LITTLE ROCK, AR - U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln says taxing tobacco more to pay for more children's health care seems reasonable, especially in light of taxpayer money being spent on the war. Lincoln said yesterday she was "tremendously dismayed" by President Bush's opposition to the expansion of a children's health insurance program using higher tobacco taxes.
The senior Arkansas senator said the nation is spending $10 billion a month in Iraq, and wondered why we couldn't invest $60 billion spread out over a five-year period to cover 8 million children?
Amid threats of a presidential veto, the Senate Finance Committee has voted 14-7 to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The program subsidizes insurance for children and some adults with incomes too high for Medicaid but not high enough to afford private insurance.
The tax on a pack of cigarettes would increase by 61 cents to help pay for the expansion.