Sunday, October 14, 2007

The SCHIPs Hitting The Fan

October 14, 2007

As most have heard by now, President Bush vetoed the bill sent to his desk recently to reauthorize the SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) program. Democrats are in a feigned tizzy as the veto is what they were seeking so they could have a campaign point to show how evil and heartless Republicans are, even though many Republicans joined in their acceptance of the flawed bill.

This past Friday, October 12, I received another one of those pesky emails from House Speakerette Nancy ‘the Stretch’ Pelosi titled “Heartless,” where she begins, “President Bush must have forgotten the compassionate part of "compassionate conservative" yet again when he vetoed legislation that would have provided health care for 10 million American children.” Further on she adds, “George Bush could have done the right thing. Instead, he used his pen to say: I forbid 10 million American children from getting the health care coverage they deserve.

As expected, the email is all about how “Heartless” Bush is and the need to elect more Democrats so children can receive healthcare. What isn’t said is heavily flawed bill was sent to Bush intentionally to draw a veto. Included in her email are links to “15 targeted Republicans” to encourage them to override the veto, knowing that most likely they won’t.

My friend Spree of Wake Up America has a post up detailing the flaws in the SCHIP bill and what must be done. Facts about SCHIP. Included is contact numbers I encourage all to use to maintain the veto of this fatally flawed piece of legislation.

Since Bush vetoed this faulty bill, Democrats have acted as expected by their counter measures campaigning against George Bush. This was shown today in an interview with Democrat Steny Hoyer on Fox News Sunday. In the interview with Chris Matthews, he stated, “…what this program does is exactly what the president said he wanted to do when he was campaigning in 2004. He said he wanted to add millions of children currently eligible but not included under the child health insurance program to the program.”

Earlier, Republican John Boehner said, “Over the 10 years we've had the program, here's what's happened. We have 500,000 eligible children who have not been signed up for the Children's Health Insurance Program, and yet there are 700,000 adults on the program.

As an example, in Minnesota, 87 percent of the people enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program are adults; 66 percent in Wisconsin.”

“And what Republicans are saying is, "Let's work together. Let's reauthorize the program. But let's make sure that poor kids come first."”

“What we don't want is what usually happens here in Washington. You create a new program, and all of a sudden it becomes something far different than what it started out to be.”

Hoyer, after proclaiming Boehner is wrong about the adults and stating the Democrats have penalized states that did have adults on it, added, “This is focused on children of families who are not poor enough to be on Medicaid, and not wealthy enough to afford insurance.”

To show their disdain for Bush’s veto, Democrats aired a 12 year-old in a shameful display of using a child to further their agenda. Graeme Frost describes an auto accident he was in 3 years ago and that the SCHIPs Program paid his medical bills. Frost said, "I was in a coma for a week and couldn't eat or stand up or even talk. My sister was even worse. My parents work really hard and always make sure my sister and I have everything we need, but we can't afford private health insurance."

With a minimal amount of research it was soon found that little Graeme and his sister each attend the exclusive Park School in Baltimore, MD, a private school, at a cost of $20,000 each per year.

In a Baltimore Sun Article earlier stating about his upcoming claims against Bush’s veto, the claim is made that his parents, “Bonnie Frost works for a medical publishing firm; her husband, Halsey, is a woodworker. They are raising their four children on combined income of about $45,000 a year. Neither gets health insurance through work.”

I’m no Mathematician, but simple arithmetic tells me it would be very difficult for 6 people to survive on the $5,000 a year after taking out the $40,000 tuition needed to keep Graeme and his sister in the exclusive Park School in Baltimore.

The article also states the obvious that, “Senate staffers wrote the script for Graeme.” I say obvious due to Graeme also saying, "I'm guessing he wants this money for Iraq. Our future isn't in Iraq. It's here."

Every time I think Democrats can’t sink any lower or become more shameless, they do it.

