The U.S. Senate passed a bill Thursday to provide health insurance to more than four million uninsured children, as a newly empowered Democratic majority brushed aside Republican objections.
President George W. Bush twice vetoed similar legislation. But President Obama is eager to sign the bill as a step toward providing insurance for all children and eventually all Americans.
The House passed a nearly identical bill two weeks ago, by a vote of 289 to 139, with 40 Republicans joining nearly all Democrats in support of the measure.
The Congressional Budget Office said the bill would enable states to cover more than four million uninsured children by 2013, while continuing coverage for seven million youngsters. The bill would increase tobacco taxes to offset the increase in spending, estimated at more than $32 billion over four and a half years.
Source: The New York Times, Senate Approves Children's Health Bill