BIG HEALTH VOTE IN THE SENATE YESTERDAY (OH YEAH, THEY VOTED TO INSURE MILLIONS OF KIDS, TOO)

By Harold Pollack

What a different elections make. Less than two weeks into things, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats can just about chalk another victory on the board. In case you aren’t up on current events, the Senate passed SCHIP yesterday.

The bill would cover an additional four million children. Since the House passed a nearly identical bill, this one seems bankable. The bill is quite close to those vetoed by President Bush, with one key difference: States would now be able to use federal money to cover legal immigrants without the five-year waiting period that now applies to most immigrant children and pregnant women. During the campaign, I remember debates among health reform advocates about what the fallback position should be if one could not achieve a larger victory. “Cover the kids,” was the most common suggestion. They will need to move these goalposts.

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