The Senate Finance Committee will mark up a State Children’s Health Insurance Plan reauthorization bill next week, according to Sen. Max Baucus.
The SCHIP program’s current authorization is set to expire Sept. 30.
Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and other committee members say they have agreed on a framework for SCHIP expansion that calls for spending $35 billion on the program over the next 5 years.
Committee members want to pay for SCHIP expansion by increasing the 39-cent federal cigarette tax to $1 per pack.
Earlier this year, Democratic congressional leaders won passage of a budget resolution recommending a $50 billion increase in SCHIP funding.
Members of the House hope to vote on their own SCHIP bill later this month.
Some Democrats in the House want to come up with more funding for SCHIP by cutting funding for the Medicare Advantage program, a program that encourages private insurers to offer private, subsidized health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, and fee-for-service plans to Medicare beneficiaries.