Clinton Signs Health Care Reform

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: In the second elaborate White House ceremony in two days, President Clinton signed a bill Wednesday that will make it easier for Americans to obtain health coverage. Although a far cry from his 1992 promise of universal health coverage, TIME's Jef McAllister says: "Clinton has to take considerable pleasure because the bill signings are a successful punctuation mark in casting Gingrich and the Republicans as extremists." Congressional Republicans, says McAllister, faced with increasing pressure from districts dissatisfied with the government gridlock, felt obliged to compromise and pass welfare, health and minimum wage bills. Part of a three- day run of signing ceremonies designed to showcase the President's achievements, Wednesday's event follows the President's approval of the minimum wage bill on Tuesday. He is expected to approve the welfare overhaul bill on Thursday. "By signing the welfare bill, Clinton will take that issue off the table," says McAllister. "That leaves Dole with tax cuts and the character issue. And the Clinton camp believes that voters will see through tax cut promises." By Thursday, the President hopes to have polished his image as someone who get things done -->