The Scientific Activist

House Passes CHIP Expansion

Here’s some good news from Congress, where the House of Representatives yesterday passed HR 3162, the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007. This is the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP or SCHIP) that I’ve been blogging about recently. For more information on CHIP check out these previous entries.

CHIP expires this year and Congress has now voted to renew and expand the program. The Senate is expected to vote on (and pass) its version today or tomorrow, although President Bush has absurdly and preemptively promised to veto the expansion. The House version is a little more ambitious than the Senate version (a $47 billion expansion of CHIP to cover 5 million additional children compared to $35 billion for 3.3 million children), although it calls for a smaller increase in the cigarette tax ($0.45 versus $0.61). The Washington Post has an informative article for additional information.

Providing health care coverage to our nation’s children seems like common sense to me, but not everyone in the House seems to think so (the final vote count was 225 in favor, 204 against). Reasonably enough, the Democrats voted in favor 220-10. Shockingly, though, the Republicans voting against it 194-5.

Yeah, take THAT, you… um… kids…?

Hat tip to Kate Navarro-McKay of Partnership for Quality Care.