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.