U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Expand SCHIP..

January 16, 2009 - The U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted (12-7) on January 15, 2009, to expand the States Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional four million uninsured children. The vote comes one day after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported similar legislation.

If the bill becomes law, it will be effective April 1, 2009, and assesses a floor stocks tax on all manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers for the tobacco products (except large cigars) in inventory on April 1, 2009, with the floor stocks payable by August 1, 2009.

The legislation lost support from some Republicans who had worked closely with Democrats on the issue in 2007 (SCHIP was passed and signed into law (original sponsor Senator Ted Kennedy) on August 5, 1997. The program was authorized for 10 years. Congress extended the program temporarily through March 31, 2009) Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the legislation this time failed to include provisions from two years ago designed to keep higher-income families out of the program.

The program is designed to provide health care to children in families unable to afford health insurance but who earn too much to qualify for the Medicaid health care program for the poor.

Tax increase on tobacco products.

More on SCHIP history..

References: Children's health debate moves to Senate by KEVIN FREKING - Associated Press Writer, 1/15/2009; House Passes 2009 SCHIP Bill Senate expected to move quickly; legislation to be paid for with tobacco hike, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 1/15/2009.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: SCHIP Expansion approved by U.S. House of Representatives..; U.S. Congress gets ready to pass expansion of SCHIP..;
SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again..;
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...

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