SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again..

November 6, 2008 - In these difficult economic times it's time to pass the legislation for expansion of the highly successful SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) program to provide health care to low-income children. The $35 billion expansion would enable the joint federal/state program to add 3 million children to its rolls, which currently includes about 6 million children whose families couldn't otherwise afford it. Bethany Wilkerson - SCHIP member..

Congressional Democrats scrapped plans for a third vote on expansion of SCHIP. President Bush vetoed two earlier versions of the legislation, which he denounced as a dangerous step toward “government-run health care for every American,” and the House sustained those vetoes.

With the Obama administration taking office in about 70 days it's a perfect time to bring back this legislation.

The funding of the $35 billion expansion would come from a 61 cents increase in the federal excise tax on cigarettes, which is now at 39 cents a pack. The new rates on Other Tobacco Products would be: Large Cigars: from 20.719% of wholesale price to 42.820% of wholesale price; Small Cigars: from 3.65 cents per 20 to 9.34 cents per 20; Moist Snuff: from 4.8 cents per 1.2 ounce to 12.3 cents per 1.2 ounce; Chewing Tobacco: from 1.3 cents per ounce to 3.3 cents per ounce; Pipe and RYO: from 1.0969 per lb. to 2.8081 per lb. (Cigar Association - Virginia Archive, July 13, 2007.)

With the defeat of the legislation tobacco companies won the SCHIP fight. “At this moment, it appears that we have dodged a bullet,” said Andy Zausner, a lobbyist for Lorillard Tobacco Co.

"Studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by seven percent and overall cigarette consumption by four percent," the groups wrote. "By discouraging smoking through an increase in the tobacco tax and using the resulting revenues to improve enrollment in children's health insurance programs, we are creating a win-win proposition in support of our children's health." (Letter to Senators Max Baucus and Charles Grassley May 22, 2007)

Archive of Supporting Documentation:
Congressional Democrats have scrapped plans for another vote on expansion of the SCHIP..
AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP..
U.S. Federal tax increase on tobacco - try it again..
U.S. House fails to override SCHIP expansion veto..
Congress Sends An Extension of the SCHIP to President Bush..
Bush vetoes 2nd bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)...
Revised State Children's Health Insurance (S-CHIP) Bill..
Bush's SCHIP veto stands..
US edges closer to federal tax hike on tobacco products...
Lawmakers in Washington are working to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) before it expires on September 30, 2007...

This just in: The twice-vetoed State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) bill, funded by an increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco, will likely be among the first three pieces of legislation a President Obama signs into law, John Eichberger, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) predicted. (Blue Crush With Democratic White House and Congress, retailers anticipate taxing times by Samantha Oller, CSP Daily News, 11/6/2008)