Oct 13 2007

The Right Keeps On Their S-CHIP Of Fools

Published by at 3:50 pm under All General Discussions

Left and right and imploding in this country. The erroneous claims of the right about the S-CHIP family were, erroneous. The Frosts did not live in a $400,000 home. They lived in a home they paid $55K for, which was the extent of their buying power. Not the $400K. They did not py nearly $50K a month in private schools. They paid $500 a month and the rest was subsidized by schools and state. They did not own a business. They still own the commercial property and gain some rent from it – part of the $45-50K a year income. The Frosts were not wealthy poseurs.

They could not liquidate these assets to pay for the medical bills that arose from brain injuries in two of their children from an accident. It would not cover the bills and only would put them MORE on the public dole. They pay their taxes and they qualified for the S-CHIP program. They qualified. The far right needs to come to grips with this – they qualified.

Now we learn they own three cars. My guess is they did not pay for them. My guess since one (the husband I believe) is of wealthy background they are partially or completely paid for by his parents. This is a common way for parents to help out their kids and grandchildren. It is a gift that is practical. But now we have the far right thinking their foolish mistakes will be vindicated because the Frosts have three cars! And some are writing songs about the Frosts – further poking fun at neighbors in need whose only sin was telling their story to America.

I have two songs for the right, First

Fools to the left of me, Jokers to the right
Here I am , stuck in the middle with you

Second, and more to the point:

Ship of fools on a cruel sea
Ship of fools sail away from me
It was later than I thought when I first believed you
Now I cannot share your laughter, ship of fools

What the Frosts endured is not a joke but the worst fears of any family. And people who dismiss or belittle only show a callousness we need purged from political debate. They keep sailing, that ship of fools.

22 responses so far

22 Responses to “The Right Keeps On Their S-CHIP Of Fools”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:


    I have left you alone on this one just to watch your positioning, but now I will have to respectfully disagree with you.

    By the Frost’s own admission in their interviews in the Baltimore Sun they indeed had a business from the time of their marriage and it basically folded the same year they purchased the commercial property.

    The after tax and expense income from the business and her eventual work outside the business never by their accounts exceeded 50k per year and this is over about a 15 year period.

    The reported value of their combined property is what it is assessed on the tax records not the much higher fair market value.

    They do have three vehicles and one most likely would have been substantially paid for from an assumed total loss of the vehicle involved in the accident that injured the children.

    The point is that their physical assets are not considered in their eligibility for SCHIP.

    Their income which is considered by their own admission put them into the program before the accident even occurred.

    So by their choice of maintaining a business that was less than successful and self limiting their working hours and resultant income they qualified for the program to supplement their lifestyle and chose not to accept the responsibility for insuring either themselves or their children. 

    Since the accident they are carrying two mortgages one of which was on the house they refinanced to modify the house to accommodate the children.

    They most likely even after the insurance settlement on the lost vehicle had to add more to finance its replacement/leasing.

    They have two other vehicles including a truck that the husband still uses in his part time pursuit of his work form of choice.

    Their choice in their employment patterns and lifestyle set them up for the situation they are now in due to one horrid accident.

    There are also question of how in the winter when black ice exists how the boy managed based on the news reports to hit his head on the tree the vehicle collided with and the girl struck here head on a window.  Some suggest rightly or wrongly that perhaps seatbelt usage may have been an issue.

    Nobody is attacking the children and to suggest otherwise is wrong headed.

    They are critical of the usage of the children for political purposes.

    If you are going to use a child like that, at least vetted the family to see if they represent a true example of the concept you are trying to put forward.

    What is being criticized here that was enabled quite frankly by the life choices of the family the chose is that only 3 states look at physical assets as well as means test for the program qualification.

    There is a difference now only between funding levels mainly for the existing program. President Bush proposed a 5 Billion increase over 5 years and the other side wanted 35 Billion.  This was a 125% value of total current funding and was designed to only cover an addition 20 to 30% new participants.  Per Capita expenditures for each additional covered child were going through the roof.  Plus if would likely have already insured new clients being moved out of the commercial insurance system.

    The argument was that the structure of the current program has flaws that need to be corrected and at no time was any one suggesting that the Frost family be kicked out of the system.

    However the envisioned expansion of the system to even higher income levels suggest that it will even harder to justify subsidizing or replacing commercial health care and claiming it is a matter of essential need.  That simply doesn’t wash.

