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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

House OKs children's health-insurance expansion

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. House of Representative on Tuesday approved a plan to more than double funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program to $35 billion, despite repeated veto threats from the president.

The 265-159 vote missed the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. The Senate is expected to approval the legislation later this week. But President Bush appears to be firmly opposed to the expansion, and a temporary extension of the current program is likely, analysts say.

Enacted in 1997, SCHIP provides coverage for uninsured children living in families with incomes too high to make them eligible for Medicaid.

The proposed SCHIP legislation would expand the insurance programs for kids by $35 billion over five years from its current baseline of $25 billion. The president has called for Congress to temporarily extend the current program, which is set to expire at the end of the month.

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