WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is calling the State
Children's Health Insurance Program "only the first step."
He's signed a reauthorization bill that extends health coverage
to 4 million uninsured children. Obama calls the measure a "down
payment" on his commitment to coverage for every single American.
At an East Room signing ceremony, he adds that "health care for
our children" is the obligation of a "decent society."
The bill went to the White House fresh from House passage on a
vote of 290-135.
The measure calls for spending nearly $33 billion more on the
program, which now enrolls an estimated 7 million children.
Lawmakers raised the federal tobacco tax as a way of generating