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SCHIP passes

In a step towards providing health care to millions of children around the country, the Senate this morning passed the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP.
"As the worsening economy causes families to lose their jobs and health insurance, it is vital that we redouble our efforts to ensure that every child in America has access to affordable health care," President Obama said in a statement. "Providing health care to more than ten million children through the Children's Health Insurance Program will serve as a down payment on my commitment to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable health care."
It's a happy note alongside yet another piece of ugly economic news. The Commerce Department reported this morning that in the last three months of 2008, the economy shrank faster than it has at any time in the past quarter century -- an annual rate of nearly 4%.