U.S. Senate passes SCHIP..

January 29, 2009 - The U.S. Senate has passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (S. 275) by a vote of 66 to 32. The legislation will now go to a conference with House and Senate negotiators to work out the differences in their two bills.

The bill would expand the existing coverage of roughly 6.7 million children under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)program to include an additional 3.9 million. It would provide around $31.5 billion in funding for the program and reauthorize it through September of 2013.

The goal of the SCHIP program is to provide health insurance to low-income children whose families do not make enough money for private coverage but make too much for Medicaid.

This legislation is paid for mainly by a sixty-one cent increase in the federal tax on cigarettes as well as other tax increases on tobacco products.

Tax increase on tobacco products.

Reference: Senators Pass SCHIP Reauthorization Bill, Senatus, 1/29/2009.

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