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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.


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Comments (51)

Kim, a great post and summa... (Below threshold)

Kim, a great post and summary with great links!

I know very little about pe... (Below threshold)

I know very little about personal finances. Like most other high ranking 15th century clerics, I let my Jewish bankers count my doubloons. I'm surprised, though, that a house and cars are considered "liquid" assets. Or are you referring to other forms of wealth? Have their RRSPs/savings accounts/etc. been disclosed? Just curious.

Hm, so someone who has more... (Below threshold)

Hm, so someone who has more money than I do, a larger house, commercial property, 3 cars to my 2 (and one of mine is a 1994!) and sends his kids to private school, should be able to not buy health care for his kids, but stick me with the bill?

I find this offensive as all get out. When I was recovering from cancer, and lost one job (Thank you ADA law!) I had to pay COBRA coverage for over a year before I got a job with health care again.

It isn't a choice people! Pay your own damn health care, don't expect me to pay for yours.

And don't bet on Hillary care to "FIX" the system. For me, that equates to a DEATH SENTENCE. Yes, if Hillary care had been the norm in 1994, I would have died.

So, people get out there and take responsibility for yourselves.

As for where to draw the line for free care. Somewhere around the poverty line is a good choice. Certainly LOWER than it is now!

Who should qualify for gove... (Below threshold)
Your Typical Liberal:

Who should qualify for government funded healthcare?

Everyone. The more people dependent on the government, the better. Control, baby, it's all about control.

So, you had to go to the sl... (Below threshold)
rumors on the internets:

So, you had to go to the slimey Malkin to drum up more of your hate. Just what is the validity of this alleged email?

And your Freepers have already been unmasked as LIARS as well as that Philopino shrew..

It's amazing the scum level the righties are willing to sink to because they can't stand that Graeme put a human face on the right's complete lack of humanitarian concern.

Try "Uncompassionate Conservatives." It certainly fits.

Umm, rumors, what does Malk... (Below threshold)

Umm, rumors, what does Malkin's Filipino heritage got to do with anything? Her dishonest shrewness notwithstanding, I fail to see why her racial background bears mentioning.

Yes, those Freepers are suc... (Below threshold)

Yes, those Freepers are such liars.

In other news, how is Dan Rather doing these days?

Uh, how is it putting a fac... (Below threshold)

Uh, how is it putting a face on a humanitarian concern, when the Frosts actually do have what they're whining about?

Logic. It's a nice thing. Look into it.

Yes, what exactly does Malk... (Below threshold)

Yes, what exactly does Malkin's heritage/race have anything to with this? It's not as if putting down people by race is part of what the left claims to hate.

Oh wait.

(You just gotta laugh. And point!)

Fuck you, Jo. A "leftist" b... (Below threshold)

Fuck you, Jo. A "leftist" beat you to calling out that guy on his racist crap.

I am always at a loss when ... (Below threshold)

I am always at a loss when I read about entitlement programs.

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.

This statement concerns me. Yes some people would say it should be. Well of course, 3 vehicles, 4 kids in private schools...this is a no brainer.

I do not wish anyone to not receive coverage, but let's be realist. The s-chip is not for the poor, but a front to continue to perpetuate the government programs.

It is time to stop all the programs. When there are no guidelines being implemented abuse occurs. Even with guidelines abuse occurs, as the case listed. This man was his own employer, but it took lots to get that info. The original story gave the appearance that his employer was terrible for not offering more.

Thanks for continuing to post on this. We as tax payers truly need to get a grip on all the spending.

Ya know....I did not... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Ya know....
I did not know anyone who died on 9/11
I did not know anyone who did or lost their home during Katrina....
But that did not mean I did not think my tax $$ should not go there.

Maybe you folks feel guilty about going to school K-12 without paying.
Maybe you feel guilty that our poliice and fire Depts are not privatized...and we pay for their response...

I feel guilty that we borrow hundreds of Billions from Communist China to fund an occupation that I feel is wrong...

