Politico misreports the Frost fracas

posted at 7:19 pm on October 15, 2007 by Bryan

See if you can spot the errors in this paragraph, which appears in this Crypt (Politico) piece about the SCHIP debate.

Malkin and other bloggers have revealed over the past week that the Frost family owned two properties, as well as a couple cars, and had a $45,000 income. The accusation against Democrats, and by extension the Frost family, is that they are too middle class to be granted any subsidized health insurance for their children.

Here are the errors:

Bloggers didn’t “reveal” the Frost’s income, the Democrats and MSM journalists did when they brought the Frosts forward to rebut the president’s veto.

The Frosts own three cars, not “a couple.” The number and make of the cars is relevant, as it bears on how expansive (or not) SCHIP is. Should people who can afford two late-model SUVs (which liberals are supposed to denounce as eeevil) plus a big Ford F-250 qualify for government-subsidized health insurance that’s supposed to be for the poor? We can have that debate and we ought to, but what’s to debate if one side keeps crying foul whenever the other side brings up inconvenient facts?

I like the Politico, I really do, but packing two serious errors into one paragraph takes some talent.

The SCHIP argument that’s currently underway isn’t even about the Frosts per se; it’s about whether the program ought to be expanded by $30 billion (the president wants a $5 billion increase; the Democrats want $35 billion). That’s why these facts actually matter.

The story itself is about another family that the Democrats have trotted out to serve as their SCHIP model. But there’s a problem with this story, too, and I’m not talking about their finanaces or anything like that: The family they have brought forward already qualifies for SCHIP and neither the proposed Democrat expansion nor the president’s veto changes that.

Can’t the Democrats find anyone who doesn’t qualify for SCHIP? And if they can’t, what does that say about the program or the scale of the proposed expansions of it?

Update: I should have said that the Frosts drive, as opposed to own, the three cars. We don’t know for a fact that they own them. There could be leases involved, and if there are, that might be an indication that there are some bad financial choices being made. Those of you who’ve ever leased a car and aren’t in fact made of money know what I mean by that.

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That just makes waaaaaayyyyyy too much sense….and obviously the dems couldn’t find a family that would actually be eligible??

commonsensehoosier on October 15, 2007 at 7:24 PM


You’ll have to stop communicating so clearly. You are making too much sense, and, in the case of supporters of the S-CHIP program, and those who mischaracterize the opposition, you drive them crazy. Also it appears they really don’t understand, which is possibly why they are pushing the issue, distorting the opposition, and riding this dog and pony show for all it is worth.


William2006 on October 15, 2007 at 7:29 PM

Rick Moran adds to the observations.


Funny how we don’t see any poster families who are 400% above the poverty level being pushed forward as examples of the kinds of people the $35 billion expansion of S-CHIP will help. Why not? Since the original parameters of the S-CHIP program enjoys the overwhelming support of Congress and the President, why trot forward families like the Frosts and the Wilkersons who qualify under the current rules? Why not bring to the fore those families at the high end of the expansion requirements and let the American people decide if they want to subsidize insurance for them?

The answer is obvious; a family living 400% above poverty are not as sympathetic as those, like the Wilkerson’s, who couldn’t get by without S-CHIP. In fact, pushing forward people who make more than 40% of all the families in America as the poster family for S-CHIP expansion would probably torpedo the bill then and there.

I note that this time around, the Democrats were careful to push a family forward whose choices regarding health insurance couldn’t be questioned. In that respect, if they’re waiting for conservatives to attack the Wilkerson’s, they are going to be sorely disappointed. The Democrats just don’t have a clue about the true nature of the opposition to their S-CHIP expansion. For that, they would have to give a fig about the tradeoffs we make between dependency and freedom every time they get some not so bright idea about “helping” those who can usually be counted on to help themselves.

CommentGuy on October 15, 2007 at 7:41 PM

Truly impressive, unlike the Politico.

Drudge links the Politico daily. When was the last time he linked Hot Air?

Ali-Bubba on October 15, 2007 at 7:41 PM

More on the issue from the Swamp today


The march of the children on the health care veto

by Matthew Hay Brown

And the kids keep coming.

First, there were Graeme and Gemma Frost, the Baltimore children who were hospitalized for months after a 2004 car crash, but who have been seen more recently in the company of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Then came Abby, Josh, Latoya and Kevin, all “vetoed” by President Bush, according to a television advertisement produced this month by liberal groups.

Now meet Bethany Wilkerson, the latest youngster enlisted by congressional Democrats or their allies to help build support for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Having suffered from heart failure as an infant, USAction says, the Florida toddler would not be alive today but for the government-funded program for moderate-income families not poor enough to qualifty for Medicaid.