Not mentioned in the Baltimore Sun article is that Halsey Frost has owned his own company "Frostworks,” since their marriage was announced in 1992 or that he employed his wife, Bonnie, as bookkeeper and operations management up until 2007, when she joined the medical publishing firm.

A company known as DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIAL DESIGN CENTER LLC purchased the building the Frost’s Woodworking operates out of in 1999, for a cost of $160,000 and with a mailing address the same as the Frost household.

This family “surviving on just $5,000 per year” lives in a 3,040 Square Foot house where neighbor’s homes have been selling for over $400,000.

Maybe the IRS should be looking into the income of this “poor” family that cannot afford health insurance for their 4 children that we taxpayers must foot the bill for.

My thanks to the poster “icwhatudo” from Free Republic for their research into this.

If I, with my $40,000 actual yearly salary can afford Health Insurance for my wife, surely the Frosts can come clean about their own income and purchase it for their family and not have taxpayers footing the bill for what is clearly a very upper middle class family.

President Bush was right to veto this expansion of the SCHIPs bill and his veto must be upheld. It is nothing more than a sly attempt at getting a foot in the door for Socialized Medicine, should it pass. Mostly, it is to get attacking points to demonize Bush and Republicans as the Democrats continue their Putsch for more and more power.

I urge you to use the contact numbers at the link above to Spree’s Wake Up America and encourage our Representatives to hold firm on the veto. We taxpayers will pay for truly needy and poor people, but why should we be paying for those whose income is most likely three to four times what our own is and who could afford health insurance, if they wanted to?


UPDATE: My assessment of the Fosters available income is wrong. By that I mean I have learned that the $20,000 tuition for the two children mentioned is being almost completely paid for by the grandparents. However, it does raise the question of why public schools aren't good enough for these children, but public health care is.

The Democrats parading this unfortunate child for expanding this program appears to me to be a strawman. At the income reported for the family, they qualify for the program and no one is trying to take now qualified children off of it. If the family's income is being under reported it is up to others to discover and correct.

I also must ask where was their auto insurance for medical costs after teh car accident that injured this child? All auto accident policies carry a medical provision for injuries to occupants and unlike health insurance, it is not an option to carry auto insurance.

Some left-winged sites are outraged that the childs family is under scrutiny. In typical leftist fashion, we are not supposed to look into claims made by unfortunates they prostitute for their agendas. Any person put out in front of the public in agenda driven pushes deserves to be scrutinized, regardless of what side they represent.


Unknown said...

What of the motives of the 45 Republicans who voted for the bill?

I'm not agreeing with them, just wondering since you didn't mention an opinion on them in your write up.

LewWaters said...

As I keep saying, Jim, I am a conservative before I am a Republican. I was raised a Democrat in the Old South but felt the party left me when they became infested with liberalism.

As for the 45 you mention, the Republicans have many RINO's, Rockefellor Republicans, in D.C. And yes, they are hurting the party, I feel.

Unknown said...

Sorry, but what does RINO mean?

LewWaters said...

Republican in Name Only.

For Democrats, they have DINO, Democrat in Name Only.

u∃∃l!∃ said...

RHINOs and DINOs are individuals who feel that they can vote based on what they believe is right, instead of feeling a need to follow the party lead.

We need more RHINOs and more DINOs and more Independents.

As for the way bills are written, BOTH parties fill them with crap, and then make claims based on how someone voted on a bill.
All of this is aimed at making it so much work for people to actually know the facts; so that they can be more easily manipulated with slanted partial truth information.

Both Major Parties do this.
(The minor parties probably do it also.)

LewWaters said...

Coboble, at one time in my life, I would agree with you. No longer. Almost everything in Washington D.C. is partisan.

To be a RINO goes well beyond just voting ones mind. When you belong to one party and spend the majority of your time opposing your own party, you become a RINO. Linclon Chafee would be a good example of a RINO. Eventually, they drop their party and join the other one or go independent, but they harm their party in the meantime. And that applies to all party's.

