SCHIP Reauthorized


I’m pleased to report that President Barack Obama signed the State Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act into law this afternoon.  The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) strongly supported this legislation, which will expand access to health coverage for approximately 4 million children who currently lack health insurance.  In order to help fund this expansion of coverage, the new law raises increases the current federal excise tax on cigarettes by 61 cents a pack.  Not only is increasing health care coverage for children critical in the fight against cancer, but so too is increasing the tax on tobacco.  Research indicates that raising the cost of cigarettes is an effective way to reduce youth smoking, which in turn will lower cancer incidence and save health care dollars.  The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids estimates that the cigarette tax increase will produce the following public health benefit:

  • Increase in total number of kids alive today who will not become smokers:  1,992,000
  • Number of current adult smokers in the US who will quit:  1,020,000
  • Number of smoking-affected births avoided over next five years:  248,000
  • Number of total smokers saved from future smoking-caused death:  905,000
  • 5-year health care savings from fewer smoking-affected pregnancies & births:  $423.2 million
  • 5-year health care savings from fewer smoking-caused heart attacks & strokes:  $493.3 million
  • Long-term healthcare savings in the US from adult & youth smoking declines:  $44.5 billion
  • Share of healthcare savings in federal-state Medicaid program:  $7.5 billion
  • Share of healthcare savings in federal Medicare program:  $8.6

This new law could not have come at a better time — the current economic situation in the United States has made the expansion of SCHIP even more critical.  We applaud Congress and the President for taking such a historic step today.


  1. Longtime Supporter says:

    Can you please cite this “research” that says increasing tax on tobacco does anything to affect smoking? And, please cite opposing research, which I think we’ll find is much better founded.

    I’m an avid anti-smoking advocate, do not smoke, and have helped many people quit. But one way that will never help is by INCREASING THE COST of someone’s addiction. And kids aren’t going out and buying 10 cartons of cigarettes at a time, raising the cost of a pack of cigarettes by 70c isn’t going to stop them! They’ll find that much between the cushions of the couch. This is NOT why I’ve supported this organization.

  2. Antony Nuccio says:

    Great law that just came in effect.

  3. H R Kauffman says:

    Grat news about CHIP. As a LiveSTRONG supporter and a Mom, this is great news. Health insurance has never been an issue for us up until last July. My college educated husband lost his job after 13 years. I work part-time so suddenly we were with no insurance. Luckily we were able to get CHIP for our soon to be 2year old daughter.

  4. Megha Sareen says:

    Hi Lance

    Lucky for the US. Wish we had something like that in India.

    I read your book ‘My Journey Back to Life’, and I have to say I was truly touched. My father in law has colon cancer. It was detected in stage 4 and he’s had 12 chemo cycles in 6 months. In many ways, he was a lot like you. Pestering nurses, inquisitive, a fighter. But unfortunately, he isn’t as lucky. The cancer came back in less than a month. He is terminally ill now, just a shadow of himself, counting his last days at the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute in New Delhi. We as a family feel helpless, yet we don’t want to give up hope. I don’t know how you can help, but I think it’s just feels right to discuss these things with someone who’s been there.

    Wish you the very best in life.

    Megha Sareen

  5. Sarah says:

    I have never smoked a day in my life – I think it’s absolutely disgusting – but I am strongly opposed to taxing one segment of the population. And isn’t it funny that if you increase the tax on cigarettes to pay for healthcare so much that the smokers stop smoking, the money for healthcare won’t be there.

    Lance, have you read the book “The China Study”? Wouldn’t our “war on cancer” be a lot cheaper and a lot more effective if we encouraged all Americans to adopt a vegan diet.

  6. Marcella Hamlin says:

    I had bone cancer at age 12 and had my left leg amputated at the hip. This was 1971. Thankfully my parents had insurance. I had chemo later with a new drug. So it worked and I survived. At age 42 I had breast cancer and more chemotherapy. I am now 8 years out. Luckily I have insurance, however, one could also buy a new car with it each year. I have always eaten healthy and excercised alot. Cancer does not run in my family and I have never smoked, don’t drink. My heart goes out to childern who have cancer who have to go through the rough treatment. I have been so lucky to have great parents. I think we need to work in universal insurance.

  7. Fred Garvin says:

    Patrick Henry is rolling over in his grave as we speak. Taxing tobacco for SCHIP?

