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Should the Frost Family be Eligible For State Children’s Health Insurance?

PJM ROUNDUP: After the Frost family helped advocate government-funded health care, and 12-year-old Graeme Frost delivered the Democrats' weekly radio address with a plea to Bush to sign the bill, the blogosphere has been buzzing with opinion on whether the Frosts should -- or should not -- have been considered eligible for state assistance. Here are some samples of comment.

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October 7, 2007 - 1:30 pm

Tigerhawk: “the anecdotal healthcare experiences of a particular child and his family were cited by Democrats as evidence in favor of a specific social program (the details of which hardly matter). Righties responded that his case is quasi-fraudulent political showmanship and responded with anecdotes of their own, namely that the Frost family was more affluent than portrayed by the Democrats. Lefties, including thoughtful and respectable lefties, regard this as yet another example of right-wing “smear” tactics. … Frankly, I think virtually everybody involved has behaved, well, disingenuously and hypocritically.”

The Moderate Voice: “In point of fact, the Frosts are all too typical of middle-class families (one or two of whom might include Republican moms and dads) who are getting squeezed big time these days because of long-term economic trends and the “compassionate conservatism” of the Bush administration.”

Right Wing Nuthouse: “The struggle here is not over little Graeme Frost who no one has criticized or smeared. The ideological battle over “need” and “want” is what is at issue. Of course the middle class wants SCHIP. Why not? It’s free, isn’t it?”

Taylor Marsh: “National health care and the expanding of the rolls of children on S-CHIP is the equivalent of the second coming of F.D.R.’s Social Security. Democratic policies and our commitment to families is truly the moral and ethical equivalent of what cemented a Democratic power block in F.D.R.’s day. With Rush and Michelle Malkin’s version of the Frost’s story completely unraveling on them they’ve got no choice but to ratchet up the rhetoric no matter how unhinged they sound.”

Flopping Aces: “the fact remains, this family is currently eligible for the SCHIP program at 3x the poverty level. In plain English this means they are NOT in poverty. And this Congress wants to expand it even more to include families who make up to 80 grand a year. When will it stop?”

Comments From Left Field: “True, there are some that are so entrenched in their ideology that they believe unequivocally in the ant and the grasshopper in strict black and white terms, but I think most Americans believe children should, without question, get medical care when they need it. The debate surrounds how to get it to them in a way that is fair. Even universal healthcare is something that need not be an exercise in bloodletting and partisan invective if cooler heads from the differing parts of the debate got together and worked it out.”

Captain’s Quarters: “Let’s move the debate back to policy … Most Republicans supported the modest expansion of S-CHIP that the White House originally proposed. No Republican officeholders have, to my knowledge, proposed eliminating S-CHIP or scaling it back in any way. The GOP has argued that the expansion of the program to 400% of the poverty line would damage private health coverage and create a subsidy for families that can afford to make the choice for health coverage already.

The Frosts, the family at the center of the storm, came to personify the issue because Democrats had them use themselves as an argument for the expansion of the program. This turns out to be rather dishonest, because the Frosts qualified for S-CHIP without the expansion, as Herszenhorn reports. Their income levels fell below the existing 200% qualifying range for S-CHIP and they have used the program — as they would have been able to continue to do so with the White House proposal. “

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