Friday, October 12, 2007

With the Children In Mind

What is the easiest, lowest form of political pandering? That would be using children as political props while speaking about legislation your party wants to hoist on the American people. The most recent example? The S-CHIP program is a fine example.

Let it be said that all children must have medical care available to them. Let it also be said most children have medical care available to them. Do some fall thru the cracks? Yes, of course. Those are the ones we must strive to administer to with the S-CHIP program. Families too poor to pay for medical insurance use the system of emergency rooms in hospitals as a means of medical care for their children. No one is turned away due to lack of medical insurance.

So, what exactly is the S-CHIP being argued about in Congress? It is the State Children's Health Insurance Program, under the umbrella of Medicare and Medicaid. From the National Conference of State Legislatures web site: "The law authorizes states to provide health care coverage to 'targeted low-income children' who are not eligible for Medicaid and who are uninsured." Period.

Let it be said that President Bush is all for children receiving health care and providing it to the uninsured. His amount money included in the re-authorization of the program was seen as too low for the Dems and some Republicans so a new, higher amount was inserted into the pending legislation. The President said he would veto this legislation as it was too expensive for the purposes of intent.

And the predictable happened. Cries were shouted about the halls of Congress proclaiming President Bush hates children, poor, uninsured children. Republicans hate children, poor, uninsured children. The Democrat response to the President's Saturday morning statement to the country was to use the Frost family from Maryland as the 'typical' family the S-CHIP re-authorization, at the higher price tag to the taxpayer, would service. A child in the family, 12 year old Graeme, was put to the task of reading the Dem's rebuttal statement.

Halsey and Bonnie Frost have 4 children. They were involved in a serious automobile accident and relied on the S-CHIP benefits to see them through, as they are uninsured. Something seemed not quite right at the time but I just chalked it up to the typical use of children as props whenever the verbal arguments need a boost, especially by the Dems. It's always 'for the children' as they reach deeper and deeper into the pocket of the taxpayer.

The objection by most conservatives and the President is that the expansion being pushed by Congress included 'children' up to the age of 25 and there are loopholes that would allow those currently privately insured to cancel the private insurance and go on the government program. There are also loopholes that allow adults to be covered, though I would argue that by the age of 25, one is already an adult.

Turns out, after research by reporters and bloggers, the Frost family isn't quite the family they were presented to be. True, they live in Maryland and have 4 children. True they were involved in a terrible automobile accident. But...according to Michelle Malkin, the recipient of an unsolicited e-mail from a reader, a neighbor of the Frost family, the Frost family are good people but far left politically and not so bad off financially, as they would have you think. The neighbor states that the neighbors pitched in to cook meals and help after the accident. Bonnie works part time as a freelance writer and Halsey doesn't seem to be able to hold a job, despite his talents as a mill work carpenter doing good work installing custom interior and exterior trim work and cabinetry. The neighbor says there is no reason the man isn't making good money.

However, the point is made by the neighbor that every family makes choices. The choices of the Frost family include driving a Volvo SUV, a Suburban and his F250 Ford pickup work truck. They have a nice house and all 4 kids are in private school. Halsey owns the building out of which he works, self employed. Up until recently his wife was his bookkeeper and assistant.

In other words, despite finding a way for the education of 4 children in private school, the ownership of a home in suburban Maryland where homes like theirs are appraised from $400,000 to $500,000, and the ownership of the company building, and three nice vehicles, they chose not to have medical insurance for the family.

That begs the question - so who's responsibility is that?

This is hardly the picture of the 'needy' in America. For creepy voiced Harry Reid and Grandma Mimi to trot these people out as the beneficiaries of the S-CHIP legislation and expect everyone to just accept their argument is quite arrogant of them. Typical political gamesmanship. This family was already covered under the existing program so why the greedy grab? This kind of stunt is what weakens the argument for expansion.

The House under Grandma Mimi's guidance is looking for 15 Republicans to switch their vote and go to the dark side on October 18 to vote to override the President's veto of this legislation.

It's for the children.


Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

I always find these arguments about the "needy" pathetic, and actually an insult to me. I don't mean to pat myself on the back here, but if the left can give anecdotal evidence of need, then I should be able to counter it with the opposite.

I served in the Marines after a couple of years of college where I spent my time and money chasing skirts and drinking beer. Fun times all, but i wasn't making any progress. I followed the family tradition into the Corps, and after 5 years I was discharged honorably and back to civilian life. I got a job, returned to school, and worked my tail off. I had very little - a bed to sleep in, a car I bought with my SAVINGS, and a few bucks each week for pizza and beer with the fraternity brothers. I used my GI bill for most of my undergrad time. I later married, had kids, returned to grad school...and my youngest daughter, now 8 years old, is developmentally delayed. We have incurred medical bills and days upon days of tests and therapy and more tests. Guess what? I pay for it with the two jobs I work. I have medical coverage because I can't afford NOT to have it. I have to pay the co-pays and deductibles and for the things that insurance doesn't cover. My credit score has suffered because I have faced the choice of paying $100 I owe to a doctor, or paying $100 for a new test. The doctor can wait, my daughter grows older each day.

I refuse to want government coverage that would cover all of this. I refuse to want the government to decide the route of test and care for my little girl.

Much of the "need" exhibited is not real need, but convenience and laziness and poor choices. I know people have far more extreme issues than mine, and I do not decry assistance for those in need. But I take some pride in my hardship because I do it myself with sweat and blood and tears, not with my hand out.

For the this anything like the excellent social security program for the elderly?

Beverly said...

Hearing about that family and all their perks and privilege is sickening. When I heard about that, I think it was Michelle Malkin, there were a couple of other examples given of "needy" children.

My children are facing great expense with Ella in the future, but they're not expecting the government to pay for it. They're working their behinds off to save and they work to have insurance for this dear little girl.

Kris, in New England said...

In fact, Halsey Frost owns his own woodworking company. And the family owns the building in which his company resides. They have rental income from that building as well. And their own home is conservatively estimated to be worth $400,000. So the Frosts really are not the neediest among us, despite their claims.

But the worst part about this is the fact that they allowed their children to be used as political pawns. That makes them more disgusting than if they were just sponging off the government.

Kris, in New England said...

Oh yeah, and one other tiny detail about the Frost family - each of their chidren attends an exclusive private school that costs $20,000 per year per child.

And they claim they can't afford health insurance for their children. And the Dems used them as their "poster family" for how evil the Bush administration is.