« Immigration: "Round 'em up and send 'em home"? | Main | Now on tap at Politics . . . »

Re-Thinking The S-Chip Veto

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the S-CHIP program, and President Bush's veto of it, and I think it's time I admitted I was wrong. We should expand the program to cover more children. Especially children who fall into certain categories:

1) Children of parents who own a home worth roughly half a million dollars.

2) Children of parents that own their own company that owns its own building and rents out space, but doesn't provide insurance.

3) Children who attend $20,000/year private schools.

4) Children whose parent works in a health-care publishing company that doesn't offer insurance.

5) Children whose parents are too cheap and/or stupid to include medical coverage with their auto insurance for crashes.

6) Children whose parents can afford to extensively remodel their kitchens.

7) Children whose parents who don't bother to shop around for insurance rates, but apparently look at one plan and decide they're all too expensive.

And pay for it, we need to tax a vice that we're already trying to stomp out, and will hit the poor and disabled far more than any other demographic.

This is absolutely unbelievable. The Democrats actually put this family in the spotlight, and either didn't do any sort of background check or thought no one else would?

I dunno if I should attribute this to stupidity or malice, but I'm leaning towards stupidity. Hell, they can't even get their story straight -- some accounts say Harry Reid's staff found the family and wrote the boy's speech for him; others say Nancy Pelosi found the family through an advocacy group that is pushing for the S-CHIP expansion.

It looks like another case of "the story was too good to check," much like Dan Rather and the Texas Air National Guard forged memos. And "fake, but accurate."

When will the media learn that it's the stories that confirm your biases and prejudices and opinions that need the MOST fact-checking?

Oh, I forgot. "It's for the children!" Just say those four magic words, and logic and reason and common sense no longer apply.

(My colleague Kim Priestap did a great roundup of this heretofore-unreported aspect of this story, complete with links to others' coverage, yesterday.)


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/24639.

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Re-Thinking The S-Chip Veto:

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Groups target GOP lawmakers for override

Comments (33)

Of course rich kids need fr... (Below threshold)

Of course rich kids need free health care.

They're gonna need it when they graduate from Hillary's re-education camp. At Hillary's Teaching Villages™, every student receives:

Food, from a Hillary-controlled food cooperative.

Indoctrination, from a Hillary-controlled news source.

Dysentery, from swallowing the Hillary-controlled news source.


But man, it's like, mega-cool! Everyone is equal! Nobody has anything! It's like, far out!

The problem is it's going t... (Below threshold)
meep:

The problem is it's going to be tough to find a moderately poor family who's not covered by some government or charitable program (hospitals often have payment workout agreements with the uninsured, and sometimes go to the trouble of directing patients towards programs they'd be covered by.)

So I guess one could go with stupidity or malice, but I'm going with laziness. They =knew= there had to be some medical sob story out there, but they'd rather not look too deeply into responsibility or actual financial situation. They picked a low-hanging fruit, without going through a bunch of work. I think they figured MSM reporters are lazy, too.

Like all government scams t... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Like all government scams to get into our pockets, this is another ploy to grow another Washington Department and also start mandating actions doctor's can take. People who carry no insurance do so by choice for the most part. ww

As cathyf at JustOneMinute ... (Below threshold)
kim:

As cathyf at JustOneMinute points out the Frosts were self-employed with very little taxable income.

Basically, they are rich tax cheats, too.
========================================

She too, I think. Public h... (Below threshold)
kim:

She too, I think. Public health is good enough for the Frost kids, but not public schools.

This one is rich. I hope there is cleverness enough to turn the tables on the socialists, on this one.
===========================================

kim,I wouldn't say... (Below threshold)
Mike:

kim,

I wouldn't say "tax cheats."

Before I closed it down, my business lost enough money for us to have negative taxable income in its final year. But we never went on the public dole, and I always made sure that health insurance for my family was paid for.

