How the Right’s S-CHIP Smear Backfired

“Hi, my name is Graeme Frost,” began the Democrats’ September 28th radio address. “I’m 12 years old and I live in Baltimore, Maryland. Most kids my age probably haven’t heard of CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. But I know all about it, because if it weren’t for CHIP, I might not be here today.”The right certainly wishes he hadn’t been on the radio that day. Three years ago, Graeme, along with his sister, Gemma, was badly injured in a car accident. He spent the week after the accident in a coma, and remained in the hospital for five-and-a-half months. He still attends rehabilitative therapy, speaks with a lisp, and moves slowly. His sister, Gemma, is worse off: She endured severe brain damage, and receives state assistance to attend a school for the developmentally disabled.

The Frost family bears a heavy burden, and much sadness. But they are not bankrupt, and were not incapable of procuring care for their injured children. That’s because the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), which extends health insurance to low-income children, covered the costs. The program worked exactly as promised, providing high quality medical care for children of limited means in their time of need.

The right’s response to 12-year-old Graeme Frost was breathtaking: They tried to Swift Boat him. They implied that his family was rich and fraudulently freeloading off the government. They posted pictures of the private school he attends. They repeatedly called his home. In a particularly deranged act, Michelle Malkin drove to his block, tried to eyeball the value of his house, and interrogated his neighbors as to the family’s financial situation.

More – The American Prospect

~ by danopticon on October 11, 2007.

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