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Daily Blog Buzz: S-chip's Real Recipients

12:04 PM, Oct 8, 2007 • By SAMANTHA SAULT
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You may remember the Democrats' S-chip poster child, Graeme Frost, the 12-year-old boy from Baltimore, MD, whose parents relied on Maryland's S-chip program to pay for his health care following a severe car accident. Graeme recounted his sob story to Congress in an effort to show the mean Republicans that poor kids need health insurance, too. Baltimore Sun reporter Matthew Hay Brown profiled the "poor" Frost family, but failed to ask some important questions. As it turns out, little Graeme isn't so poor, and bloggers are on the story.

Blogger icwhatudo at Free Republic did a quick Internet investigation and discovered some interesting facts about the Frosts:

1. Graeme and his sister Gemma attend the Park School, a private school that costs $20,000 per child.

2. Brown wrote that the family lives on $45,000 per year, but icwhatudo notes: "Halsey Frost has owned his own company 'Frostworks' since...1992 so he chooses to not give himself insurance. He also employed his wife as 'bookkeeper and operations management' prior to her recent 2007 hire at the 'medical publishing firm.'"

3. His business is housed in a $160,000 building -- that he owns.

4. The Frost family lives in a recently remodeled 3,000-square-foot home that cost $485,000.

Yeah, the Frosts sound dirt poor, and certainly worthy of government handouts.

These revelations show the problems with S-chip. The program does not simply provide coverage to needy children. Bruce Kesler at the Democracy Project writes, "According to the official Maryland web site for its SCHIP program version, Maryland Childrens Health Care, there is no asset test for participation in SCHIP. All aboard the dole train(-wreck)."

Mark Tapscott, editorial page editor of the Washington Examiner notes in his blog: "People make choices and it's clear the Frosts have made choice to invest in property and a business, but not in private health insurance."

If S-chip applicants were required to undergo an asset test, the Frosts likely would not have qualified. Yoshi at The Shotgun says:

Taking into account the value of the home, the value of the father's business, the value of the commercial property they own, and so forth minus their mortgage and whatever they might owe on the commercial property (and other sundry debts) an educated guess would suggest that this family has a net worth of somewhere in the neighbourhood of $500,000.

Again, this family doesn't exactly seem poor by any standards.

Don Surber at Daily Mail notes:

Interesting that public schools aren't good enough for their kids but public health insurance is.

This business of "affordable insurance" is socialistic. The Frosts found an "affordable" business building and an "affordable" 3,000-square foot house and an "affordable" private school.

Kim Priestep at Wizbang is outraged and says, "hardworking taxpayers who sacrifice many things such as expensive private schools and expensive houses in order to buy their own health care for their families are supposed to subsidize this family's health insurance premiums."

Since Halsey Frost owns his own business, he should have taken responsibility and purchased insurance for his family. The Baltimore Sun claimed that it would have cost the Frosts $1200 per month for health insurance. Bob Vineyard at InsureBlog says this is ludicrous:

$1200 per month for a family of 6 in Baltimore. Really? What are they smoking?

A check of a quote engine for zip code 21250 (Baltimore) finds a plan for $641 with a $0 deductible and $20 doc copays.

Adding a deductible of $750 (does not apply to doc visits) drops the premium to $452. That's almost a third of the price quoted in the article. Doesn't anyone bother to check the facts?