Since this fellow appears to be earning good money, the most likely explanation for his $45,000 annual taxable income is a clever accountant. That's technically not cheating; however, if this family are "the rich aren't paying their fair share"-style liberals, then their tax computation is certainly hypocritical.

The Phony Poor Kid case hig... (Below threshold)
capitano Author Profile Page:

The Phony Poor Kid case highlights another problem: school choice.

You really can't blame parents who would choose to put their kids in private schools if they could use the money saved from "free" government medical insurance...even if it does look like a scam. But how long before Hillary figures out that she can close this embarrassing loophole and force HillaryCare participants back into the public school system.

Say the teachers' unions: Oh Joy!

got to admit, ol,Shrillary ... (Below threshold)
tj:

got to admit, ol,Shrillary is working hard to get illegal...opps... immagrant votes one way or the other.

You run into <a href="http:... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You run into all sorts of problems when you let Freepers do your research. Of course, you already had many problems if you're willing to take what those people say at face value.

mantis,I also sort... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

mantis,

I also sort of figured that the kids my receive some sort of assistance for tuition and that it is problematic to assume that the Frost's tuition bill is $40 grand. But seriously, the site you link to does not refute one item of the research done by that "freeper". It only spins the story in a more favorable light.

Either way, is this the sort of family (the Frosts) that should be receiving government hand-outs? Or do you really think that their actual income is $45 grand a year, with the house they live in, the car they drive, and the schools their kids are going to?

Bottom line, I believe that the families that ought to be covered (and still are btw) by SCHIP, would be happy to switch places with the Frost family.

"You run into all sorts of pro... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
"You run into all sorts of problems when you let Freepers do your research. Of course, you already had many problems if you're willing to take what those people say at face value."

The problem with all these counter argument breakdowns is that they must be made by people who never had to make ends meet under 6 digits. Either they are healthily on the dole themselves or rich. Because their analysis and assumptions are stretched at best and downright ridiculous at worst.

But seriously, the site ... (Below threshold)
Thers Author Profile Page:

But seriously, the site you link to does not refute one item of the research done by that "freeper".

Sure it does. It refutes the whole idea that there is some "MSM" scandal or failure here. They're a middle class family, which everyone already knew. The freeper takes publicly available information and spins it to pretend that this is a wealthy family. Ludicrously so, especially in the nonsense about how they must be paying 40K for tuition.

By all means, carry on though with the demonization of this family. It's a winner for you!

<a href="http://nihlist.blo... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Click here for a hilarious take on the SCHIP dustup.

I also sort of figured t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I also sort of figured that the kids my receive some sort of assistance for tuition and that it is problematic to assume that the Frost's tuition bill is $40 grand.

There are more problems than that.

But seriously, the site you link to does not refute one item of the research done by that "freeper". It only spins the story in a more favorable light.

No, it points out all the bullshit assumptions and poorly-reasoned conclusions the freeper makes.

Either way, is this the sort of family (the Frosts) that should be receiving government hand-outs?

Given the state of the health care industry and the difficulty that extremely expensive and unforeseen medical situations can cause to many in the middle class, especially small business owners, yes.

Or do you really think that their actual income is $45 grand a year, with the house they live in, the car they drive, and the schools their kids are going to?

It's a hell of a lot more likely than the conclusions the freeper came to.

Bottom line, I believe that the families that ought to be covered (and still are btw) by SCHIP, would be happy to switch places with the Frost family.

So your argument is that if there are some out there worse off than you, then you shouldn't get any assistance? That makes things easy then. There's always someone worse off.

Given the state of the h... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Given the state of the health care industry and the difficulty that extremely expensive and unforeseen medical situations can cause to many in the middle class, especially small business owners.

Gee, if they had health insurance those unforseen medical situations would have been taken care of.

So your argument is that if there are some out there worse off than you, then you shouldn't get any assistance?

No, my argument that a program designed to help those most in need, should not be made available to those families who have chosen not to get health insurance when they have the means. And to think Bush vetoed the expansion of this program!