    Why don’t they tax the root of the problem; things that make kids sick. How about taxing candy, soda pop, fattening foods that cause diabetes?

    Please remove me from your emailings. I do not wish to be a member an organization that supports a nanny state. By the way, I just joined Cigar Rights of America at

  8. Fred,

    I have removed you from our e-mailings. However; I wanted to make sure that you knew that increasing taxes on cigarettes is an effective deterrent for smoking. Studies show that the higher the price of cigarettes means less children begin to smoke. It leads to higher revenues and there is public and bipartisan support for higher taxes on cigarettes.

    Smoking kills people. Secondhand smoke makes children sick- increases likelihood of developing long term health issues such as childhood asthma, diabetes, cancer and much more. So, to answer your comment; increasing taxes on cigarettes will help protect our children and the increase will ensure that those children receive healthcare they need to lead healthy lives.

  9. mat lambert says:

    well done! tax it, tax it, tax it. anything to get a killer off the streets. Keep rolling LAF!!!

  10. Dave says:

    Yes, they passed the law but not without bending to the domestic terrorist group “La Raza” and forcing cash strapped hard working Americans to give their tax dollars to not only the rightful American children but also to illegal aliens. If things were better with our economy I wouldn’t care but we are broke and with the antics of Bush and Obama we are bankrupt! Fools!

  11. Geoff says:

    When will people wise up and sue the States and Commonwealths in this country for allowing a hazardous product to be sold. They are as guilty as the tobacco companies for allowing this substance to be sold in their state.

    Last time I checked every pack of cigarettes sold have a state stamp on the bottom making them legal to sell.

  12. Chris says:

    Lance Armstrong,

    I know I just received a form letter in response to my joining Livestrong, but since it was signed by Lance Armstrong, I’m going to reply in the hope that he reads this. First of all, I have a story. Second of all, I was given your books for Christmas, and I have to tell you, I have read a lot of books in my life and yours were among the best I have ever read. You are truly an inspiration. Thank you.

    As for My story, I’ll make it short. My dad was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in April of 2007. A retired Green Beret, he was an amazing man. As he became more sick, he decided he wanted to sell his house in Arizona and move to Iowa to be nearer to me and my family. We live in North Liberty, just north of Coralville and Iowa City, where you came through during RAGBRAI a few years ago.

    Anyway, my parents sold their house and moved here, buying a new house in August. That’s when I was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer. The first hospital I went to pretty much said I was screwed. I then went to the University of Iowa where I am being treated by a very good oncologist. At 42, he thought I was worth a shot. I am doing pretty well. I had chemo and radiation together, then just before surgery, I had a little setback. The cancer had spread to my knee, of all places. I had more radiation, then more chemo, which I am going through now. I lost my dad back in December. I lost my career as a firefighter in January. For Christmas, my mother-in-law gave me your books. I thought it was a nice gesture, but reading a story about cancer didn’t sound like an entertaining way to spend my time. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have recommended, loaned, and purchased, your books for everyone who will listen. Yours is an amazing story, and you are an amazing man. While I am sure there were days you were as tired of talking about your balls as I am my ass, like you, I would do it all day, everyday, if it would convince one more person to get to a doctor earlier. Thank you for everything you have done. Good luck on your comeback and your future. Hard to believe this was the short version, huh?



  13. HI Chris and Monica,
    I too am having to do battle with the cancer that just recently recurred. I have pulled Lance’s books back off the shelf and wear my bracelet for inspiration and encouragement. There isn’t a night that doesn’t go by that I don’t think of Lance’s inspirational story and I try to place myself in the frame of mind that I CAN DO THIS.
    Thank goodness that they caught this during one of my re-check CT scans that I receive every 6 months because maybe it bought me more time (though it spread to my lymphnodes now). I pray each night that I will be rid of this thing once and for all and can live a rich, full life like Lance. I am a young mother of a two-year-old daughter and married the love of my life. My heart just breaks at the thought that I might not be around for my daughter to even remember me.
    I’m fighting but it is a scary venture. I’m glad to be able to have a place I can “speak” with others and get support from all of you.

  14. I really just wanted to chime in and let you know that you are quite possibly one of the best writers ever on this subject. Everyone else is very hard to understand as I am not exactly A native English speaker, but I am working on it. So I appreciate you dumbing it down for me.

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