Filling bills with pork is an entirely different matter and regardless of which party does it, I am opposed to the practice. If a rider is atatched to a bill, I feel it should compliment he bill or at least be related to its purpose.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the explanation, I have never heard that before.

I guess I've always been under the illusion that a congressman/woman or senator should be voting according to their constituents, regardless of what the party line to tow may be.

I'm not sure there's any such politician currently.

LewWaters said...

Unfortunately, Jim, back room deals are too often made to pass legislation, by both party's and some constituents get upset. That's why we hold elections every so often.

Regardless of which party one belongs to, if their sole purpose was to vote as their constituents wanted, remembering that even those who didn't vote for them are also constituents of theirs, do you think we would have the Civil Rights Bill for Blacks today?

Back to this SCHIPs bill. Don't you find it unnecessary for us to be footing the bill for those whose pay is so much more than ours, and truly deserving children go without?

Unknown said...

Well, in regards to SCHIP, I'd have to say you'll need to speak for yourself as I make about three times as much as the figures I've seen for the family in questions income. I also know that in this area, with the cost of living accordingly, puts my family somewhere in the middle of what you would consider middle class. Hardly living high on the hog. Add to that, I don't have health insurance as an added bonus to my profession - thankfully the wife is in the education field and health insurance coverage is one thing compensated well.

I have also seen information in regards to the family in question, putting forth that the majority of the tuition for their private school is subsidized, leaving them with something along the lines of $500 a year for each child. Considering the subsidized cost of a private school, which I would imagine is vastly better than their public choices, I've gotta say, more power to them. Not everyone has that option. I don't know what the cost of living is like in the current area where they live, but if it's anything similar to this area - I'd say they aren't living a life style of the rich and famous.

Politicians hoisting them on a flag pole as a reason to garner support..well, that's pretty low, but all you have to do is think back to the "snow flake" babies to see the sludge is packed on both sides of the aisle.

I think we're going to differ on our health care views, as this summer I went though a major health trauma that garnered me some experience in the ways of the medical "inner workings" in this country. As crappy as I hear all the time that universal health care will be, I find it hard to imagine it's going to be much worse than the current private system. Had I not health insurance, my family would be in the hole -$78,000 currently. That's a joke considering I wasn't even in the hospital longer than 3 days. I'm thankful we had insurance coverage (as otherwise I most likely would currently be dead) and I now have shaped my opinion that everyone should be alloted some form of health care without a lifetime of debt to follow, no matter if you can afford or "qualify" for it. I wouldn't punish sick, poor, or even people that may abuse the system, more than I'd want to punish some of those outrageous costs!

I guess I don't feel bad about footing the bill for others coverage, because I'm already footing the bill for my coverage, and so are you. So, I should say, thanks!

LewWaters said...

Not being a smart ass, Jim, but I am on VA Medical. I also have insurance through my work so my wife is covered.

A Major problem I have with SCHIPs going to those who can afford health insurance, besides the obvious, is that is a stepping stone to socialized medicine. It may sound nice, but once it is completely under the control of the government, it will have to become rationed, as it is elsewhere and as other programs are. It will be too expensive, otherwise.

While it is nice tosay everyone should have healthcare to some degree alloted them, think about it. Who decides on who gets what allotment? Will smokers be at risk of being denied healthcare because they engage in dangerous activity? If that happens, what group that also engages in dangerous activity is next? Motorcycle riders? Bungee jumpers? Gays?

Besides all that, it again sounds very nice, but it isn't a constitutional guarantee or right.

There are healthcare programs in existence already and personally, I fail to see why so many adults are placed on a children's program while some children must go without.

Our constitution guarantees us little other than the opportunity to go for the gusto, unhindered. When everything becomes a right granted to us by government, we end up losing our liberty and become pawns in whatever game they play with us.

