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Clinton Advocates Modernizing Medical Records

Posted February 8, 2005 6:50 a.m. EST

— Monday night about 800 people heard former President Bill Clinton discuss his ideas for changing health care.

Clinton gave the keynote speech at N.C. State's Emerging Issues forum.

"This is not a problem any state is rich enough to solve alone," Clinton said at the forum, which is focusing on health care issues. "We have to do this together."

Clinton pointed to health care problems he sees affecting the old.

"Unless we become much more active mentally and physically we're gonna have a long term care problem that would choke a horse," Clinton said.

Clinton pointed to problems he sees affecting the young.

"Childhood obesity (is) at an all time high at a time when we glorify high school athletes and half the schools in America don't have PE," Clinton said.

When it came to answers, the former president said he shares one idea with a former political foe, Newt Gingrich -- modernizing medical records.

"How many times have you been to the ER where you have to give all those facts over again?" Clinton asked. "Go to new doctor have to give all your personal history again? I can't even remember my name much less when I had measles."

The former President used the example of his own recent heart trouble to emphasize the need for more Americans to be insured.

"I knew where I was going, who was gonna take care of me and I knew they would get paid," Clinton said. "Never gave it a second thought. If all people in America knew that we'd be better off."

Clinton said spending more on prevention is the cheapest thing America can do.