Health care advocates in Massachusetts are ready to celebrate the first health care victory for President Obama. Reauthorization of a children's health insurance program known as SCHIP has cleared the House and the Senate Finance committee on Capitol Hill. Senate Republicans do not appear to have the votes for a filibuster. Health Care for All's Matt Noyce says the bill is key part of Massachusetts' effort to cover the uninsured.
"Massachusetts ranks first in the country on coverage for children. Only 1.2% of kids remain uninsured. So this will really work to strengthen that effort and make sure we can continue the gains we've had so far."
The bill adds federal reimbursement for children of recently legal immigrants, a change that would save the state $16 million. It would increase the cigarette tax by 61 cents to pay for expanded coverage.
This program aired on January 21, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.