Just because someone like the Fosters found a way to get around the expenses they can well afford doesn't make it right. I have no qualms paying for those that truly need it or have to have it. We aren't heartless, no matter what Pelosi says.

It is those that don't need it or don't haveto have it that end draining the system and forcing it to one day be rationed to all.

Susan Duclos said...

Great post, I am still following links. Thanks for the link and encouraging people to tell their reps to uphold the veto until they can write the bill in a way where children of low income families, not adults, not people who can afford private health care but choose not to, but children are where the funds will go to.

Rhubarb said...

Two weeks before Veterans Day, and eight long months after news of neglect at Walter Reed hit the headlines, the Bush administration finally responded publicly to the flurry of reports ordered when the scandal broke.

Earlier this week, President Bush met with the co-chairs of his Wounded Warriors Commission, former Senator Bob Dole and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, to discuss executive implementation of their recommendations, and to announce recommendations for legislative action that he will be sending to Congress. Among the recommendations are a streamlined disability process, support for families, and treatment for troops' mental health problems.

It's about time. For over two months, the recommendations of the Dole-Shalala Commission seemed to be gathering dust. In the veterans' community, there has been real concern that this Commission Report would join countless others that were received with great fanfare, and then promptly forgotten. On Tuesday, veterans like me were encouraged to see that the president has not forgotten the promises he made at the start of the Walter Reed debacle.

While the intentions of the Commission's recommendations should be applauded, there are outstanding problems that will undoubtedly impede their accomplishment. With the Secretary of Veterans Affairs' post filled by a temporary appointment, and a VA budget that is more than two weeks late, implementation will be a challenge.

One of the Dole-Shalala Commission's major recommendations is already doomed. The Commission suggested that coverage be provided for family members of wounded troops under the Family Medical Leave Act. Earlier this month, this protection was denied not due to bureaucratic hurdles or funding shortfalls, but because of the President's decision to veto SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program reauthorization.
Yesterday, Congress had an opportunity to override the President's SCHIP veto--and should have voted to do so. Two largely overlooked provisions of SCHIP would address the urgent issue of protecting military families as outlined by the Dole-Shalala Commission. Sections 621 and 622, under Subtitle C, provide one year of employment discrimination protection to family members caring for grievously wounded troops, and extend permitted work leave for these caretakers from three to six months.

Right now, when a service member is critically wounded, friends and family members put their lives on hold to be at their loved ones' bedside during the weeks and months of recuperation. Annette McLeod is one such family member. When her husband, Specialist Wendell McLeod, was injured while serving in Iraq, she rushed from her Chesterfield, South Carolina home to be with him at Walter Reed in Washington, D.C. Caring for her husband, who sustained multiple injuries to the back and head, became her full time job. After three months at Walter Reed, the human resources department at the factory where she had worked for 20 years told her she had exhausted her time off. She was forced to give up her job and all of her benefits.

Annette's story is all too common. Thanks to improved battlefield medicine, thousands of troops are surviving catastrophic injuries, but they face long and painful recoveries at home. This puts enormous financial and emotional strain on their loved ones. According to the Dole-Shalala Commission, one in five severely wounded troops says a family member or friend has had to give up a job to provide care. Unfortunately, current law offers caregivers few employment protections. All too often, they lose their jobs, pushing their families to the brink of financial ruin.

Yesterday, Congress had the opportunity to defend the family caregivers of wounded heroes by overriding the President's SCHIP veto. Unfortunately, the legislation that would have given these families much-needed breathing room failed. So now, instead of focusing on recuperating, many of our injured service members will have to worry about where their family's next paycheck will come from.

Any member of Congress who claims to support the troops should have voted to override the President's SCHIP veto. When this vote failed, so did a critical protection for families of our most grievously wounded troops. And now, more family members like Annette will face unfair and unnecessary financial burdens during what is already a more difficult time than most of us can imagine. Our wounded heroes and their families deserve better.

LewWaters said...

