Democrats' ad campaign targets SCHIP supporters

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Congressional Democrats are using radio advertisements and targeted phone calls to criticize some U.S. Republican representatives who voted for a controversial children's healthcare bill.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Monday began running radio ads in the districts of Reps. Jim Saxton (NJ), Bill Young (FL), Vern Buchanan (FL) and Tom Feeney (FL). In addition, the committee launched an automated telephone campaign to voters in the district of Rep. Richard H. Baker (LA). All voted to expand the 10-year-old State Children's Health Insurance Program. Funding for the expansion would come partly from cuts to Medicare benefits to the elderly.

The House and Senate have passed vastly different versions of SCHIP legislation. The House's bill would raise the cigarette tax and cut Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities and other Medicare programs to help fund the program. The Senate's bill, by contrast, would not touch Medicare and would rely largely on a tobacco tax hike.