The House plans to complete work on H.R. 2, the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, Tuesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talked about the scheduling Thursday after members of the Senate voted 66-32 to approve the bill.
The Senate passed a slightly smaller version of the SCHIP reauthorization bill that the House approved Jan. 14.
Authorization for the current program is set to run out March 31.
The Senate version of H.R. 2 authorizes expenditure of $31.5 billion over 4.5 years, and it would try to expand SCHIP enrollment to 11 million, from 7.4 million.
The bill would fund most of the cost of SCHIP expansion by raising the federal tobacco tax by 61 cents, to $1. Other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco and pipe tobacco, also would be hit with higher taxes, and the increases would be steeper for roll-your-own tobacco and some cigars.
The House version of H.R. 2 passed in January would have sought to add 400,000 more children to the program and also would have provided additional benefits, such as dental care benefits and additional mental health care benefits, according to analysts at Washington Analysis, Washington. The House bill would have authorized $400 million in additional spending.
The extra cost would have been paid for by imposing restrictions on physician-owned specialty hospitals.