SCHIP: Backroom Politicking Behind Tax Increase

Robert Novak has an interesting column in the Washington Post on the backroom politicking behind the SCHIP health-care bill that has passed Congress, but faces a Bush veto. He notes that although the program was originally designed to help poor kids, the bill would expand federal subsidies to give taxpayer-paid coverage to some adults and households earning up to $82,000 a year.

Analysts have said that the $1 a pack cigarette tax mandated by the bill would be insufficient to pay for the costs of the program, resulting in increased federal deficits and violating Congressional budget rules. Bush says it would result in socialized medicine.