Ok we all feel guilty...
What is wrong with the Norman Rockwell America where if we have it a little better than someone else...we try to help that person?

Is our nation...every person for themselves?

We have become a nation adrift buffeted by waves of fear and hate. Either we drown...or we survive.

Me...at age 4 I learned to "dog-paddle"

We already have free health... (Below threshold)

We already have free health care for all. Just head to an ER and when they ask your name, tell them Jose Gonzalez and no hable engles and that you are an illegal.

Free, free, free, free.

Has anyone in the blogosphe... (Below threshold)

Has anyone in the blogosphere confirmed or contested the unsolicited e-mail from the neighbor? I didn't see any mention on MM's site that she had checked it out. It may well be from a neighbor, and it may well be true, bu then again anyone can write an e-mail and say, "I'm a neighbor, and here is the true story..."

"Fuck you, Jo."Is ... (Below threshold)

"Fuck you, Jo."

Is hyperbolist a candidate for these new TOS bans? Wow, what an asshole.

Hyperbolist, I'll take that... (Below threshold)

Hyperbolist, I'll take that as a "yes you beat me" answer from you. It's a bitch to have nothing left to say, isn't it? Libs do get furious when outdebated.

Love it!

Want to play again? Didn't think so.

Well, Kim, SCHIP may well s... (Below threshold)

Well, Kim, SCHIP may well stand for Socialize Children Hardly In Preschool. This program creates the mindset that the nanny state will provide healthcare for us so when these kids are adults they will expect it. Bad deal for all of us, even the kids.

Billy...let your whiteboy r... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Billy...let your whiteboy racist light shine on...

Do folks...really wonder why Americans with a darker melanin of all economic backgrounds shun the tent of the GOP?

You bet NogoWar. My tax do... (Below threshold)

You bet NogoWar. My tax dollars will support your miserable ass for years. Thanks to successful conservatives like me, we get to pay the lions share of the taxes so we can give entitlements to lazy assholes like you.

Leeches from foreign countries and lazy assholes like you are bleeding this country.

Go back to your panhandling corner so you can pay for your internet connection.

sends his kids to ... (Below threshold)
sends his kids to private school

The kids were awarded what we call a "scholarship." That means they don't pay "tuition," which is the bill for the schooling (I'm not sure it's safe to assume you know what a "bill" is, but here's to hoping)

Many thanks for the link. ... (Below threshold)

Many thanks for the link. I'm looking forward to the day when the Ants start saying "No!"

I apologize...I wrongly ass... (Below threshold)
nog war:

I apologize...I wrongly assumed that my comments were directed toward fellow college graduates that either went to school on a vet loan like my wife and i did...or received a low interest govt loan like our two children.
I wanted to point out the hypocracy of it's ok for the govt to help you out but nobody else...

It is clear I am dealing with true independents who either were too proud to take govt help to go to college and did not go...or went to college on their own..

I now agree...that a couple making $50,000 to 80,000 a year make enough...
That is why I propose no student of a couple making $50,000-$80,000 be eligible for any govt grant or govt low interest loan for college...
Their parents make enough...or their parents can take a second job...or they can make the sacrifice...

You folks have won me over....

Jpe...I feel guilty..... (Below threshold)

Jpe...I feel guilty..
Because our daughter received 28,000 out of $35,000 cost to go to the University of Denver on a scholarship...(the rest was a govt subsidized loan...and she worked 30 hrs a week)Someone...somewhere ponied up that money.

I will work with you to ban all scholarships..

Our motto can be

If You can't pay for it?
You don't deserve it.

I feel no guilt whatsoever.... (Below threshold)

I feel no guilt whatsoever. I am not a liberal. Liberals are motivated by guilt. I am a hard working, familiy raising, God loving American. It is obvious that this family that defrauded my government is the guilty one. ww

Jo, what exactly do you cla... (Below threshold)

Jo, what exactly do you claim to have beat me at? I called out some idiot for bringing Malkin's race into it (as though there aren't good reasons for ignoring her). Then you proceeded to do the same, while taking it as an example of how "the left" denigrates people based on race--after a member of "the left" already called the guy out for doing it. Nevertheless you will continue to make inferences about everybody to the left of the WaPo editorial page based on stupid remarks posted on the internet by people that nobody has ever heard of. Carry on, noble warrior.