    Also now unless there are some modifications to the program, the Frost family has only one exit strategy.  That is to stay on the program until the physical issues of their children are in total remission.  They are bound in now by the legal caps on income which happen in their case to be no major lifestyle change since they seemed to self impose it in the past, except for any new costs they incur for the children that are not covered by SCHIP.

    The family complains they can’t get coverage now because of the pre existing medical conditions.  This is true, but that will only apply for the duration of the prohibition period.  If they had shopped before the accident they could have gotten some form of coverage at a much lesser rate.

    Now in fact if they try to increase their income to get off the program, they have a high barrier of costs to assume if they have to get insurance and cover out of pocket the treatment of the children until the qualification window expires. 

    I have to agree you may be right with some financial assistance on the vehicles beyond the vehicle insure loss I mentioned earlier.

    Two mortgages plus three vehicle payments plus insurance on the house at least plus mandatory insurance on the vehicles and taxes on the house and the commercial building would be a bold stretch for less than 50 K income.

    It tends to lead to the conclusion of some outside assistance or perhaps floating some of the vehicles as leases funded from the proceeds of the house refinance that was banked for that purpose.  Some more dark speculation is fancy accounting via the almost non existent business or just plain under the table earnings. 

    There could have easily been chosen many people to represent the position that the Dems were trying to put forward that would have closer validated their arguments.

    What occurred here is the Frost family endeavored because of their support for the program to put themselves forward as a representative of the program by their own admission.  As it has been revealed they were likely a less than optimal choice. 

    Now the issue is being framed as attacking the victimized family who are being held as an unimpeachable moral authority.

    Where have I seen that game plan before.

    All noise by the left wing rage machine to deflect for the examination of the issue on it’s merits.

    Simply that and nothing more. 

  2. MerlinOS2 says:


    I will use myself as a perfect example of the faults in the system as it now exists.

    As you know I am a early retired CEO of my own company which I sold during the internet bubble for what have told you was a ridiculous amount of cash and stocks.

    I was after that a registered professional day trader but mostly doing it as something to keep my workaholic self occupied. 

    I lost my wife a little over two years ago and now it’s just me and my stepson here.

    He is permanently handicapped and receives Social Security from his birth fathers account.

    I have given up day trading after the loss of my wife plus health issue that don’t allow me to participate in the manner I would like to.

    Now lets get to the rest.

    I reinvested my sale proceeds in dozens of apartment buildings and strip malls and office buildings.  They are all in a separate corporation as an entity.  All profits are turned back into either new purchases or purchase of securities or REIT investments to grow the income stream.  But the point is all the income and appreciation and any profits from sales of owned buildings and repurchase of others is contained within the wall.  My total compensation from running the business is 1 dollar a year.  Yup a single dollar.

    How can I do that and run my lifestyle. Simple.

    I have major big money in T bills and Municipal Bonds that for tax purposes are considered tax free unearned income.

    So guess what, my stepson is covered under Medicare so he is not an issue.

    But let’s say tomorrow I go out an adopt a child say age 8.

    That child would be eligible to be covered under SCHIP because for their purposes my total calculated income, which I have already verified with them is the 1 dollar income from my LLC and 20K I get from advising another business other than my own.

    For them I make 20,001 bucks a year and qualify. In fact when I talked to them about this the same office told me I qualified for food stamps for crying out loud.

    It doesn’t matter that I have a very nice house here on a large chunk of land with a pool out back about 3/4 olympic size with a walk in refrigerator and a walk in freezer and a walk in wine storage unit.  It doesn’t matter that I have over 90 computer servers on the property including and IBM Zeus mainframe maxed out to what they would sell me. It doesn’t matter I have somewhere near 40 vehicles (the vast majority which are collectibles in storage.  It doesn’t matter I have two twin engine aircraft for me and my departed wife.  It doesn’t matter I have a vacation house in the Florida Keys with a long pier with a 40 foot sailboat and a 72 foot mini yacht.  It doesn’t matter I have a luxury condo in Hawaii on Oahu and a house on Maui.  And we wont even talk about the apartments in Tokyo and Hong Kong or gasp the Castle in Germany where my wife was from.


    All that is part of the reason I prefer to remain anonymous on the web because it would lead some back to my family and potential endanger my stepsons security from some of the wacko’s out there.

  3. browngreengold says:


    I’m just a tad bit older than 8 but willing to be adopted as long as you won’t force me to call you Daddy.


