DETAILS -- Hungry for details about President Clinton's health care plan, House lawmakers grilled administration officials yesterday on the proposal's financing but came up mostly empty-handed.

White House officials testifying during a House Ways and Means health subcommittee hearing were unable to give definitive answers to such questions as how high the expected tax hike on cigarettes would be, whether a tax hike on alcoholic beverages is off the table, and how much money the nation would save once many Americans begin paying part of their insurance premiums themselves.

WOMEN -- Women's health groups asked Congress yesterday to increase coverage of Pap smears and mammograms in President Clinton's health care plan as the White House struggled to settle final details of its proposal.

Lawmakers, doctors and women's organizations told a House Government Operations subcommittee hearing that the basic benefits package included in Clinton's draft plan did not cover the necessary number of preventive tests.

Clinton's plan would cover routine mammograms every two years after age 50. Administration officials have said that women who need the tests before that time will be able to obtain them, with a possible insurance copayment. The plan covers Pap smears and pelvic exams, used to detect cervical cancer, every three years after three negative exams until age 50, when they are allowed every two years.

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