I'm sorry if that earlier bit o' cussin' gave you the vapors, D-Hoggs. It was downright un-Amurcan of me.

hyperbolist loses again. A... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist loses again. And yes we'd appreciate less cursing. It's tacky. Especially in print. Knock it off.

Back on topic, and relevant... (Below threshold)

Back on topic, and relevant to the MM post and Kim's.

I'm self employed, a one man shop consulting practice.

I can insure my family for $599 per month, $2,500 deductible, $30 prescription co pay and $35 office visit co pay. No pregnancy.

I can access the finest health care system in the world and choose my own providers for $600 per month. Not cheap...but worth every penny of it. The high deductible forces me to choose wisely and become involved in the healthcare delivery process.

This is not rocket science people. For another $100 a month I can insure against most all catastrophic events.

This cost is much more sustainable when a person makes wise choices. That's why I drive a seven year old automobile that is paid for. No installment debt for TV's, electronics and appliances.

This is the classic conservative/liberal debate that is ultimately defined by personal choice and decision making. The Dems foisted this poor couple on the American public, and predictably, many of us living within our means started to ask the same tough questions that we asked ourselves before. Drive a new car or pay for health insurance? Watch a new HD TV or pay for health insurance? BTW, scholarships at private school only cover tuition. The "extras" amount to out of pocket thousands per year.

I grieve the injury of their children in an accident. Anyone with children worries about this. That is why it is imperative that parents without employer plans should prepare carefully.

Malkin has all the new good... (Below threshold)

Malkin has all the new goods on the Frosts family. Maybe they should have not come forward because not only do people with more money not deserve CHIP, but the Frosts do not as well. Three nice cars!!! Wow. Even their neighbor is appalled. Go read all about it on Malkin.

So since your original lies... (Below threshold)

So since your original lies where debunked you decided to go the unverified anonymous email route? That is brilliant journalism. You and Michelle are pathetic.

At least Jay tries.

Yeah you're right. The e-m... (Below threshold)

Yeah you're right. The e-mails probably originated from Kinkos. Bwahahahaha....

Again you lose Barney. Love it! We all do.

BarneyThis family <i... (Below threshold)

This family allowed themselves to be used for Democratic propaganda. Put another way, Democrats picked some dupes to forward their mindless, poorly camouflaged healthcare plan that the average citizen can see through immediately. When the tough questions began to arrive, their Dem sponsors are suddenly "unavailable" and these poor dupes have nothing but a 12 year old to hide behind.

HughS, well put.... (Below threshold)

HughS, well put.

Someone...somewher... (Below threshold)
Someone...somewhere ponied up that money.

Yeah, the school did. They think the kids are worth it. What the hell is wrong with you? Government aid is wrong, charity is wrong. You aren't pre-Christmas Scrooge are you?

It's entirely possible that... (Below threshold)

It's entirely possible that at least one of the cars was a gift. And it makes sense he'd have a truck, since I'll bet his job involves lugging wood around. Call it a hunch.

And, since Bush allowed businesses to fully write-off trucks, it probably made more sense to get a truck than a car (which aren't deductible).

One thing a lot of commente... (Below threshold)

One thing a lot of commenter's haven't realized is that family bought that house in the early 90's, for 55K. Guess what, house prices have gone up. The daughter, due to a bad auto accident, has serious brain damage, and is in a special/private school, for all brain damaged kids, that is paid for by the state, not just for her, but for a whole bunch of kids.

I personally am against paying for someone kids, who parents are too damn lazy to have a job without benefits, but we all know those jobs are out there, and either you work them or starve.