Of course I don't blame them for going after free money from the government. If it's there, why not take it, but please spare me the child/family sob story.

Gee, if they had health ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Gee, if they had health insurance those unforseen medical situations would have been taken care of.

They did have insurance, through SCHIP, because they qualified under Maryland rules, and because private insurance would have cost them more than their mortgage.

No, my argument that a program designed to help those most in need, should not be made available to those families who have chosen not to get health insurance when they have the means.

You base your assumption that the family in question has the means upon the flawed reasoning of a freeper.

If it's there, why not take it, but please spare me the child/family sob story.

Which sob story is that?

Or do ... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:
Or do you really think that their actual income is $45 grand a year, with the house they live in, the car they drive, and the schools their kids are going to?

It's a hell of a lot more likely than the conclusions the freeper came to.

The most likely conclusion? With the house they live in, the neighborhood they live in, the schools their children go to, the car they drive, they could very easily afford health insurance and auto insurance that would have taken care of them in the event of an accident.

Thers "rebuttal" was just snark - beating down the straw man argument that anyone is saying the family was fabulously wealthy - rather than simply pointing out that good health insurance was in no way above their reach.

What made this entire episode worse is that the child was covered by SCHIP as is, without the expansion as demanded by Democrats and yet, Harry Reid's office had the boy read a statement saying that children like him would no longer be covered because of the President's veto.

and because private insu... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

and because private insurance would have cost them more than their mortgage.

I'm sorry, you know this, how?

You base your assumption that the family in question has the means upon the flawed reasoning of a freeper.

No, I base that on the listings of the assets of the family.

Which sob story is that?

Come on, the "Mr. President don't take away my insurance/livelihood" falacy.

I'm sorry, you know this... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'm sorry, you know this, how?

A freeper told me. Ok, not really. You actually have to read if you're going to be informed:

Having priced private insurance that would cost more than their mortgage - about $1,200 a month - they continue to rely on the government program. In Maryland, families that earn less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level - about $60,000 for a family of four - are eligible.

No, I base that on the listings of the assets of the family.

Which you got from a freeper. I guess you've got the whole story, then, don't you?

Come on, the "Mr. President don't take away my insurance/livelihood" falacy.

It's not a fallacy. If those kids didn't have SCHIP when they were in the car accident, that family would be screwed.

I was under the impression that Republicans/Libertarians were all about the small business owner and private schools, but I guess that only applies if you're filthy rich. In any case, you better not think about taking advantage of a government program instead of selling your house/car/education to cover ever-rising health care costs. Is this what they call compassionate conservatism?

You actually have to rea... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

You actually have to read if you're going to be informed:

I see. So the journalist who wrote the story is trustworthy? You're sure he looked into every health insurance policy available for purchase to the Frosts, right? And we're just supposed to take the Frosts word for it about the cost of their mortgage vs. health insurance. I mean, there's no agenda here for either party, right?

Yes, you're so very informed.

Remember, Bush isn't doing away with the SCHIP program, just the expansion of it. And if this is the type of family that qualifies for it already I can't imagine who would qualify for it under the expansion.

In any case, you better not think about taking advantage of a government program instead of selling your house/car/education to cover ever-rising health care costs.

I don't blame them for it as I have already said, I'm just curious where you think we should stop the government program?

mantis, your assumptions ab... (Below threshold)

mantis, your assumptions about the family (financial aid for school, mortgage, etc. etc.) are as based in reality as the freepers' presumptions -- meaning, it's all speculative.

But it still brings up a couple of interesting thoughts:

1) Wouldn't their story be a compelling argument for keeping SCHIP just as is, since it helped them so greatly, and not much of an argument for expanding it?

2) If they're going to make a public policy argument based on their particular circumstances, doesn't that then make their circumstances fully open to both sides of the argument? In other words, by pushing their son to be the spokesman (er... spokesboy) for their cause based on their troubles, haven't they forfeited the right to claim "privacy" when people start asking questions about those troubles?

