Yesterday, the House voted 289 to 139 to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The bill would “provide health insurance to an additional 4.1 million children and parents, including legal immigrant children and pregnant women, who currently must wait five years before becoming eligible for the program.” President Bush blocked a similar piece of legislation in 2007, backed by conservatives who complained that the measure was too expensive.
After all, in 2007, McCotter not only voted against the legislation, he was a leading voice in arguing for its defeat. When Catholics United criticized him, he called the group the “devil.” On his blog on Oct. 3, 2007, McCotter argued that unless the GOP defeated SCHIP, it would “lose its soul”:
If our Republican Party is daunted by the politics of S-CHIP and shrinks from reaffirming its defining principles, social welfare programs will never help poor Americans escape governmental dependence. Instead, the Democrats will continue their push to shackle Americans with a bureaucrat-centered health care system and other insidious forms of governmental dependence; and our Republican Party — the party of the Great Emancipator — will not only lose the next election.
It will lose its soul.
McCotter faced enormous discontent from many of his constituents after his “nay” vote, as did many of his colleagues. In fact, 11 Republicans who voted against SCHIP lost their seats in 2008. McCotter held on to his seat, but just barely — he won only “51% against a Dem who raised just $29K.”
Yesterday’s SCHIP vote may be part of the new McCotter. After the sweeping progressive victories in the November elections, McCotter, said, “We’re rock bottom. We are now free to start thinking again, acting again, and doing the right thing by what our constituents and our country need.”