Senate panel OKs bipartisan children’s health bill

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WASHINGTON (AP) — An overdue, bipartisan bill financing health insurance for millions of low-income children has won easy approval from the Senate Finance Committee.

The panel’s voice vote came four days after the government’s authority to provide fresh money for the program expired.

No states are expected to immediately run out of funds. But several are preparing to take early steps like notifying beneficiaries that the program might be curtailed, and pressure is building on Congress to act.

Both parties support the program and the measure is virtually certain to be approved.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee planned to consider its version of the bill later Wednesday.

The measure would provide five more years of financing for the program, which provides health insurance for 8.9 million children.

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