Senate lawmakers have voted 66-32 to spend an additional $32.8 billion to expand coverage to 4 million more children under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

The expansion would be paid for by raising the cigarette tax from 39 cents a pack to $1.

The House approved similar legislation on January 14. The House measure would be funded by a 61-cent federal tax on tobacco products and a provision that would prospectively ban physician self-referral to hospitals in which they have an ownership interest.

A final version of the bill is expected to be sent to President Obama shortly.

[Source: American Physical Therapy Association]