U.S. Congress gets ready to pass expansion of SCHIP..

January 14, 2009 - Moving quickly to try to give President-elect Barack Obama an early victory on an important healthcare issue, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) program and increase taxes on tobacco products to pay for it.

The bill is similar to legislation twice vetoed by President George W. Bush who opposed raising tobacco taxes and argued that the bill, which at the time received broad bipartisan support, would push children into government-run health care instead of private plans.

The latest bill aims to provide healthcare coverage for more than 11 million children and pay for it by raising the cigarette tax to $1 a pack from the current 39 cents. Taxes on cigars and other tobacco products would rise as well. The bill currently covers 6.7 million children in low and moderate income families unable to afford private insurance.

The Senate is also moving fast to act on legislation. The Senate Finance Committee plans to draft its version of the bill on Thursday, January 15, 2009 . That bill also would finance the expanded program through higher tobacco taxes.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: 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...