The Senate Finance Committee last week approved a five-year plan to increase funding for the program through a 61-cents-per-pack increase in the federal cigarette tax. This would maintain coverage for 6.6 million recipients while adding 3.2 million uninsured kids to the system.Oh, snap! Actually, though, according to the latest analysis from CBPP, the House's version of the SCHIP bill would, by 2012, cover an additional 5.1 million kids who would otherwise be uninsured. Even better. But here's the catch: It would all have to be paid for by cutting welfare for insurance companies and a tax hike on cigarettes. We can't have that, now can we? After all, insurance companies and tobacco firms are major GOP donors here...
Bush told an audience in Nashville last week that the Senate bill is "the beginning salvo of the encroachment of the federal government on the health care system." He said he'd veto any such legislation making its way to his desk.
That's a fine how-do-you-do for a guy who had five growths removed from his colon on Saturday largely at the government's expense and had them promptly examined by government experts at the government-run National Naval Medical Center.
Happily, the tests showed no sign of cancer. So Bush can rest easy for another few years, thanks to all that government health care.