The House has opened debate on a bill to increase spending on children's health insurance as Democrats try to give President-elect Barack Obama an early win on health care.
The bill includes an additional $33 billion for the State Children's Health Insurance Program over the next 4 1/2 years. The federal excise tax on a pack of cigarettes will increase 61 cents to pay for the program's expansion.
Democratic lawmakers say that with the struggling economy, it's more important than ever to cover children's health care.
Legislation to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program was vetoed twice by President George W. Bush in 2007. This time, supporters are confident that a deal can be struck and the bill passed shortly after Obama's inauguration.
The measure includes a provision that would expand coverage to children of legal immigrants as well as pregnant immigrants.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reiterated Tuesday that she won’t intervene in the “incredibly agonizing” case involving a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who is waiting for a lung transplant, telling members of Congress that medical experts should make those decisions.
One of the first provisions of the 2010 health reform law has had its intended effect: shifting costs from hospitals, taxpayers and families to health insurance companies, researchers reported on Thursday. It’s one of the most popular aspects of the law.
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