Senate Set To Approve Bipartisian Tax Increaseby Kevin Boyd
The Senate is set to approve a cigarette tax increase to increase funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Senators are likely to propose raising the federal cigarette tax to fund an expansion in childrenâ€™s health insurance coverage.
White no final decisions have been made, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, said he expected to have a â€œbipartisan billâ€ and hinted broadly of support for raising cigarette tax to help meet costs. â€œI think you have to concludeâ€¦that there is a lot of interest in increasing the cigarette tax at some level. At what level, I donâ€™t know.â€
Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) said a bipartisan meeting of senators today showed â€œsurprising agreementâ€ on how to re-authorize and expand the State Childrenâ€™s Health Insurance Program. The committee might consider the legislation as soon as next week.
It is unclear how much the expansion would cost, though Baucus has proposed spending $50 billion over five years. Senators at todayâ€™s meeting indicated a preference for focusing on uninsured children, though they may allow adults already covered by some states to continue getting coverage. The size of the package â€œwill be determined by policy,â€ Baucus said. â€œWeâ€™re letting the numbers be driven by the policy.â€
So we have Republicans and Democrats agreeing to pass tax increases in order to fund social welfare programs. What are the differences between the parties again???