[…] The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is an incredibly successful federal-state partnership that currently provides health insurance to approximately 6 million children whose parents make too much to qualify for health coverage under Medicaid, yet don’t have private insurance.
Both the House and Senate have recently passed — by large, but not veto-proof, majorities — a long-overdue expansion of SCHIP that will provide coverage for another (approximately) 5.8 million kids. The total cost of the program would be $35 billion over five years and would be paid for by a 61-cent-per pack increase in the federal cigarette tax. […]
I know some of you smoke, and are going to object to the tax. My response? Quit smoking. It’s very bad for you anyway.