WASHINGTON (AP) - About 4 million more children would get
government provided health care under a bill the House has passed.
Democrats are calling the bill a down payment on President-elect
Barack Obama's goal that every child get medical care, as well as
all adults who want it. Departing President George W. Bush vetoed
similar legislation twice in 2007.
About 7 million children from working families with too much
income to qualify for Medicaid now get government-provided health
care. To pay the $32 billion cost of insuring 4 million more
children, the bill increases cigarette taxes by 61 cents - to a
dollar a pack. The Senate plans to begin working on a similar bill
Thursday. Some Republicans complain the House bill covers up to
600,000 non-citizen children of legal immigrants.