Democrats want spending increase for children's health insurance (SCHIP)..

July 9, 2007 - WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's 45 million smokers will probably help pay for the spending increase that Democrats want for children's health insurance, say analysts familiar with deliberations on Capitol Hill. Democratic lawmakers will push for $50 billion in new funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program over the next five years. To pay for that increase, they must find new sources of revenue or cut existing programs. (USA Today) An extra 61 U.S. cents per pack is what American smokers would pay to finance expanded health insurance to about 2 million children under a tentative agreement worked out Tuesday between Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee. The tobacco tax increase would boost the tax per pack from 39 cents to 1 U.S. dollar, an increase of 156%. (July 17th - also the federal tax on a cigar could rise from 5 cents to $10 per cigar.) It would raise about 35 billion dollars during five years to pay for the largest expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) since its creation a decade ago. "It really does come down to a choice between children and tobacco," said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who originally proposed the 61-cent increase. "This is a 'two-fer.' It does decrease smoking, and it does connect public health care costs with one of the drivers of that cost, and that's tobacco." ( July 7, 2007)
Let's Increase the TAX on all tobacco products.. - from The New York Times article by Robt. Pear - July 14, 2007 - The plan calls for proportional increases for other tobacco products. Renewal of the children’s insurance program, which is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2007 is the most important health care issue facing Congress this year, lawmakers of both parties say. Get It Done..