Rhubarb, copying and pasting a thread from the Huffington Post isn’t exactly a comment now, is it? However, let’s address Mr. Rieckhoffs post.

Tugging at people’s heartstrings can be effective towards your cause as we see the Democrats constantly doing so. The most common method used by the leftists is to present extreme cases as everyday and common.

One of the first things that comes to my mind is what are Veterans Care doing in the STATE CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM bill? This bill is about providing Health Care for Children of the poor that cannot afford insurance. It’s pretty slick to hang a heartstring tugging provision for Veterans Care to either get it passed or create another attacking point for campaigning. It’s not only slick, it’s downright despicable, showing that whoever attached that provision, knowing the bill was to be vetoed, is the real one who doesn’t give a crap about Veterans.

As a Veteran drawing VA Medical myself, I care deeply about Veterans Care for my brothers and sisters and see that our care should be a separate issue and separate funding, not just a provision in a hugely flawed bill.

SCHIPS needed to be vetoed as presented as it has been abused and implementing it would create further abuses. Rewrite it where it covers care for needy children, as designed and originally passed, take adults out of it, who don’t belong being covered by it and represent it to the president and watch him sign it.

Remove the Veterans Care provision and present that as a separate bill an issue, which it deserves to be.

Congressional Democrats are the ones dragging their feet on Veterans care, not the president. It has no business being attached to the SCHIPs bill. That is just playing politics with our Troops and their families.

I feel for the McLeod’s and agree they deserve better. Much better than to be used as political pawns misusing their misery to inch us further towards Socialized Medicine, higher taxes and limited care for all instead of having their situation resolved by permanent funding of Veterans Care, separately and fully!

That being said, ordinarily I’d delete your lengthy plagiarized comment, but am going to let it stand. It shows me that so few of you can think for yourselves and must depend on others to do it for you. If nothing else, you really shoot your credibility to hell!

Susan Duclos said...

Once again I see people trying to distract from the FACTS listed about the SCHIP bill by bringing up a portion of the bill that NO ONE disputes needs to be there.

It is simply their was of trying to change the subject Lew because they cannot address the facts nor dispute the statistical data that is public record.

So they try to hide behind the veterans as they hid behind the children.

Distraction, distortion and lies are all they are capable of because otherwise they might be asked to address the issues of Adults being covered on a Children's Health Insurance program, they might be asked to address the FACT that state law can allow enrollment of people that would be ineligible because of income levels and they might be asked to address the FACT that childless adults are covered.

But no, they do not want to focus on those facts at all.

Pathetic attempt to distract from those issues and hide behind children and troops to do so.

I would like to see one quote from one blog that claims they do not want wounded warriors to have what they need.

The only place you will find THAT is on a left, liberal, unhinged blog.

Mark Harvey aka Snooper said...

Well, darn. The troll has been properly trounced.

I will add that as a DAV, receiving VA Disability, I resent being treated as an "add-on" to a stepping stone to the retarded and ill-conceived Hitlery Care.

I am with you, Lew. Make Veteran's Care a separate issue so the idgits that hate us can be properly exposed.

LewWaters said...