  4. Terrye says:

    It does not matter if they own the cars or not. It does not matter if they own the home. The program is not for destitute people. They qualified.

    Treating these people as if they committed some kind of a crime for using a program that was available to them is ridiculous. Treating these people as if they have no right to any kind of respect or privacy because the boy made a simple statement to the effect that the S-CHIP program helped him is beyond the pale.

    It makes the GOP look like stalkers, window peepers, busy bodies.

    I think Bush did the right thing to veto the expansion and no doubt the Democrats counted on someone like Malkin to get all hyper about the kid.

    The last I saw, something like 72% of the American people are supporting the expansion. That makes this an uphill battle anyway.

    But the right could have done what Bush did, they could simply have made the case that the program does not need such a large expansion because that changes it mission and function.

    But noooo, they had to treat the family like felons and free loaders and God knows what else.

    Going after these people was stupid and the people doing it seem completely oblivious to the fact that when the Baltimore Sun runs a story about Malkin doing drive bys of the people’s home or some commenter on a blog saying the kids could die for all he cares, or some other self styled spokesperson for the right saying the parents should be hanged etc. that harms the whole GOP. It makes the party look mean and spiteful and bitter.

  5. Terrye says:

    And how do they know these people have three cars? Why because someone was spying on them and taking pictures.

    When I farmed I owned a pickup, a buick and we had an old dump truck and there were months when I was sweating the light bill.

    I am so glad that I did not get sick and have to get some kind of help to pay the bills. If I had someone like this might have been skulking around my property taking pictures and harassing my neighbors.

  6. Terrye says:


    Since when did the right turn into the people who get to decide how everyone else is supposed to live?

    And don’t tell me that since these folks used a program intended to help sick children that means you get to tell them what kind of choices to make and second guess their decisions like you were the Delphi Oracle.

    People just seem completely oblivious to how they sound.

    These kids could have died. Just leave these people alone.

  7. Terrye says:

    BTW, pro-lifer Chris Korzen of Catholics United is going to be doing a commercial in favor of this expansion. I suppose that means someone will be hiring a private detective to dig dirt up on her.

  8. Terrye says:


    I am sorry, I have this bad habit of using “you”, when I mean it in a generic way and then when I read what I said it sounds a lot more accusatory than I intended. I am sorry about that.

  9. MerlinOS2 says:


    You can always be relied on for your take on the issue which you are surely welcome to.

    As far as the three cars issue it was from an unsolicited email to Michelle Malkin from a neighbor of the Frosts which was verified. Not one person was stalking and taking pictures as your view suggests.

    We are not telling how they can live , we are only observing that because of their own choices including not to purchase insurance and structure their financial well being to support their own family independently we as a public assumed the obligation for insuring them even before the accident.

    Our country does not begrudge that coverage for those that can’t do well enough in the pricing environment today to make ends meet.

    That can be brought into question by the history of choices this family chose to pursue.

    It is a two way street Terrye, I don’t tell them how to live I only observe how they have. The other side of the coin is they are telling me and others we have to fund them based on their choices and outcomes.

    You may be right on the 72% opine that but history tells us that in reality probably less than 30 % of that group have a grasp of the issues involved and the balance are just it feels good and the right thing to do no matter what the merits of the issue are.

  10. BarbaraS says:

    These people may have qualified but if they did then the qualification eligibilities are way too low. This program was meant for really poor children and anyone else who uses it might possibly be interfering with children who really need it. I don’t see how the Frosts are making all these payments and supporting their children on 45k per year. I made 50k until I retired and am only one person and I did not have a lot of money left over after paying my bills. Of course I put the max in retirement funds which I am sure the Frosts aren’t doing. My point is that these people have to be getting money either from their parents or under the table. There is no other way for them to pay all their bills. The ad valorem taxes on their property ($400,000 for their house and who knows how much for their commercial property) must be horrible. Mine is $2300 per year on a house valued at $160,000 and I don’t live in the DC area. Yes, they qualifed. But they should not have. And that is the point. The system needs to be overhauled and changed to help the people it was originally meant to help not people who want to game the system.
    I don’t mind helping people who cannot help themselves or to give them a hand up but not people who batten on the government to pay their way. The liberals want socialist medicine and this is one way to start by letting people who are able bodied not work but have the gvernment pay their bills.

  11. BarbaraS says:

    I wonder what happened to my comment.

