Miami Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart just voted for a bill to expand health care to 4 million more children.
All 3 voted against similar legislation in 2007 -- prompting Democrats to run their first ever Spanish-language radio ads in the districts bashing them -- and setting the stage for what turned into unsuccessful election challenges in 2008. President Bush twice vetoed the legislation; president-elect Barack Obama hailed the passage of the bill, saying it was "critical, it is fully paid for, and I hope that the Senate acts with the same sense of urgency so that it can be one of the first measures I sign into law when I am President."
The measure passed by the House includes a provision sought by Lincoln Diaz-Balart to expand coverage to children of legal immigrants as well as pregnant immigrants. Under current law, legal immigrants must wait 5 years for coverage. "The law should not discriminate against legal immigrants; health care is too important an issue," he said.