Iowa’s five congressmen split their votes along party lines on a bill to expand the number of American children who get government-paid health care coverage. Congressmen Bruce Braley of Waterloo, Dave Loebsack of Mount Vernon and Leonard Boswell of Des Moines — all Democrats — voted for the bill. Republican Congressmen Tom Latham of Ames and Steve King of Kiron voted no. King says it’s another step toward "socialized" medicine.
"We don’t need to be growing government at this breakneck speed at a time when we’re spending too much," King says. "This doesn’t do anything for our economy. It just makes government get bigger." States administer the program which is called SCHIP. In Iowa, it’s known as HAWK-I.
According to King, too many states are letting parents who can afford to buy health insurance for the kids sign up for government-paid health care coverage. "In Wisconsin the number was 87 percent of those on their SCHIP program were adults. In Minnesota it was 66 percent.
Adults should not be getting SCHIP/Hawk-I," King says. "It should be for those needy children…that actually need it." Finally, King objects to provisions in the bill which he says will wind up providing health care coverage to illegal immigrants.
"The language in here erodes the restraints that are there that prevent Medicaid from going to people who are illegally in this country. It lowers the standards so that it costs $8.9 billion just to fund Medicaid for illegals and that’s a (Congressional Budget Office) number, not a Steve King number," King says. "And it also eliminates the five-year bar that prohibits welfare from going to people who are (legal) immigrants in the United States for the first five years (they live here)."
Backers of the bill say it helps ensure more American children get basic health care coverage, like check-ups and immunizations which can prevent serious illnesses.