Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another SCHIP Update

Joy Busey People First Politics

Republican Slime Machine Targets Injured 12-Year Old


Graeme Frost speaking to reporters after delivering the Democratic radio response to Bush's SCHIP veto.

Just when you thought Mister 22% and his Brownshirts couldn't go any lower in their efforts to prevent millions of children from accessing health care through the State Children's Health Insurance Program [SCHIP], they managed to find yet another sub-basement cesspool from which to spew slime.

When Bush vetoed the SCHIP legislation passed by both the House and Senate, the Democratic response was delivered by courageous 12-year old Graeme Frost of Baltimore, Maryland. Graeme and his parents, who earn ~$45,000 a year but get no employer-provided health care and with 4 children cannot afford $1,200 a month for private coverage, went public with how the SCHIP program helped them after a 2004 auto accident left Graeme and his younger sister seriously injured and hospitalized for five months.

The Frosts expected to draw some ire from Republicans, but they did not expect the level of hatred aimed their way. As reported by The Baltimore Sun, right wing bloggers and talking heads went wild. Typical offerings went something like this, from the wingnut website RedState:

"If federal funds were required [they] could die for all I care. Let the parents get second jobs, let their state foot the bill or let them seek help from private charities... I would hire a team of PIs and find out exactly how much their parents made and where they spent every nickel. Then I'd do everything possible to destroy their lives with that info."

...not to mention threatening phone calls, physical harassment and other published threats too crude to reprint here. All that 'Compassionate Conservatism' sort of gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling, doesn't it? The New York Times' Paul Krugman put it this way:

All in all, the Graeme Frost case is a perfect illustration of the modern right-wing political machine at work, and in particular its routine reliance on character assassination in place of honest debate. If service members oppose a Republican war, they're "phony soldiers"; if Michael J. Fox opposes Bush policy on stem cells, he's faking his Parkinson's symptoms; if an injured 12-year old child makes the case for a government health insurance program, he's a fraud.


Graeme in the hospital following the 2005 accident that injured him and his little sister Gemma.

Vicious. Hateful. Disgusting. It's not hard to come up with adjectives for this sort of low-life garbage, even though Americans have become quite used to the fascist tendencies of today's Neocons and their Fearless (but moronic) Leader.

A new poll from NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrates that 70% support expansion of SCHIP as passed by the House and Senate.

The override vote takes place tomorrow (October 18), and Democrats acknowledge they do not have enough votes to get the 2/3 majority needed. If it were up to the Senate SCHIP would already be a done deal. Hopefully this travesty will translate directly into votes next November to replace Republican legislators who refuse to represent their constituents, which would give Democrats a veto-proof majority at the time a Democratic administration takes office.

There's a lot of clean-up work to do after 8 years of greed, profiteering, destruction of the Constitution and impoverishment of the middle class. At least we can be fairly sure that history will record the Bush-II administration as the anti-democratic force it really is. By then GWB should be safely ensconced at his retirement estate in Paraguay, safe from extradition.


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