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- January 19 - With President Clinton's State of the Union address focusing
attention on such issues as Social Security, education and health care, the following policy analysts are available for interviews:
** SOCIAL SECURITY **
MARK WEISBROT, firstname.lastname@example.org
Economist and research director at the Preamble Center, Weisbrot said: "Social Security never did need saving; proposals
to `reform' the system are driven by politics and Wall Street's enormous interest in privatization, and not by any problem with
the program's finances. The reason that this charade has lasted so long is that so many of the major players have an interest in
pretending that there is a problem to fix. Many Republicans would like to achieve the privatization that they could only dream
about during the Reagan era, but dared not pursue. And there are plenty of Democrats who like to keep the issue on the table
because, as they learned in November, it helps them win elections."
** EDUCATION **
GWENDOLYN MINK, email@example.com
Professor of politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Mink said: "We have to make sure we don't have a
pull-the-plug approach on education, like what happened to welfare. That would mean the ones that will suffer the most are
the ones that are already poorly funded. Currently, only 7 percent of all money spent on elementary and secondary
education comes from the federal government. Whatever problems we have with our public schools have everything to do with our
failure to fund them adequately and to make sure that every child gets an equal education. The president's attitude is that the
problem is misspent resources, while the real problem is that resources are insufficient to the task, particularly given the
property tax basis of most school systems."
** HEALTH CARE **
STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER, http://www.pnhp.org
Woolhandler, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health
Program, said: "We have a major crisis in paying for long-term care and for regular acute care. But all President Clinton has in
mind is giving a small tax credit. This $1,000 tax credit is a drop in the bucket.... Sixteen percent of Americans are medically
uninsured, HMOs are bribing and threatening doctors to get us to deny care to our patients, $100 billion is wasted each year on
excess health care paperwork. Double-digit cost increases are again expected. We need non-profit national health insurance that
covers all medical care -- acute and long-term."