WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration is objecting to how a $35 billion increase in children's health insurance would be paid -- with a 61-cent tax hike on each pack of cigarettes.
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says the proposed bill would ironically increase taxes on low-income taxpayers as a way to fund health coverage for low-income individuals. But Montana Senator Max Baucus says he'll stand with America's children instead of standing with big tobacco companies.
Many consider the renewal of the State Children's Health Insurance Program as the most important health legislation Congress will take up this year.
A bipartisan group of senators has signaled its support for a $35 billion increase, which would bring total funding to $60 billion over five years.
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to take up that proposal Wednesday.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.