Feb 28,2007 00:00
Raise the Federal Tobacco Tax to Cover More Kids, Smith Says
Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) announced today that he will support a raise in the federal tobacco tax to fund health care coverage for more children and pregnant women under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). SCHIP must be reauthorized by the end of 2007. Senator Smith has said he would use the increased revenue to expand the program to cover all children and pregnant women up to 300 percent of the poverty line ($41,070 for a family of two).
“This year, funding expires and we have a challenge on our hands to come up with the needed funds to continue the program in it’s current form and expand coverage so more children receive help. An increase in the tobacco tax brings us closer to achieving this goal. When it comes to the health of our children, we cannot be penny-wise, pound foolish. The health of our children is worth our investment.”
Senator Smith’s priorities for the SCHIP reauthorization are as follows: