Western Iowa Congressman Steve King said this week that the SCHIP child health insurance bill he co-sponsored will be a "better deal" for needy Iowans than the one that he controversially voted against several months ago.
King compared the outcome to Joe Namath and the upstart New York Jets defeat of the favored Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl - quoting Namath saying, "Maybe it meant something to the underdogs in life."
The taxpayer is always the underdog, according to King, who noted that he has been called "heartless" for voting against a Hurricane Katrina relief bill that he found wasteful. "The history of the money going to Gucci bags and massage parlors speaks for itself today," King said.
"Last fall, I predicted the outcome of the national debate over the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), or hawk-i as we call it in Iowa. In the face of criticism throughout the state, I opposed the dramatic expansion of SCHIP and called the expansion to 400% of poverty the act of laying the cornerstone of socialized medicine," he added.
The new bill sets the line at 200% of poverty, he said. "Both kids and taxpayers pulled off an upset and defeated the big government agenda of socialized medicine."
King said the SCHIP bill he co-sponsored last summer will extend the current program for 18 months to get past the "silly season" of the Presidential election. It provides health insurance for children whose families earn up to 200% of poverty but don't qualify for Medicaid. The new law also provides money for states that have a short-fall in their SCHIP budgets.
"Speaker Pelosi and Governor Culver tried to push SCHIP bills through Congress that reflected her San Francisco agenda and values; not Iowa Midwestern common sense," and would have spread assistance to illegal aliens and children of wealthy families, King said, as he refered to Governor Culver as being among "Iowa activists."
He said the bill he co-sponsors will save taxpayers $35.6 billion off the Pelosi-Culver bill - the equivalent of the amount it would cost to put a new a new $30,000 car in the driveway of every one of Iowa's 1.2 million households.
King said that Speaker Pelosi is forcing a veto attempt of the new SCHIP bill Wednesday.
"There is no point in attempting a veto override vote except to attempt to score cynical political points," King said.
The veto attempt is "useless" politics, according to King.