Republican Congressman Steve King is firing back at Democratic Governor Chet Culver who yesterday lambasted King’s vote against a bill which expands the state children’s health insurance program. King says there are lots of flaws in the bill, as he says if it becomes law some parents will dump the insurance they have for their kids and opt for government-paid insurance.
“Families…should not be discouraged from paying for the private health insurance for their children,” King says. “That’s part of the personal responsibility that you have as parents. The more personally-responsible our families are, the stronger our state and our country are going to be.” Governor Culver accused King of abandoning the nine-thousand children in his district who depend on the program for health care.
King says Culver’s trying to make political points with an invalid argument. “As far as I know there are no children in my district who do not have health care and we provide that for all of them, especially at the emergency room,” King says. But backers of the state children’s health insurance program say it’s cheaper to get kids into regular check-ups rather than waiting ’til they get so sick as to merit an expensive E-R visit.
“That may or may not be cheaper and no one has produced any of those numbers for me, but here are some other costs I think that have to be calculated in,” King says. “One is that there would be 2.1 million children across America who would be taken off the private insurance rolls and put onto the government-subsidized S-CHIP rolls.” One of King’s other complaints is that he believes a loophole will allow illegal immigrants to use a fake Social Security number and obtain health insurance coverage for their kids.
“Whoever produces the number, whether they’re actually a citizen or illegally in the United States, they can draw that benefit,” King says. Another Republican, Senator Charles Grassley, backs the bill King opposes and Grassley last week said many of the flaws King points to are not in the bill.