Skip to comments.Did I Really Start A Firestorm in Washington?
Posted on 10/09/2007 9:19:16 AM PDT by icwhatudo
Hello everyone, its been an interesting few days. I had no idea my post about the family used by democrats to push for expansion of the S-CHIP program would cause such a stir. There have been many questions and comments raised about me and my simple Google research that I thought I'd deal with them all on this post if it's ok with the Mods.
My interest in the S-CHIP issue came about because of the way it's portrayed in the media. President Bush's veto was of an EXPANSION of this health insurance program to include higher income families. It would not cut the program, (in fact Bush wants to increase funding), nor would it cause the Frost family to lose their coverage under it.
The Frost family choose to allow their son to give the democrat radio response to the president's veto. They choose to put their family story, picture of their home, and income information in the papers for all to see. Now that I look into the facts of that same story I'm accused of "invading their privacy" or "attacking a 12 year old boy". Could someone from Daily Kos, Think Progress, or Democratic Underground please cut and paste the part of my article that attacked the 12 year old boy?
The Baltimore Sun article about the family mentioned that the son attended Park school. I knew this was an expensive private school so I began to wonder why someone who could send their child there would need others to pay for their health insurance. It led to my use of Google to find out if there was information that the Baltimore Sun left out of the article. All the information I found I linked to in my post.
After posting my article a number of Freepers started emailing the story out to local papers and other blogs, talk show hosts, etc. It really exploded when Mark Steyn of National Review Online posted about it. From there it spread through the blogs including Michelle Malkin and even made it on the Rush Limbaugh's show. Last night ABC news online posted about the "firestorm in Washington" it was causing. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was accusing GOP leadership aides of "pushing falsehood" and complained that Republican staffers where passing the information out to reporters.
Left wing sites have begun to hit back, questioning my information. Many are linking to these 5 points from Thinkprogress.org that I will comment on:
"1) Graeme has a scholarship to a private school. The school costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year."
For all the claims my research was poor...where's your link? $15,000? From my link to the schools tuition page:
Tuition for 2007-2008
Lower School $19,530
Middle School $19,530
Upper School $21,080
Where did you get your information the family was paying $500 per year? Was this from the talking points memo you got from Harry Reid spokesman Jim Manley? Did he tell you how long theyve had those scholarships? Any idea why the tenant in the commercial building they own, Mike Reilly (who has known the Frosts for 10 years) said See "Update 2:50pm"it was his understanding the childrens grandparents paid the bill?
We can debate the amount they are paying, or the amount the grandparents are contributing, or the amount that is earned through scholarships but the fact remains the family is paying to send their child to a private school while asking others to pay for their health insurance. Are you claiming otherwise?
"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."
Again no link but I heard this as well. It was why I stated in my article that: "His sister Gemma, also severely injured in the accident, attended the same school PRIOR to the accident"
Its funny how the left wing echo chamber is seizing on this point to somehow show my information was bad. That somehow I was saying she was still attending the Park School. Will you concede that my statement "His sister Gemma, also severely injured in the accident, attended the same school PRIOR to the accident" is 100% true? At the time they choose to not purchase health insurance, prior to the accident, at least 2 of their kids attended Park school.
"3) They bought their lavish house sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe."
Your information is incorrect (and again fails to provide a link). "They" did not buy the house 16 years ago, Mr. Frost bought the home on his own on 11/30/1990. The couple was married in 1992, and it appears his wife paid him $52,500 to be added to the deed on 09/06/2005. Interesting that on the Department of Assessments and Taxation form under "Principal Residence:" it states "NO". Do they own a second home in addition to the commercial property? Also, please cut and paste from my article where I said they lived in a "Lavish house". Large house-yes, and nice kitchen from the photo.
"4) Last year, the Frosts made $45,000 combined. Over the past few years they have made no more than $50,000 combined.
Again no link. What is the source of this claim? Not saying their reported income was not as you state, but as Mr. Frost set up a LLC would you concede its possible that reported income could be different than actual access to financial resources? Maybe those more familiar on why people set up LLC's can tell us what creative things can be done with finances this way.
"5) The state of Maryland has found them eligible to participate in the CHIP program."
Exactly! Thanks for making my point. Even with the private school you admit they are partially paying for, even with the home that is not their primary residence, even with the LLC they set up and purchased commercial property with, even with a tenant in the building they own...they still qualify! So why then do we need to expand the program to families with even higher incomes than the Frosts?
I am also a father of 4 and I live in a waterfront house. We have 2 boats and go to the beach for 2 weeks each year. All 4 of my kids go to private school. If the S-CHIP program is expanded...WE WILL QUALIFY! I'd love to use the savings from others paying for my kids health insurance to buy a new motor for my bass boat but is that what we really want from S-CHIP?
A few other points:
Some blogs, radio shows, etc have incorrectly stated that I claimed their house was bought for $485,000 or was worth $500,000 etc. My actual quote on this was:
"The current market value of their improved 3,040 SF home at 104 S Collington Ave is unknown but 113 S COLLINGTON AVE, also an end unit, sold for $485,000 this past March and it was only 2,060 SF."
I found a similar (actually smaller) home a few doors down that recently sold for $485,000. A Freeper early on in my original post linked a zillow estimate of $360,000. The taxation page assesses the home at $263,140 and we all know assessed values for taxes are lower than market price(at least in Maryland). Are there cheaper homes in the area that have not been renovated yet? Sure, but lets not miss the point here. This is not a family of renters, they own not only a 3,040 SF home but a commercial property as well. I'm not faulting them for it, I'm not trying to say they are rich, I'm trying to make people aware of what types of families are CURRENTLY covered by S-CHIP so we can honestly debate if the income ceiling should be raised.
Hmmmm, I really could use that new bass boat motor and the kids really would like a Nintendo Wii ... maybe I'll change my position.
You are the new Buckhead! :-)
Facts are our friends - good job!
Lighting the fires bump!
You have done well. Continue your good works.
Stuff like this makes it fun to check FR everyday.
No backing down when the facts and reason are on your side. Excellent!
Bravo. Great job. Original investigative reporting like this is one of the reasons FR exists. You have made us all proud.
Keep up the good work.
Jim Quinn talked about you this morning also.
ICWHATUDO: Don’t stop. (And “Thanks.”)
Great job, you do better with Google and FR than the rest of the media can do with unlimited resources, time, and exposure!
I don't know who MD4BUSH is, you Right Wing Conspirator scum, but I'm now exposing my REAL screen name.
Soap and facts—the enemies of liberals.
Good work! I hope I don’t have to help subsidize that boat motor though!
Why didn’t car insurance pay for the medical bills? This was brought up in the original thread and I never saw an explanation. Thanks for your efforts.
Great “One Two Punch!
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