Now Bethany is scheduled to speak at a Capitol Hill rally Tuesday evening, according to a release this morning by Americans United For Change.

There was no word on what the 2-year-old plans to say. But she joins a flurry of 11th-hour activity in advance of the attempt by House Democrats on Thursday to override Bush’s veto of legislation to expand coverage to 4 million more children at a cost of $35 billion over five years. (A bipartisan majority in the Senate approved the expansion by a veto-proof margin.)

CommentGuy on October 15, 2007 at 7:43 PM

All the left side blogs are in a feeding frenzy on this and they have organized paid and volunteer phone campaigns to turn the vote on those who voted against the measure to start with.

So far they have gotten commitments from

Baron Hill and Mike McIntyre to flip their vote

They are still targeting

Remaining targets: Boren (OK-02), Ethridge (NC-02), Marshall (GA-08), and Taylor (MS-04). Contact information for these Representatives can be found here.

CommentGuy on October 15, 2007 at 7:47 PM

Don’t lease. Buy at the end of the model year.

BadgerHawk on October 15, 2007 at 8:08 PM

Drudge links the Politico daily.

Ali-Bubba on October 15, 2007 at 7:41 PM

A long time ago I learned to hover over Drudge’s links and preview the URL at the bottom of my browser. This lets me opt to take a pass on the click. Nice that HA is quite open with its sources, eh?

RushBaby on October 15, 2007 at 9:02 PM

Oh and on topic, I am not surprised about this story. It’s not the first time a certain website, whose name I choose not to speak or to type, has been a mite embarrassed.

RushBaby on October 15, 2007 at 9:04 PM

Can’t the Democrats find anyone who doesn’t qualify for SCHIP?

They like to play games where the rule is that everybody is a winner!, but so far everyone they have chosen won according to Bush’s rules.

This is going to be fun to watch.

Buy Danish on October 15, 2007 at 9:27 PM

Well, the Malkin fans have hit that story:

First, politico, you need to stop calling Malkin and other rightwing terrorists CONSERVATIVES. She’s a radical, out-of-control, screaming-meemy nutjob who just calls herself A CONSERVATIVE – get it straight – there is NOTHING conservative or SANE or credible or legitimate about this batsh*t idiot who posts the addresses of her perceived “enemies” and calls it “investigative journalism” – OMG! She stalks her prey and makes threats – and she encourages her rabid, crazy fans to actually go out and commit crimes = to do her terrorism dirty-work for her so she can put up her hands in mock shock and pretend she didn’t order it. When someone dies at the hands of her operatives Malkin will be, at the very least, an accessory to murder. Is that what you call “conservative?”

Posted By: Firefly | October 15, 2007 at 02:32 PM

RightWinged on October 16, 2007 at 12:55 AM

Come on Bryan! Facts are for chumps.

Troy Rasmussen on October 16, 2007 at 8:30 AM

I don’t know what American’s are complaining about! We elected the Democratic congress! We are also about to elect a Democratic POTUS! American’s want a government that will give them free, free, free stuff! We get what we ask for! Hang on it’s going to be a bumpy ride! Free, Free, Free!

sabbott on October 16, 2007 at 8:30 AM

why trot forward families like the Frosts and the Wilkersons who qualify under the current rules?

I posted something to this effect at FDL the other day. I said that someone who is getting SCHIP benefits currently makes a lousy poster child for increasing the limits. I went on to say that the trick is to find that family that makes one freaking dollar too much to be eligible under the current rules, and make their kids the poster children.

It was deleted within 2 minutes of my posting it. I guess it was an Inconvenient Truth.

The Monster on October 16, 2007 at 9:27 AM

Get ready for more of this. Trotting out these children is only the plays from the playbook the Democrats call in the first quarter of the game. The goal is Hillarycare signed into law in late 2009.

Democrats are fighting the ugliest battle first because it’s politically safe for them and the Republican prospects to pick up seats are almost nil. Therefore, the Democrats are going to put on a full court press between now and election day 2008. They will fight to secure a larger Congressional majority now because they’ve already banked on the party taking the White House in ’08.

Rahm Emmanuel’s plan is to make the Congressional majority into a large enough beast where not even passing Hillarycare could put the Democrats in the minority again.

gabriel sutherland on October 16, 2007 at 9:51 AM

If it makes you feel better, polls show that the majority of America agree with Bush on SCHIP.
They ARE listening!!!!!!!!!!

Rightwingsparkle on October 16, 2007 at 10:04 AM