Soon Free of Bush Veto Pen, Democrats Push Children’s Health

by Lesley Politi on January 12, 2009

The Democrats aren’t wasting time in their push to expand government health insurance for children.

Rep. Henry Waxman, who recently won the chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, says he expects the House to vote Tuesday or Wednesday of next week on a bill to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Associated Press reports.

The Dems were unable to overcome President Bush’s opposition when they tried to expand the program. He twice vetoed legislation that would have expanded the program by $35 billion over five years.

It isn’t clear yet exactly what the new bill will look, but Waxman told the AP he doesn’t expect it to stretch for a full five years. He didn’t how much the tobacco tax would be increased to help pay for the expansion. Prior bills raised the tobacco tax by 61 cents, to $1 a pack.

“We’ll be done soon,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the AP.


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