Skip to comments.Md. Mom Aids Bid For Health Coverage (FR Mentioned)
Posted on 10/23/2007 8:58:16 AM PDT by khnyny
A Maryland family caught in the partisan crossfire over a children's health-care bill in Congress is now stepping back into the divisive debate, advocating this time for state legislation that would expand coverage for adults.
Three weeks ago, after 12-year-old Graeme Frost offered a radio appeal for expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), his family became fodder for conservative bloggers. The Frosts were derided as freeloaders who relied on government insurance for their children while they sent two to private school. Bloggers staked out their Baltimore rowhouse, declaring it too fancy for a family that can't afford to pay for health insurance. Commentator Rush Limbaugh imitated Graeme Frost's voice, damaged in a car accident, and said congressional Democrats were using the boy to "advance a distortion."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
This is an important point - it’s not just about kids, anymore. The title of the WP print article reads: “Family Rejoins the Fray, This Time to Aid Uninsured Adults”. The artilce explains how Mrs. Frost wants free health care now for herself and her husband and is joining “the fight”.
That's a claim I hadn't read before.
Let me guess, Rush used the voice he always uses to imitate kids and somehow that was an affront to Graeme because he has a speech problem.
Hey, Mr. and Mrs. Frost, up your noses with rubber hoses!
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
Dear Halsey Frost: I understand you are highly qualified in the architecture and woodworking fields. You could probably get a high-paying job with health insurance coverage for you, your wife, and your children. I hope Graeme and Gemma recover fully from the accident and grow up to be good citizens. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you and your wife kept your hands out of my wallet.
I'm sure Mr. Frost will be pleased to know, in light of his complaint about icwhatudo's anonymity, that I signed my real name to the comment.
Trust fund hippies demanding still more Free Stuff from the government. They’re disgusting leeches. I’m proud of FR and its members for “outing” them.
A Maryland family caught in the partisan crossfire over a children's health-care bill in Congress is now stepping back into the divisive debate
Once again THEY have made the choice and are therefore subject to scrutiny. To the DUmmies and Kos Kids searching out MY kids and what radio stations I listen to, I have NOT made the choice to put my kids in front of the camera. You accuse me of raiding the "privacy" of this family (who voluntarily appear on the front pages of newspapers telling everyone how much money they make and choose to be on national TV) yet you are desperate to find out who I am to drive by my house and look into my kids schools. Hypocrites.
advocating this time for state legislation that would expand coverage for adults.
How can we honestly debate expansion if we don't know the financial status of families that CURRENTLY get the program?
Three weeks ago, after 12-year-old Graeme Frost offered a radio appeal for expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), his family became fodder for conservative bloggers.
I looked into the financial state of the family ALREADY covered by SCHIP. Again, how can we honestly debate expansion if we don't know the financial status of families that CURRENTLY get the program?
The Frosts were derided as freeloaders
Not by me.
"who relied on government insurance for their children while they sent two to private school.
Which is true btw. We did not know at the time that all 4 were attending private school at the time of the accident.
"Bloggers staked out their Baltimore rowhouse, declaring it too fancy for a family that can't afford to pay for health insurance."
I know of noone that "staked out their Baltimore rowhouse". The only blogger that I am aware of that ever went there was Michelle Malkin. She actually said the house was not worth the 500k others were stating. Just the opposite of what this article is claiming.
Commentator Rush Limbaugh imitated Graeme Frost's voice, damaged in a car accident, and said congressional Democrats were using the boy to "advance a distortion."
Rush can defend himself, but does anyone really think he was making his voice sound "damaged" as opposed to simply imitating a childs voice?
"Democrats rushed to the boy's defense, accusing conservatives of distorting the family's finances"
And yet never mentioned the 3 vehicles, the carriage house, the commercial property , or the tenants. They focused on countertop makeup (concrete is the same if not more than Granite) and the original price paid for the home (which means they have a ton of equity) or tax assessed value as opposed to current market price.
"and attacking Graeme unfairly".
2 weeks and still not one person, left or right, has been able to cut and paste a single attack I made on the child.
"Gary Trudeau crystallized the fallout in yesterday's Doonesbury comic strip: "It's one thing to Swift-boat a grown man," his cartoon character asks at a faux White House news conference. "But isn't it a bit beyond the pale to attack a 12-year-old boy?"
Claiming someone is attacking a 12 year old is as silly as pretending someone is questioning your patriotism. Debate the facts and quit hiding.
"Yesterday, the boy's mother, Bonnie Frost, stood before a microphone at a Baltimore church, in a peasant shirt and clogs, to make a quiet appeal for broader health coverage in Maryland."
Whats a peasant shirt? New one for me.
"My husband and I cannot afford health insurance," she said, as advocates announced a new radio ad featuring her. The plan, to be debated as the legislature convenes in Annapolis next week, "would help a lot of working families like us."
There we go. " LIKE US. When you say "look at me, I'm the example", don't get upset when we actually look. Its not an attack.
"She said she didn't hesitate to join the Maryland effort, despite the events of the past three weeks. "I'm not going to let the nasty bloggers scare me away from standing up for what's important," she said yesterday.
I'm not going to let the nasty media and lefty hate sites scare me away either.
"Much of America now knows the family's story: Graeme and his sister Gemma, 9, suffered brain injuries when the family car hit a patch of ice and spun out of control three years ago. Their hospital bills and lengthy recovery were covered by SCHIP. Graeme gave the Democratic response to President Bush's radio address Sept. 29, asking him to reconsider his veto of a Democratic bill to expand the children's health program. Graeme and his mother stood next to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the bill signing."
Nice to see the media admit the bill was to "expand" SCHIP and that Bush was not canceling the program.
