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Thursday, October 25, 2007
House passes expanded kids' insurance bill
By Ruth Mantell, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. House passed an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program Thursday evening, despite a new veto threat and continued opposition from many Republican representatives.
House lawmakers voted 265-142 to approve the new plan, known as SCHIP. If President Bush carries through with his threatened veto, and precedent indicates that he would, then the tally would fall short of the two-thirds majority needed to override.
Bush criticized the new SCHIP plan, saying that it doesn't meaningfully address prior objections. The revision still calls for an increase in tobacco-product taxes to fund a $35 billion expansion over SCHIP's current $25 billion five-year funding baseline. A current extension of SCHIP expires in mid-November.
"Of course [the president] would veto it," said Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman. "In some ways, this bill is worse than the previous bill. It raises taxes on working Americans to move people from private insurance to public assistance. No tax increase of any kind is needed to fund this program."
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