Instead of swiftboating that family, why don't all of you come up with some plan that might help people in those positions? It could be you in that position tomorrow, right? And I'm sure a $100 signing bonus will help pay for the insurance.

We American's have a huge problem on health insurance, and to ridicule one family is not solving the problem. I would love to see one of you people come up with something, at no tax increase, to help people like that. Got the balls to do so, or just continue to smear that family?

One thing a lot of... (Below threshold)
One thing a lot of commenter's haven't realized is that family bought that house in the early 90's, for 55K. Guess what, house prices have gone up.

Apparently, they could just live under a bridge. Living under a roof is a right, not a privilege.

jpeSo, based on your... (Below threshold)

So, based on your comment, we have a Ford F250 Truck that may qualify for the current business investment deduction ( don't say Bush never loved Detroit!)....what else?

BTW, none of the deductions are worth anything without an offset to revenue. Where did the revenue come from from?

These poor folks have opened themselves up to myriad tax questions. Who would do that to their own family? They are dupes that will be shoved to the curb when the Dems are done with them.

Instead of swiftboati... (Below threshold)

Instead of swiftboating that families, why don't all of you come up with some plan that might help people in those positions?

Someone call John O'Neill and tell him he is responsible for poverty. But what do we do with Allen? Remedial reading? Bueller? Anyone?

Knowing what it is like to ... (Below threshold)

Knowing what it is like to live in the Baltimore area, there is no way that family of six is living on $45K a year gross. Net per month that's in the $2700 range, and with a ~$1200 mortgage payment on the house alone, taxes and homeowners insurance ($500/month?), vehicle insurance at $80 per vehicle per month (what I pay as a safe driver with no accidents ever), utilities (BGE has gone up a LOT this year and we spend $200 monthly, on average, for a new construction townhome 1/2 the size of their house) and groceries (family of 6, $300 conservatively). I've not figured in gas money, car payments if there are any, general random expenses, or liability/costs for the commercial property, internet, phone, water, sewer, etc.

Someone plot out a budget for this family of 6 that works at $45K a year gross. Or net. I can't get it it work. My own budget for a family of 3 at $70K a year is tight.

BTW, none of the d... (Below threshold)
BTW, none of the deductions are worth anything without an offset to revenue. Where did the revenue come from from?

The guy has a business. I'm going to use my amazing psychic abilities.....I'm seeing something.......the spirits are telling me that the revenue comes from...his business.

If you have a truck and use it primarily for business, look into deducting it. Even if your business isn't profitable on paper, you may be able to rack up losses for future tax years.

Me thinks the Frosts will r... (Below threshold)

Me thinks the Frosts will regret ever getting into bed with the democrats. Everyone does, eventually.

Living in a $~330,000+ mark... (Below threshold)
Roy Mustang:

Living in a $~330,000+ market value home is a luxury.

More than adequate "roofs" can be bought for much less.

Roy, due to the boom in rea... (Below threshold)

Roy, due to the boom in real estate prices, they're better off keeping their house rather than selling and renting or buying a new house. The relevant accounting metric here is the P&L, not the balance sheet (for allegedly being the party of business, I'm finding that the language of business may as well be Chinese on righty blogs. Strange).

Allen:Instead ... (Below threshold)


Instead of swiftboating that family, why don't all of you come up with some plan that might help people in those positions? It could be you in that position tomorrow, right? And I'm sure a $100 signing bonus will help pay for the insurance.

Why, they had solved their problem BEFORE allowing themselves to be shills for the far to extended SCHIP program.

If I were in their position tomorrow I would place that house on the market, remember it's now worth an estimated 300 "G's" and either buy another much smaller home or select a comfortable apartment to live in AND pay the medical bills rather than look for a government handout.

We American's have a huge problem on health insurance, and to ridicule one family is not solving the problem. I would love to see one of you people come up with something, at no tax increase, to help people like that. Got the balls to do so, or just continue to smear that family?

You want to to see a solution? OK, here it is... keep the ineffectual, over-blotted, spend-thrift gov OUT of medical care totally then there would be no tax increases because of it.

