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.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.