John Boehner addressed this bill just this past Sunday on Fox News Sunday,

HUME: SCHIP, State Children's Health Insurance Program, if I have that right — it's been around for some years. Republicans have supported it. The president is willing to expand it some. The Democrats think that the funding needs to be much larger, $35 billion. Republicans, or at least — the president says he'd go for $5 billion.
The president has vetoed their $35 billion expansion. Where do the votes stand on the Democrats' effort to override the veto?
BOEHNER: We will have the votes to sustain the president's veto. Listen, Republicans and Democrats came together about 10 years ago to create the Children's Health Insurance Program because if you're poor and you have children, you're on Medicaid.
But the working poor and their children didn't have access to high quality health insurance. And so Republicans and Democrats came together. We created this program. And now we have to reauthorize the program.
Over the 10 years we've had the program, here's what's happened. We have 500,000 eligible children who have not been signed up for the Children's Health Insurance Program, and yet there are 700,000 adults on the program.
As an example, in Minnesota, 87 percent of the people enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program are adults; 66 percent in Wisconsin.
And what Republicans are saying is, "Let's work together. Let's reauthorize the program. But let's make sure that poor kids come first."
What we don't want is what usually happens here in Washington. You create a new program, and all of a sudden it becomes something far different than what it started out to be.
HUME: OK. So the Democrats want to expand it to the tune of $35 billion. The Republican figure is $5 billion.
BOEHNER: I don't think the issue is really over money.
HUME: Well, OK. But if it's not over money, then how far are you willing to go to enlarge it in terms of the amount you're going to spend?
BOEHNER: Well, what we believe is that we ought to be insuring poor children first.
HUME: Right.
BOEHNER: If states want to expand this program, let them expand the program, but let's — this is a children's health insurance program. Let's make sure we do poor kids first.
HUME: So you're saying...
BOEHNER: But the second problem in this bill is that if you look what the Democrats are trying to do, they're trying to create a much larger share of health coverage in America run by the government.
Most people don't want government-run health insurance. Republicans are working on a plan that will provide access to all Americans to high quality health insurance, make sure that we increase the quality of health insurance that we have in America.
And we want to continue to foster a spirit of innovation when it comes to health care in America. This is a plan that we'll see over the next coming months where we put the patients back in charge of their own health care.
HUME: All right. The Democrats believe with a couple of weeks to work on it and to publicize the issue and with the title of the program, Children's Health Insurance, as you pointed out, that this will be, even if the Republicans succeed in sustaining the president's veto, a painful and politically burdensome vote. What do you say to that?
BOEHNER: This bill was designed not to pass. This bill was designed to play political games, exactly what the American people are tired of.
When they designed the bill, they knew it was going to be vetoed, and the president did veto it. The veto message came from the White House back to Congress.
We could have had the veto override vote right then and there, and we could have sat down and began to resolve the differences here. But oh, no, that's not what happened.
They decide we're going to wait for two weeks, we're going to turn up the political pressure and play more political games while this program continues to sit out there.
HUME: You won't dispute, though, that it is a painful vote for Republicans to vote to sustain this veto.
BOEHNER: It probably isn't the fight that we'd want to pick, but it's a fight they decided to pick.
But remember when we had welfare reform back in the mid '90s? We were called heartless, and mean, and awful. And yet since then, some 60 percent of the people who were on welfare are off.
Two million American families now are in the mainstream of American society.
HUME: That bill, though...
BOEHNER: That's a program that worked.
HUME: Yes, but that bill was popular. This bill is...
BOEHNER: No, no. That bill — we were being demonized the same way. How about when we went to expand health care coverage for Medicaid recipients — or Medicare recipients, seniors, when we were providing the prescription drug penalty — or prescription drug program?
And remember all the noise that we got? We were making an empty promise to the American people. They vilified us. But the program has been wildly successful among seniors.
And so when Republicans stand on principle, it's like what I told my kids growing up — I tell my staff, I tell me colleagues — if you do the right thing every day for the right reasons, good things will happen.
HUME: All right. You've suggested that a compromise is within reach. Are there any discussions? Have you reached out to Steny Hoyer, who will be here with us shortly, and said, "Let's reason together? Let's have a conference?"
BOEHNER: The Democrats have spoken to no House Republicans about working out this bill before or since, even though 28 Republicans who actually voted for this bill sent a letter to the leadership, Democrat leadership, last week saying, "Hey, let's sit down and resolve this."
And I think the differences are resolvable, but we're standing on our principle that poor kids ought to come first.

Fox News Sunday 10/14/2007

And now, instead of working it out, they raise strawmans as Spree pointed out.

Democrats just keep getting more and more shameless all the time.