House begins debate on children's health care bill

By: KEVIN FREKING / Associated Press Writer
By: KEVIN FREKING / Associated Press Writer

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.)

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  • by Kathy Location: springfield on Jan 18, 2009 at 01:23 PM
    The first attack on the poor has begun. This bill was vetoed by Bush because it is selective taxation without representation in government. Smokers can't afford to pay their own health care bills let alone others. If Obama approves this, he is in BIG trouble. He promised to tax the rich and leave the poor alone. We'll see.
  • by carla Location: sacred heart on Jan 16, 2009 at 09:42 AM
    here we go again, i dont have kids i dont want to pay health care for other peoples kids i dont want to be taxed if you cant afford to pay for your own kids health care quit having them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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