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Clinton Woos the Elderly To Support Health Plan

PRESIDENT Clinton said Wednesday parts of his health-care plan most dear to the elderly are threatened by his political foes.

``You get more choice under our plan than under the system [opponents are] taking us toward,'' Mr. Clinton said in speeches to 2,000 elderly people at a college gym in Edison, N.J.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton added: ``There ... is no doubt that we have the stupidest financial system for health care in the whole wide world.''

The speeches allowed the Clintons to shore up support of senior citizens' lobbies, promoting their promise of $26 billion a year in new drug and long-term-care benefits, and more choice of doctors and hospitals. Fending off criticism in Congress and from the health-insurance industry, Clinton pleaded to the co-hosts, the American Association of Retired Persons.

Generally supportive of his effort, new polls show senior citizens wavering. An AARP survey showed about 54 percent of people over 65 worried the plan would mean more government bureaucracy; 50 percent thought it may mean higher costs; and 52 percent were concerned health-care quality would drop. Aspin: Pentagon cool toward president

CLINTON has not won the confidence of the US military, former Defense Secretary Les Aspin was quoted as saying in the new issue of Jane's Defense Weekly.

The British magazine said Mr. Aspin, during an interview before he left office this month, reflected on a statement made last year that the military was a ``winnable constituency'' for Clinton. Asked if the president had won the military's confidence, Aspin was quoted as replying: ``No.'' However, he added, ``I think Bill Clinton is doing better. I think the military is coming around.''

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