Who Should Qualify for Government Funded Health Care?

On Sunday, I wrote a post about the Frost family, whose son, Graeme, gave the Democratic radio address to implore President Bush to not veto the new SCHIP bill, which expanded coverage of government funded health care by $35 billion. Graeme was chosen to give the address because he and his family appeared to be the perfect spokes-family for SCHIP. The family experienced a tragedy in that two kids were severely injured in a car accident in 2004. Since they didn’t have health insurance before the accident, they relied on SCHIP to pay for the kids’ medical care after the accident. I linked to a post by icwhatudo at Free Republic who did some research on the Frost family. Most of it was accurate, such as the information about their assets (the Frosts own a 3,000 sq. ft home as well as commercial property), but one detail was off (yes the kids go to private school, but the costs are covered by scholarships or something along those lines).

Many conservative bloggers (including me) expressed frustration that a family with a lot in assets could get government funded health care that was paid for by taxpayers, many of whom have far fewer assets available to them. As a result, bloggers on the Left side of the blogosphere went apoplectic that conservatives would dare question whether the Frosts should qualify for taxpayer funded health care, as if taxpayers’ money spent by the government is none of the taxpayers’ business.

Today we learn more about the Frost family from one of their neighbors who sent an unsolicited email to Michelle Malkin (and I’m sure the Left will again blow a gasket and pull out the “we’re creating an environment when neighbor snitches on neighbor” and make all the Nazi comparisons that they usually do with conservatives). Here’s a portion:

They’re good people. Terribly misguided, pathetically leftist buffoons, but still good people. It was a terrible accident and Bonnie is quite beat up with guilt over the events. Lots of neighbors pitched in to cook meals and help out… Bonnie works half time doing freelance editorial work and Halsey, an incredibly disorganized lovable goofball, just can’t seem to hold down a proper job or, when he’s tried, to run a proper company. He’s a millwork carpenter and does great work installing custom interior and exterior trimwork and cabinetry. He should be making great money but can’t get out of his way…

…Still, we make choices, right? They have three vehicles – a nice new volvo SUV, a Suburban, and his F250 Ford Pickup work truck, a nice house, and all four kids go to private school. Not sure where the money comes from, but they don’t make all that much. Should they be the poster child for S-CHIP? Heck no….

I feel very badly for the two kids who suffered injuries in a horrible car accident. However, these questions aren’t directed toward the kids because they aren’t the ones who make the decisions in their family. Their parents do, and it sounds like they haven’t made a lot of good ones. So, should taxpayers subsidize a family in which the parents don’t (or won’t) prioritize or who can’t get their acts together? I say no.

Dan Riehl agrees and writes this:

It isn’t the rich who are going to end up supporting expanded entitlements. Plenty of decent hard working people, with children, people who certainly don’t have enough free cash to go out and buy a Volvo SUV right now are going to be forced to give up hard-earned dollars to subsidize poor decision-making by other Americans who, in cases like the Frosts, have more assets and had more potential advantages than they ever had.

For some reason, it appears Halsey Frost either can’t hold a job, or has chosen to pursue an un-rewarding career path, as opposed to taking one of the many jobs available in Baltimore over the years that would have made him as much money and provided health care for his family. And he made that decision long before his children were tragically injured in a car accident.

And as Dan says, this doesn’t mean that the assistance that the Frosts currently get from SCHIP should be taken away from them – although I’m sure some people would say it should be. Rather, we need to seriously consider who should be covered by SCHIP in the future, and expanding the program by $35 billion dollars so as to cover more middle class families with as many if not more assets than the Frost family is not how taxpayers’ dollars should be spent.

And be sure to read Bookworm‘s piece about Ants and Grasshoppers.

We're Just Waiting For The Hammer To Fall
Enron "whistle-blower" a phony?