President Barack is hailing Senate passage of legislation providing government-sponsored health care to roughly 4 million uninsured children.
A day after the bill was approved 66-32, Obama released a statement saying the action amounts to "a down payment on my commitment to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable health care."
The measure authorizes an additional $32.8 billion over the next 4 1/2 years for the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The House plans to take up the same bill next week.
Obama's statement said the Senate vote is especially significant at a time when "the worsening economy causes families to lose their jobs and health insurance."