Charity on October 9th, 2007

I have been meaning to do a post about the SCHIP veto. I even have one in draft, but I have been hit with a second cold and this one has kept me off the computer most of the day lately.

I did, however, get a chance to stop by Green Mountain Daily to see what the VT left is up to these days and I couldn’t ignore the post Wow…. just, wow: National GOP smear machine charts new depths of sleaze .

It is about the Republican response to the Democratic radio address that was delivered by a 12-year-old car accident victim, and how he would have died if not for SCHIP.

This is the first I have read about this. I have not been surfing much politics lately due to my sick family, so I read the post and the associated links.

Go ahead and click over and get caught up if you need to. I’ll wait.

Caught up? Good.

If it is sleaze to look into the question of whether this family is indeed unable to provide health insurance for their children, I ask, then why isn’t it considered sleaze to exploit a 12-year-old child for political gain?

The fact is that there are two competing philosophies at odds here, neither of which is that 12-year-old car accident victims should die, by the way.

One is that the government is the means through which we should provide health insurance/health care. The other is that the private sector is the means through which we should provide health insurance/health care.

The same goes for caring for the poor – government vs. private sector. These are the two views at odds here.

If I believed that health insurance should be a matter of personal choice and a service that should be provided by the private sector, and that the government should not get to control what my policy looks like or where I can buy it from, I would not support expanding a government health insurance program. In fact, I would support abolishing it entirely, which I do.

So what about this 12-year-old car accident victim? Do I think he should have died because his parents could not afford insurance? No.

For one, any parent can tell you, if there was no tax-payer funded health insurance, the parents would have found a way to pay for the insurance. If they were making $45,000 a year and insurance was going to cost them $14,400/year, they would have still been at 150% of the poverty limit. (These numbers come from the article.) I’m sure that would be a small price to pay for your child’s life. But that’s just me.

I mean, one of the issues that is being debated – or would be if there was an honest debate about policy for a change – is what the cut off should be for government health insurance programs. Some say the poverty level. Some say higher. Some say a lot higher. Some say higher still. And some say we should all have it and abolish the private sector all together.

Perhaps the Democrats would have been better off choosing as their poster child a family that really did not have it within their means to purchase insurance.

Another, perhaps more important, point – a question, really – is what kind of people are we if we would all just stand around and let this kid die? Is that what the left really thinks about us (and themselves)?

People who would rally to donate millions to a presidential candidate do not think they would rally to help out a family with a dying child?

Why is it so wrong to hold the view – as I do – that we as communities should be providing for each other and not relying on a far-away, and more often than not out-of-touch, federal government to take care of our neighbors? (And with someone else’s money, to boot.)

I cannot imagine what this family went through and continues to go through, but when the Democrats wrote a script for the boy to read from for a Democratic Party radio address, well, they opened this child’s life up to public scrutiny. It’s fair game. The real shame lies with parents that would bring this sort of thing upon themselves and their children. And with the Democrats who, instead of having a substantive debate about the issues, decided to exploit a family’s tragedy in order to win the emotions debate.

To be honest, I do not feel sorry for families making up to $60,000 (the SCHIP income limit). That number does not scream “poverty” to me.

Health insurance is a necessity and if you can’t be bothered to put it in your budget to make sure your own children have health care, then you need to take a serious look at your priorities. My guess is that if the state program did not exist, these parents would have made sure their children did have health insurance. No matter what it took.

Of course, that sort of championing of individual responsibility makes me the bad guy. So be it. Someone’s gotta be.

I was going to follow this up with a post about why I think that the income limits should be lower, but I am too sick. Instead, you can just read what I said about it four years ago. I said it just as well as, if not better than, I would today. (Except, I would say “neediest” instead of “most needy.”)

Somethings never change.

 

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17 Responses to “Sleazy Is As Sleazy Does”

  1. We must and we will have single-payer universal national health insurance coverage eventually. It’s an economic and moral imparitive for our nation. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about Charity. Someday you’ll see.

  2. Haik Bedrosian’s crystal ball predictions are about as reliable as his equating single-payer universal national health insurance coverage with being morally imperative. Maybe he should start re-checking his tea leaves since it is very doubtful that the American Middle Class can afford socialized medicine.

  3. What is “socialized medicine?” I’m talking about socialized health insurance, not the medicine itself. It is a moral imparitive and it is cheaper than for-profit insurance. Have you seen Michael Moore’s movie Sicko?

  4. Any thing NP West says is about as credible as any other self-professed ‘intellectual’ that somehow fails to see the lack of anythign even remotely intellectual about promoting links to hate/fundie groups on his website.

    Now that that’s out of the way.. 2 things, Charity.. First, kindly point me to all of your posts where you give Bush hell for using children as political props. They’re not hard to find, they’re all over the place. Fair game? Ok, Charity.. let’s see how you react if I do a piece on you and your kids and show up at your doorstep.

    Haik, Charity, nice as she is, usually doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Things like this:
    For one, any parent can tell you, if there was no tax-payer funded health insurance, the parents would have found a way to pay for the insurance.

    Bullshit.

    Can you please give me any evidence, even a shred, that “health insurance should be controlled by the private sector?” Why? Sez who, Milton Freidman? John McClauhghry? Where is this compelling evidence that somehow the private sector (motivated by nothing by profit) always does things better than the public sector? It’s an unfounded article of faith not based in any kind reality, just like your religion. Prove it. Just because the rich hypercapitalists you admire, who would throw you to the curb at moment’s notice say it, doesn’t make it true, gal.

  5. JD says: “Can you please give me any evidence, even a shred, that “health insurance should be controlled by the private sector?”"

    Well, I can give you evidence that it shouldn’t be controlled by the Federal government. Try the tenth amendment.

