14 Stories

Kennedy Raising Voice Again on Health Care

(Newser) - Ted Kennedy is back, and ready to make the more liberal argument for health care, Politico reports. The ailing senator had been working on the issue behind the scenes as he battled brain cancer, but yesterday his committee began circulating a 12-page “policy overview” on a potential bill. The... More »

Smokers Gasp at Highest Tax Hike Ever

They're hit twice as companies boost their profits, too

(Newser) - Smokers are feeling pinched by today's 62-cent hike in the federal cigarette tax, the biggest ever. Federal taxes now top $1 per pack, CNN reports. At the same time, manufacturers and retailers have raised prices to boost dwindling profits. "They're picking on smokers," an 83-year-old said of the... More »

It's Been 3 Weeks, Not 4 Years

A rocky stretch this early won't define Obama's presidency

(Newser) - Stop worrying. “Sure, President Obama had a lousy week. A week is not a presidency.” In fact, writes Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post, despite Tom Daschle's withdrawal and the bumpy rollout of the stimulus, Obama is outperforming any reasonable standard. He’s signed major laws on pay... More »

Obama Signs Kids' Health Bill

SCHIP extension, twice vetoed by Bush, brings care to 4M, adds 62¢ to cigarette tax

(Newser) - President Obama today signed into law a measure that will bring health care to an estimated 4 million children, CNN reports. The $35 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, a move twice vetoed by President Bush, will be financed by adding 62¢ per pack to the... More »

Clinton, Obama Both Inflate Senate Records

From laws to peace deals, candidates' roles appear to grow in hindsight

(Newser) - Barack Obama didn’t take part in meetings on immigration legislation in 2006, recalls Arlen Specter, one of the handful of senators who did, but Specter just shrugs when the Illinois Democrat says he did. “It’s not an unusual matter for senators to take a little extra credit,... More »

Experts Doubt Clinton Claims on Kids' Health Care Legislation

Friends, foes dispute first lady's role

(Newser) - Legislators and advocates are disputing a key element of Hillary Clinton's stump speech: her description of her role in creating children’s health care legislation passed in 1997. The then-first lady often calls SCHIP an initiative “I helped to start,” the Boston Globe reports, but the White House... More »

Bush Vetoes Kids' Health Bill Again

SCHIP expansion remains too pricey, president says

(Newser) - President Bush today vetoed for the second time expansion of a federal program that provides health insurance to poor and middle-class children, the New York Times reports. Bush called the proposed overhaul fiscally irresponsible, because it would cover too many undeserving recipients and raise taxes. Democrats will now try to... More »

Congress Aims to Snuff Out Smoking

Lawmakers work on tax hike against weakened industry

(Newser) - With the influence of Big Tobacco on the wane, Congress is poised to strike, the AP says. House and Senate negotiators continue work on a plan calling for a hefty federal tax hike on cigarettes, and several other anti-smoking initiatives are in the pipeline. Meanwhile, the once-powerful lobbying arm of... More »

Kids' Health Insurance Bill Stalls Again

House Dems fail to capture votes needed to foil Bush veto of popular measure

(Newser) - House Democrats' plans to expand a children's health insurance program hit a brick wall again yesterday when they failed to attract the Republican votes necessary to override a presidential veto, reports the Washington Post. The final vote on a reworked $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program... More »

War Has Just Begun on Kids Health Care

Vote will be replayed in campaign ads, frame debate: Salon

(Newser) - When the vote to override President Bush's veto of a children's health insurance bill failed in the House this week, it marked a campaign watershed, Salon's Walter Shapiro writes, predicting that it will be replayed endlessly in attack ads as congressional races heat up. The lines are drawn: Democrats will... More »

Congressman Draws Fire for Sniping at Bush

Calif. lawmaker refuses to back off jab about 'president's amusement'

(Newser) - Rep. Pete Stark introduced President Bush's foreign policy into yesterday's SCHIP debate, setting off a raging controversy. The California Democrat’s reference to "kids" going to war to "get their heads blown off for the president's amusement" enraged some and inspired others. House Republicans called the speech “... More »

White House Ready to Deal on Kids' Health

Leavitt says he'll work with Democrats on insurance bill

(Newser) - The White House will work with Democrats toward a compromise on children's health insurance, Health Secretary Michael Leavitt said today. "If it takes more money, we'll put it up," he said, though he didn't specify how much. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi is trying to get the 14 GOP votes... More »

Bush Vetoes Child Health Bill

Plan has two-thirds majority in Senate, but not in House

(Newser) - President Bush today struck down a bipartisan compromise to expand a federal initiative providing care for children whose parents can’t afford it, the Los Angeles Times reports. Bush called the bill too costly, and said he would rather renew the current plan for five years; Democrats are unenthused, and... More »

Why Small Government Has Collapsed

Prospect writer says Dems can drown movement in bathtub

(Newser) - Democrats have never been so well positioned to sell big-government liberalism—as the other side looks pathetically out of step with Americans’ desires to expand health care and bolster infrastructure, says the American Prospect’s Paul Waldman. After the Minnesota bridge collapse, the public is ready for the party that... More »

14 Stories