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Barack Obama has signed a bill extending health coverage to 4 million uninsured children.

The White House signing ceremony today represented a much-needed victory for Obama on healthcare a day after his administration suffered a major setback with the loss of his nominee to lead his drive for sweeping reform, Tom Daschle.

The bill went to the White House fresh from passage in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, on a vote of 290-135.

The bill calls for spending an additional $32.8bn  on the state children’s health insurance programme. Lawmakers generated that revenue by raising the federal tobacco tax. Obama said it is a key step toward his promise of universal health care coverage for all.

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