It wasn't the Freepers who decided the kid would be the standard bearer in what should have been an argument between grownups, but the SCHIP expanders. If they want him to play in the big leagues, they can't hide behind his short pants.

J.

Mantis, where in the Consti... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Mantis, where in the Constitution does it say the federal government has the responsiblity to pay for medical insurance. Since the federal government is supposed to be limited in its scope by the Constitution. Which section gives it the power to take my money to pay for your kids illnesses. If you have children, it is your responsiblity to take care of them. If you can not, it is the job of CPS to put them with people who can. If you want socialism, move.

>We should expand the pr... (Below threshold)
Arthur:

>We should expand the program to cover more children. Especially children who fall into certain categories:

1) Children of parents who own a home worth roughly half a million dollars.

...
3) Children who attend $20,000/year private schools. ...

As I understood the story, this family was ALREADY covered under SCHIP. And the dems wanted to expand the coverage!

mantis, your assumptions... (Below threshold)
mantis:

mantis, your assumptions about the family (financial aid for school, mortgage, etc. etc.) are as based in reality as the freepers' presumptions -- meaning, it's all speculative.

Some speculation is more grounded in reality than other speculation.

Wouldn't their story be a compelling argument for keeping SCHIP just as is, since it helped them so greatly, and not much of an argument for expanding it?

No, because there are many like them, and less well off, especially in other states, who are not covered. The fact that Maryland had enough funding to support children in households up to 300% of the poverty level does not change the fact that other states can't even fund all the children in households up to 200%.

If they're going to make a public policy argument based on their particular circumstances, doesn't that then make their circumstances fully open to both sides of the argument?

Sure, but you're unskeptically accepting the speculation of the freeper doesn't make you look like someone interested in the truth of the situation. For instance:

Children who attend $20,000/year private schools.

No mention of the possibility that they get assistance on that. The freeper either didn't bother to look, or deliberately ignored, the Financial Assistance part of the Park School website:

In 2007, 18% of Park students in grades 1-12 received over $2 million in financial assistance that ranged from $1,000 per year to full tuition....As a guide, families with incomes up to $160,000 received financial assistance during this past school year.

Hmmm...nothing to see here. They obviously are paying the full $40k in cash. No other explanation possible.

In other words, by pushing their son to be the spokesman (er... spokesboy) for their cause based on their troubles, haven't they forfeited the right to claim "privacy" when people start asking questions about those troubles?

I don't believe I said anything about their privacy. What I object to is attacking them wild speculation coupled with a lot of ridiculously insulting comments, such as,

maybe Dad should drop his woodworking hobby and get a real job

Mmm, conservatives love the small businessman.

Why couldn't these yuppies afford to cover their own damned kids?

Yes indeed, $45k/year small businessman with four kids = yuppy.

It wasn't the Freepers who decided the kid would be the standard bearer in what should have been an argument between grownups, but the SCHIP expanders. If they want him to play in the big leagues, they can't hide behind his short pants.

Then argue against the policy and the policymakers, but don't make it an attack on the family that shared their story. But then, as Thers points out, demonization is a winner for you guys. Carry on.

Sorry mantis, but this fami... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Sorry mantis, but this family became the "voice and image" of this policy debate by agreeing to parade their son in front of the country with his tacky rebuttal to President Bush's explanaion of his veto. More scrutiny is most definitely deserved.

The way I see it, we now have 2 versions of their story with the truth I'm sure lying somewhere in the middle. And that story isn't exactly justification for expanding this government hand-out. Again, where should the program end? Until all states are giving coverage to those families with children up to the age of 25!?!? who 300% above the poverty level?, 400%? 500%? Hell, why not just have government coverage of all American children regardless of income, let's be fair. Who cares what it costs, just increase taxes!!

