Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

More sliming and smearing the Frost family

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It continues. The Anonymous Liberal:

Mark Steyn just won’t give up. Having spent the last few days spreading false information about a twelve-year old and his family, he returns for one last round of factually-challenged callousness. He writes:

Mr Frost works “intermittently”. The unemployment rate in the Baltimore metropolitan area is four-percent. Perhaps he chooses to work “intermittently,” just as he chooses to send his children to private school, and chooses to live in a 3,000-square-foot home. That’s what free-born citizens in democratic societies do: choose. Sometimes those choices work out, and sometimes they don’t. And, when they don’t and catastrophe ensues, it’s appropriate that the state should provide a safety net. But it should be a safety net of last resort, and it’s far from clear that it is in this case.

. . .I’m not persuaded the Frost family are the best judges of the nation’s choices.

Good lord, what an insufferable jerk. Even after knowing the facts, he continues to badly mischaracterize them. Yes, the Frosts choose to send their kids to private school, but they pay almost nothing for it. Their son has a scholarship and the state pays their daughter’s tuition because of her special needs (she suffered brain injuries as a result of the accident). And Steyn’s claim that Mr. Frost works only “intermittently” is based solely on this line from the New York Times:

Mr. Frost works intermittently in woodworking and as a welder . . .

It seems to me the author means that Mr. Frost works both as a woodworker and a welder, not that he’s some sort of shiftless layabout who only works from time to time. And as the article makes clear, the Frosts bought their 3,000 square foot home (picture here) for $55,000.

But beyond the blatant factual distortions, the whole thrust of Steyn’s condescending post is off-base. He seems to be suggesting that the Frosts were irresponsible and the rest of us shouldn’t have to foot the bill for their bad choices. But the Frosts were responsible. They signed up for and purchased S-CHIP insurance for their children. And when their children were badly injured in a car accident, that insurance covered the bills, thereby protecting the family from financial ruin. That’s the whole point. That’s why this family was trotted out as an example of why S-CHIP works.

If President Bush and Mark Steyn have their way, families like the Frosts won’t be eligible for this kind of insurance. And given that two of the Frosts children now have severe pre-existing conditions, it will not be possible for them to find private health insurance. It takes a special kind of callous obliviousness not to see this obvious reality.

Steyn complains about creeping entitlements, but that’s not what S-CHIP is. It’s a program that offers affordable health care to children of parents who don’t make very much money. In other words, it’s a program that allows parents to make the responsible choice, to insure their children and protect their family against catastrophe. Without S-CHIP, there would–indisputably–be many more uninsured children out there and many more bankrupt families, which would not only be tragic in and of itself, but would cost society a lot more in the long run.

And finally, even if Steyn’s argument was at all relevant to this situation–in other words, even if the Frosts had somehow made bad choices or been irresponsible–how is it at all morally defensible to force their children to pay the price for those mistakes? Remember, we’re talking about children here. What possible rationale is there for making children suffer for their parents mistakes, particularly when it costs so little to provide them with coverage.

Steyn is fortunate he grew up in Canada.

Written by Leisureguy

11 October 2007 at 2:06 pm

Posted in GOP

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