Friday, August 3, 2007
The New York Times reports that the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would renew and expand the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance coverage to low-income, uninsured children. (Prior posts on this story here.) The vote was 68 to 31, enough to override President Bush's promised veto. (You can see how your Senator voted here).
The Senate bill would increase spending on CHIP by $35 billion over the next five years. The House passed a companion bill on Wednesday; the House version would increase CHIP spending by $50 billion. Both bills use increased tobacco taxes as a source of funding; the Senate's bill would increase the current 39 cents/pack federal excise tax on cigarettes to $1/pack, while the House increase would be to 84 cents a pack.