus. And this may be a simple-mind- So it isn’t good for them either. They sim- ed trade question, Mr. President, but people ply cannot continue to pursue the policy that like me wonder about this. How come we they pursued when they were a poor country can’t say to the Japanese, ‘‘Look, you guys growing rich. They’re now a rich country, and can’t send your junk over here until you let they can’t export to the rest of the world and us send our stuff over there, and that policy keep their own markets closed. And I think starts tomorrow.’’? they know that. And we’re going to work hard The President. Well, you can do some of and try some different things to push that that. That’s what we’re trying to do with this market open. But there are a lot of people telephone issue. I guess you saw the facts— in Japan who agree with us. when you mentioned Mickey, you must have Mr. Imus. Of course, he was really aggres- seen him doing his interview on the cellular sive, obviously, as you know, I mean, suggest- telephone—— ing that they’d lied and broken that ’88 agree- Mr. Imus. Yes, I did. ment. I mean, he was pretty brutal there——

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The President. Well, they didn’t do what best friend, Mark Gearan. I’ll send it to him. they said they’d do in ’88. And last summer He can give it to you. they said that we would have a trade agree- The President. Are you hard up for a best ment which would deal with autos and elec- friend? [Laughter] If you looked at Mark tronics and a lot of other issues—tele- Gearan, if you can just look at him, he communications—that would measure the never—I don’t believe he ever saw a country results of our progress in qualitative and and western singer, much less heard one. quantitative terms, which is a jargon phrase Mr. Imus. Well, maybe I’ll send it to Paul which means we’ll see whether we’re reduc- Begala then. ing the trade deficit or not. And they didn’t The President. He’s got a 1950’s haircut. want to do that here. [Laughter] So there’s a big fight going on in Japan now. The permanent government agencies Whitewater Development Corp. there that have dominated policy for years Mr. Imus. I do have a math question, and years, for decades, the trade and finance though. It’s sort of like one of those, if Bill agencies, think the system they’ve had has leaves L.A. traveling 55 miles an hour, and worked. It’s given them low unemployment Bob leaves New York traveling 60 miles an and high savings rates, big exports and no hour, when will they each reach Sioux City, imports, and they want to keep it. There are Iowa? So here’s the question, Mr. President: a lot of other people that want Japan to be- You’re the Governor of Arkansas making come a fully modern state with fair and open $35,000 a year, and Mrs. Clinton’s over at trade. And I think in a way we’re helping the law firm making around $55,000. And the cause of the reformers by being tougher out of what looks like a gross to me of around than America has been in the past on this $90,000, how did you guys manage to lose issue in trying to get these markets open for $69,000 in that goofy Whitewater land deal? our people. [Laughter] The President. Oh, because we lost it over Delbert McClinton a long period of time. Mr. Imus. Oh, okay. Mr. Imus. When the word got out around, The President. Most of it, the loss, was particularly here in New York, yesterday that when we paid the bank loans back with inter- you were going to be on, all my friends at est, and we never got any money on the inter- the networks called me and they said, ask est. So it happened over a long period of him this and ask him that. And I’d tell them, time. I say, you ask him, because I’m not presump- Mr. Imus. Is that something that you think tuous enough to think I’m Ted Koppel or is going to—everybody I have on I ask this, Tim Russert. I mean, our agenda here is to and I’ve wanted to ask you. In your mind, make you laugh, which we’ve done. is that something—I mean, are you guys sit- The President. But are they presump- ting around there thinking this is going to tuous enough to think they’re you, that’s—— turn into Watergate? Mr. Imus. No, they’re not. [Laughter] Let The President. No. me try to get some information, and the next Mr. Imus. No. time you have a gig at the White House we The President. No, it’s an investment I want to get you to book Delbert McClinton, made 15 years ago that lost money instead because he’s great. [Laughter] Do you know of made money, because the property market who Delbert is? turned around at home. It’s a simple, The President. Who is Delbert? straightforward thing, and it’ll be shown to Mr. Imus. Oh, he’s great. Man, you’d love be. I mean, I’m absolutely comfortable with him. If you love Elvis, you’ll love Delbert that. I mean, I’m amazed by all the twists McClinton. Sings that Texas blues. and turns of interpretation that’s been given. The President. I like that Texas blues. But that’s about what happened. Mr. Imus. Oh, you’d love him. I’m going Mr. Imus. Because I’ve had a bad run of to send you a CD. I’ll send it to my new luck here, Mr. President: I endorsed David

