The House approved increases yesterday mainly along party lines. George Bush says he'll veto it. There's not enough Republicans signed on to overrule the veto so it won't happen.
According to the Seattle Times:
SCHIP is a state-federal program that provides coverage for 6.6 million children from families that live above the poverty level but have trouble affording private health insurance.
At issue is more funding for the federal-state partnership and state flexibility to help uninsured children in some middle-class families. The bill would boost federal tobacco taxes to pay for the program, raising the levy to $1 a pack on cigarettes, an increase of 61 cents.
The proposed expansion, backed by most health-industry organizations and most of the nation's governors, religious leaders and patient-advocacy groups, would add about 4 million children to the rolls.
But expanding government programs to cover more uninsured Americans has proved ideologically intolerable to Bush and to many House Republicans.
A vote on the measure is expected Thursday in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority is likely. The bill will then go to Bush. In the interim, Democrats will temporarily fund the program, possibly through mid-November, until a long-term funding agreement can be reached, one senior Democratic aide said.
. . .
Before the vote Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other bill supporters seemed to accept that they would miss their goal of a two-thirds majority.
Pelosi said supporters will continue to push for the measure, hoping their political pressure will bring more Republican support and force the Bush to sign the legislation in the future.
"We're looking to make a difference. We're not looking for a fight, but we're definitely prepared to fight for America's children," Pelosi said.
Bush wants to expand the program by $1 billion a year, bringing total spending to $30 billion over five years. That's about 36 percent of what the Congressional Budget Office says is needed to preserve current program levels.