  12. AJStrata says:


    Your comment got snagged in the spam filter for some reason. I must note though that you are wrong. S-CHIP is NOT meant for the very poor – that is medicaid. The program is designed for those who do not qualify for medicaid and have incomes (not assets) under 3 times the poverty line, which makes them well under the medium income lines. It puts them right on the cusp between poor and working poor and is designed so that these families do not slip into the permanently poor over health care.

    It works. Even the Bush proposal would have still covered the Frosts. This is why the far right is so wrong on this.

  13. wiley says:

    This is first time I recall AJ criticizing Bush, who we know veto’d this bad bill. A little late, but Bush actually used the veto. Unfortunately, the MSM isn’t interested in presenting the realities of the bill, which is significant govt creep into the solid middle class, where health insurance is certainly accessible. The point, as Merlin made clear, is that the Frosts chose not to have health insurance even though they certainly had and have the means. If the dems get this one, the snowball rolling downhill towards govt-run health care gets bigger & faster. Wake up people, the left’s “progressive” march to a socialist state gains more traction every year.

  14. Terrye says:


    So Michelle runs an email from a neighbor who may or may not have a grudge. Or who may or may not even be a neighbor. Is that supposed to be journalism?

    The point is there are hundreds if not thousands of people on the S-CHIP program, if people think there are problems with the eligibility requirements then they should address that directly, instead of going after this family.

    Americans by a 2 to 1 margin want this expansion to go through. I hope it does not. But the people who have made a point of harassing this family have made sure that even if Bush is successful here the Democrats will have one more talking point.

    In other words it is counter productive. I really believe that. Right now I find myself moving away from the right more and more and stuff like this is why.

  15. stevevvs says:

    I just don’t think all this stuff about the Right is justified.

    These people may not be wealthy in terms of income, but in terms of assets, they aren’t doing to bad. There newest car is a VOLVO SUV, and they have two other cars, all seem to be newer models.

    If they qualify for the program, great, but you certainly would have to question their priorities.

    It seems Government run Free Schools aren’t good enough for their children, but Government Run Free Healthcare is! And neither parent works full time, at least that is my understanding. But they can afford 3 newer vehicles, a what, 3,000 square foot home, own other property, send the munchkins to private school, etc.

    It seems their priorities may be a bit out of wack. If I had several Children, owned 3 newer cars, did not work full time, etc. I think my Family and Friends would have a long talk with me about it.

    I think the problem here is the expansion of the program to “Children up to 25 years old” I thought, when you turned 18 you were an adult? And these people who certainly could be considered ASSET Rich, are only being judged by their income, rather than both. I just wonder, are they purpusly trying to keep their income low, to remain qualified, thereby by passing their moral obligation to provide for their families insurance needs?

    Hard to say, really.

  16. stevevvs says:

    Treating these people as if they committed some kind of a crime for using a program that was available to them is ridiculous. Treating these people as if they have no right to any kind of respect or privacy because the boy made a simple statement to the effect that the S-CHIP program helped him is beyond the pale.


    Who Wrote What The Boy Said? Did He Write It? His Parents? Senate Dem. Staffers?

    By doing this stunt, the family put themselves out there to be scrutinized.

    And Frankly, there is room for it.

  17. Terrye says:


    Who the hell cares who wrote what the boy said?

    Do you really think the idea of Michelle Malkin doing drive bys of this family’s home is going to do anything other than make most people who hear about think she is a tad nuts?

    Have you read the statement of the boy? It is bland, it is short, it is not a big deal. I doubt if 99% of the people in this country would have ever even heard about it if certain people on the right had not told themselves, the evil Democrats are behind this so let’s go after the Frost family.

    These people qualified for a program that has been around for years. They are decent people by all accounts, they are married, they are not criminals, etc.

    But, because they used this program and went on the radio saying they think it is a good program we have all sorts of people out there who know nothing about them going on and on about their priorities, their parenting skills, passing judgment on them as people and parents.

    Well you know something steve, maybe you are perfect, maybe you never made a mistake, but I am just a sinner, I screw up all the time. So I really do not feel that I am in any position to pass judgment on these folks and I don’t much care for a lot of the people who are.

  18. Terrye says:

    And btw, my guess is the Democrats counted on someone like Michelle Malkin to do just what she did.

  19. Terrye says:

    The truth is this is not a lot different from the snowflake babies. In both cases you have citizens endorsing a certain policy. So, if you don’t agree go after the policy.