SCHIP Expansion approved by U.S. House of Representatives..

January 14, 2009 - The U.S. House of Representatives voted to more than double funding for a government health program for low-income children, taking the first step in President-elect Barack Obama’s promise to ensure medical coverage for all kids. The vote was 289-139 to add $32.3 billion over 4½ years to the program. Congress in 2007 twice passed similar legislation that President George W. Bush vetoed, saying it would encourage families that can afford private coverage to drop it. If approved by the Senate, it may become one of the first measures signed by Obama after he takes office Jan. 20.

“Ensuring that every child in America has access to affordable health care is not just good economic policy, but a moral obligation,” Obama said in a statement. “It is a universal value to protect our children from sickness and harm,” said Andrea Weinstein, chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever that we redouble efforts to care for our nation’s most precious resources: its children."(Jewish groups urge Senate to pass SCHIP by Eric Fingerhut, JTA, 1/15/2009)

The additional money would bring the U.S. government’s share of spending for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), to about $11 billion a year. Democrats in Congress have said they want to act quickly to expand coverage because the recession has made it harder for families to maintain health insurance. The measure would allow an additional 4 million children to enroll. The House version is similar to a measure the Senate Finance Committee will consider tomorrow, Thursday, January 15, 2009.

Tax increase on tobacco products.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: U.S. Congress gets ready to pass expansion of SCHIP..;
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Revised State Children's Health Insurance (S-CHIP) Bill..
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Lawmakers in Washington are working to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) before it expires on September 30, 2007...

Reference: Children’s Health Plan Clears House in Boost to Obama (Update2) by Aliza Marcus and Christopher Stern,, 1/14/2009.