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Dinkins; I endorsed Jim Florio; I was sup- Mr. Charles McCord. Exactly, 10 miles porting Barry Diller in his takeover for Para- from Zinc, yes, sir. mount, so I don’t need anything to happen The President. You’ve been there? to you now. [Laughter] Mr. McCord. I built a vacation home The President. Well, there are a lot of there, Mr. President. folks that come after us on a regular basis. The President. Oh, there you are. It’s I wish they’d fight with us on the issues in- beautiful, isn’t it? stead of what they do, but that’s part of it. Mr. McCord. It is one of the most gor- Apparently that’s part of being President in geous parts of this country, period, and abso- the latter half of the 20th century in a highly lutely, northeastern Arkansas, the Buffalo competitive environment. All I know is I get River country, all of that, absolutely. up every day, show up for work, work as hard Bosnia as I can, try to help people improve their lives, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing. Mr. Imus. Mr. President, the United And the ones that want to keep attacking me, States—I just wanted to ask you briefly about I’m going to let them do it and just do the Bosnia—the United States has always, in my very best I can with it. And I’ll try to make mind, at least, set the agenda for NATO. But your gamble good. I don’t want you to be in the case of Bosnia, it seems that we are disappointed, but—[laughter]—keep in acquiescing to them. As the lone superpower mind, sometimes if you make choices, some- in the world, aren’t they really bottom line times you’re going to lose. All your politicians looking to us to do what we’ve always done? can’t win. It’s like going to the horse races. The President. Well, that’s what we were Mr. Imus. Of course, you notice how I’ve able to do in getting the resolution through turned this into how it’s going to affect me last summer, authorizing the use of airpower as opposed to your Presidency and the future if Sarajevo was strangled. And then we and of this country and the free world. [Laughter] the French and then eventually the Germans and the British and all the others, agreed The President. That’s probably, you after this last terrible incident in the market know—— in Sarajevo to strengthen that resolution and Mr. Imus. Let me say this: I don’t mean say that there ought to be basically an artil- to be disrespectful, but that vacation, that lery-free zone around Sarajevo, which is what model home, that looked like someplace we’re in the business of implementing now. where Tonya Harding’s bodyguards were The difference is this—I know it’s confus- holed up—[laughter]—no wonder you guys ing—but basically the United Nations is on couldn’t sell them. [Laughter] the ground in Bosnia. And the United Na- The President. Well, you know, it was a tions includes troops on the ground, includes little place where a lot of working people troops from NATO countries. There are Brit- without much money were looking for a ish troops on the ground; there are French place to retire and own some property in a troops on the ground; there are Canadian beautiful place. And by the way, north Arkan- troops on the ground; there are Spanish sas is full of folks like that. They’re good peo- troops on the ground; there are about to be ple, even if they’re not rich. I know that now some Dutch troops on the ground. A lot of that you’ve hit the big time, it’s not worthy these countries did not want NATO to use of you, but if you—[laughter]—maybe if you airpower to protect Sarajevo or do anything could guarantee me a profit I could go build else because they were afraid that their a house on a piece of land down there, and troops on the ground would be attacked and I could let you retire in Arkansas. killed, and we didn’t have any troops on the Mr. Imus. Actually, the guy I’ve worked ground. And when I said I thought that the with for 22 years, Charles McCord has a arms embargo ought to be lifted, a lot of house right on the shore there of Bull Shoals those countries said, ‘‘Well, you may be right, Lake, right there in Lead Hill, Arkansas. but we’re afraid for our troops on the ground The President. In Lead Hill, which is near who are there fulfilling the U.N. mission try- Zinc. ing to keep people alive and deliver food and

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medicine, and keep the roads open.’’ So to and I stopped at this little deli with this guy be fair to them, they were in a different posi- who had been a butcher’s assistant when he tion. was 13 years old and had finally saved enough Now I think that the United States has fi- money to open his own deli 3 years ago. And nally succeeded in—and I told the allies at he built it with his hands, and he made this the NATO meeting in January we could not Clinton burger, And I thought, well, I’m have an empty threat. So the Serbs now, I going to eat it. He did it. And then I went think, must know that if they don’t comply, to this restaurant in downtown Columbus NATO will take action. And the United and talked to those folks about health care. States has been pushing this for a long time. And I asked them what they thought I ought And I think we finally succeeded in bringing to have, and they said I ought to try the our allies around. I think a lot of them finally corned beef on pumpernickel. So that’s what figured out that their troops on the ground I did. They said that’s what was good, so I were at greater risk by doing nothing than tried it. Every now and then I lose my dis- they were by taking action. But to be fair cipline. But I lost 15 pounds last year, and to the NATO allies, the United States has I’m going to try to lose 10 or 15 more this not put ground troops in Bosnia. I did not year. I like it better. I don’t like to diet, but think we should. But because they had them I like the way I feel when I’m a little bit there fulfilling the U.N. mandate, they were lighter. reluctant to have NATO bomb, because they Mr. Imus. Mr. President, you were ter- were afraid of retaliation against their sol- rific. It’s always great to have you on. Thank diers. you very much. Now I think, we’ve sent a clear message The President. Well, thank you. Don’t to the Serbs. And I think everybody will hold lose your sense of humor now just because tight. And we’ve got a chance. We’ve got a I’m President. chance to really not only protect Sarajevo but Mr. Imus. No, I won’t. to get a peace agreement that is decent and The President. Just give my adversaries fair. And that’s what we’re going to be work- equal time, that’s all I ask. [Laughter] ing for. Mr. Imus. Thanks. The President. Have a good day. The President’s Health Mr. Imus. All right, the President, Bill Mr. Imus. A final question, Mr. President, Clinton, here on the ‘‘Imus in the Morning’’ your cholesterol is around 204, right? program. The President. No, no, it’s down now, I The President. See you in Lead Hill. think. Mr. Imus. Oh, it is? NOTE: The telephone interview began at 8:03 a.m. The President spoke from the Oval Office at the The President. Well, I don’t know, I think White House. it’s—what was it? Is that what it was? Mr. Imus. Yes. The President. Yes, I lost 15 pounds, but Remarks at a Brunch With Senior my cholesterol is still too high. Citizens and an Exchange With Mr. Imus. Yes, but the other day I read Reporters about the Clinton burger and that pastrami February 17, 1994 sandwich and that apple fritter the size of a baby’s head. [Laughter] The President. I want to welcome all of The President. Hey, hey, the apple frit- you here today. You represent 60 million ter—I had one bite of apple fritter. Americans, and we need your help to pass Mr. Imus. Oh, okay. [Laughter] health care reform. The President. That’s right, I did get off One of my key tests for health care reform my diet that day. But I was transported. I is: Is it fair, and does it protect older Ameri- mean, I was out there in a place I felt at cans? Our proposal does. It preserves and home in. I was in a little town in Ohio, you strengthens Medicare. It gives new prescrip- know, and I spoke to all those police officers, tion drug coverage and long-term care cov-

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