The Democrats` Unhealthy Poster Child Abuse
A few weeks ago, Democrat
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lured two young
children to the public spotlight to help him pass a
massive expansion of government health insurance.
Gemma and Graeme Frost, 9 and 12 years old respectively,
were severely injured in a
car accident three years ago. Their parents obtained
government health care through the non-means-tested
Children`s Health Insurance Program in Maryland.
President Bush`s veto doesn`t change that—and there`s
Because liberal lawmakers
cannot honestly defend their expansion plans as bona
fide aid to the needy, they have surrounded themselves
with the Frosts and other kiddie human shields to
deflect any tough scrutiny. As they push for an override
of the president`s veto, scheduled for Oct. 18, the
desperate Dems will shamelessly invoke the
Absolute Moral Authority kiddie card to attack their
critics for "attacking the children."
After 12-year-old Graeme
Frost delivered the Democrat radio address, which was
penned for him by Senate staffers,
conservatives on the FreeRepublic.com forum and
across the Internet asked the questions the mainstream
media wouldn`t ask about the family`s financial
situation. The couple claims a combined annual income of
about $45,000. Neither the Democrats nor the Baltimore
Sun indicates how they verified that assertion before
circulating it. [Baltimore
family joins health care showdown, By Lynn
Anderson, September 27, 2007]
verifiable: The Frosts
own a home in Baltimore purchased for $55,000 16
years ago—and now worth an estimated $300,000. That`s a
lot of equity. In addition, the children`s father,
Halsey Frost, owns commercial real estate and his own
small business, but
chose not to buy health insurance for himself and
his wife, whom he hired as an employee. She now
apparently works freelance at a medical publishing firm,
which also reportedly doesn`t offer insurance.
Gemma and Graeme both
expensive private schools; the Frosts have two other
school-age children. Reid`s staff says Gemma and Graeme
receive tuition breaks. But it`s not clear when those
scholarships were instituted and/or whether the other
two receive tuition aid as well. Moreover, Frost`s
family comes from considerable means. The children`s
maternal grandfather was an engineering executive. Their
paternal grandparents hail from
affluent Bronxville, New York, where the grandfather
is a prominent facilities management consultant and
chairman of the municipal planning board.
In other words: The public
trough is not Halsey Frost`s last and only resort. The
accident was horrible. The children deserve much
sympathy and compassion. But this family made choices.
Choices have consequences. Taxpayers of lesser means
should not be forced to subsidize them.
The Frosts claim it would
cost them more per month than their mortgage, reportedly
$1,200 a month, to buy private insurance. But insurance
bloggers quickly found available plans for a family of
six with premiums as low as $452/month. "That`s
almost a third of the price quoted in the [Baltimore
Sun] article," wrote
Bob Vineyard at InsureBlog. "Doesn`t anyone
bother to check the facts?"
When it comes to Democrat
health care poster children, the answer is "No, they
don`t." Graeme and Gemma Frost are not the first
political symbols to be exploited by the
socialized health care pushers of the Left:
In 1996, Hillary Clinton
propped up young Jennifer Bush, a 7-year-old with
mystery ailments whose mother coached her to lobby for
universal health care. Jennifer was trotted out to
present the Clintons a lucky silver dollar "to bring
you good luck so everyone can have good insurance."
Jennifer`s mother was
later convicted of aggravated child abuse and welfare
fraud for misrepresenting $60,000 in assets on
In 2000, Al Gore propped
up elderly widow
Winifred Skinner to lambaste high drug prices. Gore
repeated her claim that she had to pick up cans on the
side of the road to pay for medicine. Dan Rather
bemoaned: "She`s no child, but she belongs on a
poster about high drug costs." One problem:
Winifred`s own well-to-do son, businessman Earl King,
debunked those claims.
In 2004, John Kerry
propped up Mary Ann Knowles, a breast cancer patient
claimed "had to keep working day after day right
through her chemotherapy, no matter how sick she felt,
because she was terrified of losing her family`s health
insurance." The conservative Manchester Union
Leader editorial page
reported: "Knowles chose to work through most,
but not all, of her chemotherapy because her husband was
out of a job. … She and husband John did not want to
take the pay cut that would have come with disability
leave, so Mary Ann kept working."
The Democrats sorely
resent that they can no longer peddle their Big Nanny
propaganda unchallenged. Harry Reid is already
throwing tantrums and attacking the messengers who
expose their health care poster child abuse. Here`s a
free prescription for our stunted politicians: Grow up.
Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores.
here for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click
here for Michelle Malkin`s website.
Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "Unhinged:
Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."
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