As part of his Senate confirmation hearing, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., called for an eight-year extension of the Children’s Health Care Insurance Program (CHIP), which is funded in part by a 52.4 percent federal tax on cigars, with a maximum cap of 40.26 cents per cigar.
During questioning, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, referred to a recommendation made to Congress that the CHIP program be extended for five years. When the senator asked the Health & Human Services Secretary nominee for his opinion, he responded with “well, if we could extend it for eight, probably be better than five.”
The current round of CHIP funding is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30.
CHIP was originally created in 1997 to provide matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children. President Barack Obama expanded the program on Feb. 4, 2009, when he signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009, which added an additional 4 million children and pregnant women, as well as including legal immigrants without a waiting period for the first time.
The tax is also the basis by which FDA’s new user feeds are calculated.