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    I would say the burden is on you to show me where in the Constitution the US government is given the power to administer health insurance.

  6. “The Congress shall have Power To … regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

    Given the state of commerce clause jurisprudence since, say, 1824, you’d have to be a complete nutcase to think that the Congress could not administer health insurance.

    Oh, and:

    1) Graeme has a scholarship to a private school. The school costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year.

    2) His sister Gemma attends another private school to help her with the brain injuries that occurred due to her accident. The school costs $23,000 a year, but the state pays the entire cost.

    3) They bought their “lavish house” sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.

    4) Last year, the Frosts made $45,000 combined. Over the past few years they have made no more than $50,000 combined.

    5) The state of Maryland has found them eligible to participate in the CHIP program.

    6) The Frosts have attempted to purchase private health insurance from every provider in the state, but not one will insure the family without excepting the preexisting conditions of both Graeme and Gemma.

    Sometimes I think that I should really open up and be a bit more accepting of the right-wing viewpoint. But when it is not so painfully ignorant and ill-informed that it makes your teeth hurt (your take on the tenth amendment), it’s deceitful and amoral to the point that it makes me sick (your take on the stupid 12 year old kid).

    I will never understand how you people live with yourselves.

  7. I was going to basically give you those same facts (real facts, not the made-up ones that Rush Limpballs and such would have you believe) but Rediculous took care of that for me.

    So in light of those facts, Charity, are you going still going to insist that that kid is ‘fair game’? And once again, what would be the difference if I sent a bunch of cross- burning racists to your door because you posted a picture of your kids a while back to somehow prove a point that racism hardly exists any more or some other ridiculous idea? By your standards, wouldn’t they be ‘fair game ‘as well?

    And please answer the other question, too…
    Where is this compelling evidence that somehow the private sector (motivated by nothing by profit) always does things better than the public sector?

  8. Aw, look what you made me do.

  9. “So in light of those facts, Charity, are you going still going to insist that that kid is ‘fair game’? ”

    Umm… those are the facts in the GMD post I linked to, no? Ergo, I already had those fact before writing this post, no? So, what’s your point? What fact is supposed to change my opinion?

    And, I suggest that you re-read the post you are referring to. Tell me where I say that that type of racism does not exist. I would love to see this.

  10. It was inferred in our conversation.

    At any rate, I take it you’re choosing not to believe those ‘facts’? The guy is obviously lying when he bought that house in 1991 for 50k, right? Left wing spin. And his daughter isn’t really getting that scholarship, right?

    Oh, and Where is this compelling evidence that somehow the private sector (motivated by nothing by profit) always does things better than the public sector?

    “it is hard to deny what Republicans are- a bunch of bitter, nasty, petty, snarling, sneering, vicious thugs, peering through people’s windows so they can make fun of their misfortune.”- John Cole

  11. “At any rate, I take it you’re choosing not to believe those ‘facts’? The guy is obviously lying when he bought that house in 1991 for 50k, right? Left wing spin. And his daughter isn’t really getting that scholarship, right?”

    What are you basing this on? Why do you think I don’t believe those things. If anything, all of those facts are just more evidence that they could afford insurance…low house payment, low tuition payment…

    As I said in this post, I have not read or heard anything about this other than what I read on GMD and in the article and post linked there. Unless Rush Limbaugh is a GMD contributor, you are assuming things that are just not true about what I think.

  12. Your other question requires a much longer answer, which I do not have time to deal with right now.

  13. According to Rediculous, based on the erosion over time of the limits placed on the federal government by the tenth amendment, I’d “have to be a complete nutcase” to think that those limits should not be further eroded.

    Now that’s ridiculous!

  14. Ummm… First of all, I don’t know if you’ve ever looked into individual health insurance, but, if, like the Frosts, you are not part of a “group,” an insurance company can (and will) look at your medical history before offering to insure you, and will “exclude” any preexisting conditions. As EVERY INSURANCE COMPANY IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND DID TO THE FROSTS. Why, as you suggest, the Frosts should have paid BIG bucks for private insurance that wouldn’t cover their children’s illnesses is beyond me.

    Additionally, if you had ever read anything about Constitutional law you would know that the current interpretation of the tenth amendment provides more protections for the states than ever before. Contrary to your uninformed BS, the limits placed on the federal government by the tenth amendment have not “eroded” as you suggest, but have in fact grown quite a lot stronger. Until the 30s, the tenth amendment was never even brought up in courts because it was assumed that it simply restated the relationship between the branches of government as outlined in the articles, in the 40’s it came up but was completely dismissed by the courts. The first time that it was actually used to limit federal powers was in the 90’s (with the exception of one time in the 30s in a case that was overruled less than a year later), and it has been used several times since then (usually in O’Conner opinions) to limit the role of the federal government in regulating the states (Printz, NY v. US, Morrison, etc…)

    Not only that, but it has absolutely no bearing on the SCHIP program because the SCHIP program is administered completely by the states. If anything, a (weak) case could be made that the 10th amendment could be used to protect the states from the restrictions placed on SCHIP money by the current administration.(You could really only make the case if the current interpretation of the commerce clause were rolled back to square one, which would require four more justices with the same loopy (but interesting, and consistent) perspective as Thomas.)

    You should probably be a bit smarter than you are if you’re going to talk about this stuff in public.

  15. Well, Charity, just about everything you base your writings are are the same ol’ right wing talking points we hear ad nauseum everywhere, and you never bother to even explore them critically. You reserve criticism for our side, yet consistently give your own a pass. And when someone lays out the facts for you in a detailed manner, you don’t seem to ever “have time” to respond in equal detail, or you just ignore them. I know, it’s your blog, but it certainly doesn’t make you seem credible to anyone other than a TownHaller or Freeper, who don’t seem too concerned about facts or in-depth analysis, either.

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