The Iowa Senate has approved a bill that supporters say will provide health care coverage to 30,000 more Iowa children. Experts estimate about 9,000 kids would still be left without health insurance.

Senator Jack Hatch, a Democrat from Des Moines, said the $8 million package which cleared the senate still makes progress. "We have children that don’t get healthcare because their parents can’t afford it — and they get sicker," Hatch said during debate. "No child in this state should be with the fear that they don’t have healthcare and no parent in this state should believe they can’t afford health care and not give health care to their children."

Democrats supported the bill while Republicans ridiculed it as a step toward "socialized" medicine. Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley of Chariton said health care controlled by bureaucrats won’t work any better than it did to give federal bureaucrats control over the mortgage industry. "We’ve seen other big-government creations like (Fannie) Mae and (Freddie) Mac who were ultimately the basis for the worst financial free-fall this country has seen," McKinley said.

The bill passed with 30 "yes" voted from Senate Democrats and the "no" votes of all 18 Republicans. The proposal now goes to the House where significant changes are possible.