Simple solutions for simple minds, but somehow I have a feeling it went sailing over your head.

jpe:Roy, due t... (Below threshold)


Roy, due to the boom in real estate prices,

What the hell business news source are you reading! Housing prices are tanking in almost every state.

The MediaLiars party contin... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The MediaLiars party continue show how low they are willing to sink to lie about their socialized medicine. The mode of operation for the MoveOn liberals is simply to lie without shame or conscience. Their propagandists continue to slander to SwitftVets and POWs in support of known liars like Kerry, Clinton, and now AlGore. Frost is simply another Cindy Sheehan propaganda tool for George Soros' party.

We should call them 'Halsey... (Below threshold)

We should call them 'Halsey Frauds'. You know, for progressives, they sure have bought into the 'keeping up with the joneses' on a lot of their lifestyle choices. Big petroguzzlers, that family.

I'm the oldest of 12 kids, ... (Below threshold)

I'm the oldest of 12 kids, which included a sister with spinal bifida. My dad raised us in an 800 square foot cape, 1 bathroom at first, later adding 400 square feet on the second floor. Our car was always a second hand station wagon.

When young, he wanted to go to business school but he couldn't afford the suits for class. So he worked as a window and door installer all his life, was repeatedly injured on the job and never made much money. Mom never drove nor worked. We never starved, but we never ate well. Our clothes were either sewn by Mom, were hand-me-downs from cousins or within our family, or bought ourselves out of pocket money we earned from part-time jobs. My Dad would never have dreamed of accepting welfare. I'm the only one who went to a "private" parochial high school at my Dad's insistence. But I paid for my own tuition, uniforms and books through part-time jobs. Half of us went to college with no support from our parents. We worked like mules, got scholarships and took out loans to get through college.

When Dad retired, he sold the house and ended up with $100,000 of equity, a Social Security check, and 11 sons and daughters, 23 grandchildren and 4 greatgrandchildren, all of whom are proud of our upbringing and our self-reliance. And all during that time, Dad made damned sure we were covered by health insurance until 18. And gave us an earful if we didn't go to a school or had a job which gave us health insurance coverage after 18, which we made sure we did.

So along comes a family with two adults with college degrees, 3 vehicles, a 3,000 square foot home, hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity, and 4 uninsured children going to expensive private schools. And it appears that 2 of the kids suffered severe accident injuries because it looks like the brain-dead mom drove in icy conditions without making sure the kids had their seat belts on. So when this family is being trotted out as the poster family for expanded handouts, I tend to see red.

The kids need the public and private medical and educational help they're getting - I've got not problem with that. But the kids also need responsible, adult parents, which they don't have.

So my advice to the parents - sell a car, sell the properties, move to a town with a half decent public school system, find one full-time job (him) and a part-time job (her) with health benefits, and call us for help only if your money runs out.

I apologize...I wrongly ... (Below threshold)

I apologize...I wrongly assumed that my comments were directed toward fellow college graduates that either went to school on a vet loan like my wife and i did...or received a low interest govt loan like our two children.
I wanted to point out the hypocracy of it's ok for the govt to help you out but nobody else...

The government should not be in the business of providing higher education loans. These subsidies only serve to drive up the cost of attending college, thereby necessitating more loans. The government is distorting the higher education market and should get out.

One last thing - when I see... (Below threshold)

One last thing - when I see whiners screeching about the Iraq War's costs versus health benefits, I think again of what price America paid in WWII by comparison:

WWII Dead - 2,500 per million Americans.
Iraq War Dead - 1 per million Americans

WWII cost - 50% of GNP
Iraq War cost - 1% of GNP

My Dad's time in a war zone - 1,080 days
Frost's time in a war zone - 0 days

Yeah, the Libs and Frosts have it tough today.

My goodness, Jerry.<p... (Below threshold)

My goodness, Jerry.

I've heard it said that half of us are here to do the work for all.






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