WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has approved legislation that would increase spending on children's health insurance and extend government-sponsored coverage to 4 million uninsured children.
The bill passed 66-32 and now goes back to the House, where a similar measure was approved two weeks ago.
Democratic lawmakers consider the expansion of the state children's health insurance program one of their top domestic priorities.
They have moved quickly this year to renew the program and give President Barack Obama an early political victory.
The bill calls for increasing federal taxes on tobacco products to generate an additional $32 billion over the next 4 1/2 years.
Even with the program's expansion, an estimated 5 million children will still be without health insurance.