According to AP:
...(The new bill) is friendlier to states that want to cover children in families with incomes exceeding three times the federal poverty level — $63,600 for a family of four.The plan calls for the increased costs of the bill to be borne by tobacco users in the form of increased taxes on cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.
Also, the bill calls for covering children of legal immigrants now barred from government-sponsored insurance until they have been in the country at least five years.
The two provisions have angered Senate Republicans, including some who disagreed with Bush and worked closely with Democrats on expanding the program in 2007. Democrats have countered that 90 percent of the bill to be debated in the week ahead is based on legislation that previously had broad bipartisan support in the both the Senate and House.
I am no fan of tobacco products, having forsworn the evil weed almost exactly 15 years (and 20 lb) ago. But it seems to me that the costs of bringing more poor people under the umbrella of coverage should not be borne by taxing poor folks, which is still the dominant demographic in which tobacco use is endemic.
Instead of taxing tobacco, I recommend levying a "vanity" tax, on face-lifts, boob-jobs, tummy-tucks and the like. Folks willing to put out such quantities of cash to boost their egos surgically oughtn't baulk at a surcharge of, say 30%, to fund the NEEDED care of poor kids.