The Senate Finance Committee has put off consideration of a children’s health insurance program reauthorization bill.
The committee has postponed a “markup,” or intense review, of a “chairman’s mark” of S. 1224, a bill that would create the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007.
Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, introduced the original version of S. 1224 in April.
The Senate Finance Committee had scheduled a markup of the chairman’s mark of S. 1224 for 7 p.m. today.
The committee first postponed the markup to 1:30 p.m. today, and then to 9 a.m. Thursday.
The chairman’s mark of S. 1224, released July 13th, would forbid states from starting new efforts to open their CHIP plans to childless adults. But the chairman’s mark, prepared by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., would use an increase in taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products to increase program funding by an average of $7 billion per year for 5 years.
The program now gets about $5 billion in funding per year, and the Bush administration has proposed increasing CHIP funding by about $1 billion per year.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt today wrote to Senate Finance Committee leaders to confirm recent rumors that President Bush would veto the CHIP extension bill as now written.