Thers "rebuttal" was jus... (Below threshold)
Thers Author Profile Page:

Thers "rebuttal" was just snark - beating down the straw man argument that anyone is saying the family was fabulously wealthy - rather than simply pointing out that good health insurance was in no way above their reach.

The freeper story that started all this is not much more than snark. The bit about the private school is the most egregious bit of nonsense, but there's really nothing there.

And it's pretty disingenuous to claim that the purpose of the freeper article wasn't to show them as wealthy, or at least extremely well off.

This is a program intended to help the middle class. They're in the middle class. It helped them.

Sorry mantis, but this family became the "voice and image" of this policy debate by agreeing to parade their son in front of the country with his tacky rebuttal to President Bush's explanaion of his veto.

That does not justify making stuff up about them.

Hell, why not just have government coverage of all American children regardless of income, let's be fair. Who cares what it costs, just increase taxes!!

Yes, let's. It wouldn't cost any more than the wildly inefficient current system.

Wouldn't their story be a compelling argument for keeping SCHIP just as is, since it helped them so greatly, and not much of an argument for expanding it?

In a world where healthcare costs aren't projected to keep rising fast, perhaps. That's not this one, though.

Life was very difficult for... (Below threshold)

Life was very difficult for my family while growing up. My younger sister was born with a very severe cleft palate condition and required about 21 major surgeries and medical procedures and special dental needs. Health insurance was rare in those days, and even charity organizations such as the Shriners were not very helpful. About 50% of our family income went towards my sister's medical needs when I was growing up.

It is morally wrong overplay the seeming financial security of some families to undermine an expansion of health care solely paid for by a tax on a destructive public health problem like smoking rather than public taxes to fund the program.

The tobacco industry refuses to make their products less addictive, safer or nonharmful to users and nonusers alike. Why shouldn't they be hit with higher and higher penalties until they wise up and get the message? Higher taxes to pay for children's health care is a pretty light penalty for these dangerous drug pushers to pay.

A few fringe conservatives need to look at this issue in the same moral way as many Republican religious conservatives in Congress who voted for the tobacco tax because of the higher benefit to society to children on one hand, and discouraging smoking on the other hand.

Can anyone give me a single... (Below threshold)
Darby:

Can anyone give me a single, just one mind you, example of a government run program, any program anywhere in the United States at the state or federal level, that has ever and I mean EVER been run at cost or below projected cost?

Oh yeah, and if you find one, I'd really like to see the proof of it. Hard number proof that is.

You evaluate the efficacy o... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

You evaluate the efficacy of government programs based chiefly on budgetary performance, Darby? That's stupid. You wouldn't put a price, for instance, on national security; why put one on health? A moral person would pay whatever it costs to provide the opportunity for people to live healthy lives, and not worry about what the projected cost was. You're off-topic.

"A moral person would pay w... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"A moral person would pay whatever it costs to provide the opportunity for people to live healthy lives, and not worry about what the projected cost was."

Uh huh. You go first. You give every penny of your money to provide health care for others, correct?

"..and not worry about what the projected cost was." (!!) I just had to type that again to be sure I saw it.

I hope that was just hyperbol; we'll see who agrees.

Would a moral person beggar... (Below threshold)

Would a moral person beggar himself to provide for someone who will not lift a hand to help themselves? Should he?

I've got little problem helping out folks who need it. I've got quite a problem with being forced to help those who don't.

A moral person would pay... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

A moral person would pay whatever it costs to provide the opportunity for people to live healthy lives, and not worry about what the projected cost was. You're off-topic.

I'm sure you have taken a vow of poverty. I mean, it's the moral thing to do. Wow, that is quite frankly one of the scarier statements I've seen.

This is a progr... (Below threshold)
Martin A Knight:
This is a program intended to help the middle class.

Nope, this is a program (created by Republicans, by the way) intended to help children from poor homes who cannot afford health insurance, not people who certainly can.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy