The Senate reached a rare bipartisan agreement to beef up insurance coverage for low-income kids, and now House Democrats are proposing a health care plan with an even wider scope. Their plan yokes the children's coverage to big changes in Medicare, and is sure to heat up the confrontation between the White House and Congress over health care, the New York Times reports.
The House plans to finance its call for a $50 billion hike in federal spending on children's health insurance by upping taxes on tobacco products. It's $15 billion more than the Senate increase, and 10 times what President Bush is asking. It would roll back proposed cuts in Medicare payment to docs, and cut instead those to private insurers for Medicare beneficiaries.