Things quickly got ugly for the Frosts
How is examining the claimed resources of a family ugly?
"who together make about $45,000 a year."
I think the missing word is "claim" to make... The family refused a Baltimore Sun request to look at their tax return and its unclear if rental income from the two tennants at their commercial property is included in that amount.
"Television crews camped out in front of their house and knocked on the door."
Why are they not described as "stalkers" like Michelle Malkin was?
They received hate mail and e-mails.
Thats wrong, there is no need for that. Stick to the facts. People should spend their time on better things like finding out information on the injunction that Baltimore City has against the family. I believe Bonnie and Halsey both have court dates in early November. Could it have something to do with neither their home or commercial property being listed as their primary residence?
The blogger Michelle Malkin drove by the family home and by Halsey Frost's warehouse in East Baltimore, searching for clues to a middle-class life.
And the Baltimore Sun asked for the family tax return. Its called reporting.
One blogger who calls himself Icwhatudo posted what he dug up about the Frosts on the Free Republic Web site: Graeme attends an expensive private school, the couple's 1992 wedding was the subject of a New York Times announcement and a house in the Frosts' Butchers Hill neighborhood sold for $485,000 last spring.
Very selective but 100% true. Nice job. Why is it the commercial property always seems to be left out?
At first I was really surprised that people would do this to us," she said. "I thought they must be desperate to trash us for sending out a good message."
How is pointing out your resources trashing you? You say you're "an example",refer to people "like us". How are we to know what you are "like" without looking? When the Baltimore Sun asked for the tax return were they trashing you or just looking for information?
The criticism, in many ways, goes to the core of what Bush and many Republicans say is wrong with SCHIP. Expanding the program, they say, could encourage people who can afford health insurance to rely on the government instead.
The Frosts, both 41, say they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to buy health insurance.
Yet you can pay two mortgages, pay to send 4 kids to private school prior to the accident (with the help of financial aid-you admit you are still paying), and afford 3 vehicles.
"Halsey is a self-employed woodworker whose business failed in the late 1990s."
Read that again. If his business failed how is he still working? Yes, he stopped using the name "Frostworks" in 1999/2000 but he has used other names such as DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIAL DESIGN CENTER and started and managed a small design/build division of a high-end residential landscape construction business called Natural Concerns Inc. The article admits he is self employed. The fact he is not calling himself "Frostworks" does not change the fact he is his own boss and the original claim "he can't get health insurance from work" is misleading.
Bonnie works part time for a biomedical publishing company, which has seven employees and no insurance plan. Her employer is typical of the companies that would be helped by a plan supported by Democratic leaders in Annapolis that would subsidize small businesses in addition to expanding Medicaid coverage for adults.
The original Baltimore Sun article claimed she worked FULL time. Since there was a small error in that report I guess it was all lies too right?
"Bonnie's a symbol of the true depth of the health-care crisis in Maryland," said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, which is sponsoring the new radio ad. "Luckily, CHIP is there for their kids, but there's nothing for them."
Theres something there for them, its called private health insurance. That $1200 figure (due to waiting until after the accident to try and get coverage)was due to preexisting conditions of the kids, NOT the parents. Please tell me we are now going to have to pay for ins coverage for the parents too? Can't they sell the commercial property or at least increase the rent they charge their 2 tenants? Can't they sell the Volvo SUV or the GMC Suburban and keep the other with the Ford F-250?
"DeMarco's 14-year-old son attends the Park School with Graeme and Zeke, which is how the Frosts came to the attention of congressional Democrats looking for a voice for children's health insurance. Graeme's Sept. 29 response to the president's radio address was the first by a child." Interesting, first confirmation that Zeke also attends Park. That means 3 of the 4 kids are now confirmed to have been attending Park at the time of the accident. No word yet on the 4th.
Graeme and Zeke do attend private school, Bonnie Frost said yesterday, but on scholarship. In the Sun article she said financial aid. Reids spokesperson said they pay $500 per child. No one has said when the scholarships/financial aid began (before or after the accident. Mr. Reilly (friend of 10 years and one of the tenants at the Frosts commercial building) stated that it was his understanding the grandparents paid the tuition.
Gemma's tuition at a special school for brain-injured children is covered by the state.The Frosts bought their home 17 years ago for $55,000. "There were drug dealers and abandoned houses on the street then," Bonnie said. The neighborhood has improved drastically.
So by her own admission it seems using the 55k figure for home worth is at best misleading. The home is 3000sf+ with a carriage house in the back. It has undergone renovations (still ongoing according to the Frosts) and is only a few doors away from another "end unit" that sold for 485k that was 1000sf smaller.
Another lie the media uses is the home's tax assessed value. They say the home is worth only 260k. The home that sold nearby was assessed for 115,000 less than what it sold for. So to rely on assessment for market value is also misleading.
The Frosts met in college, when Halsey brought his sick cat to the animal hospital where Bonnie was working as a technician. They are Democrats but never were activists until now, they said.
When MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann invited them to appear Friday night on his show, he asked them to bring photographs of Graeme and Gemma in the emergency room after the accident. The children were barely recognizable, their bodies covered with blood and attached to tubes.
It was a gruesome image, one that brought new criticism from conservative bloggers.
Very sad and my prayers go out to the family....but an OBX sticker on the rear of the wrecked SUV? Just raises more questions about the choices this family made when it comes to money.
"I didn't want to make it a sensational thing," Bonnie Frost said yesterday. "It was not a decision we made lightly, to show them. But it was important to show that the kids really needed help."
No one is disputing that injured kids need help. The question is who should pay for it and what type of families are already covered. You hold yourself up to be the example...You CHOOSE to be that example. Don't get upset when people look into, as you say, families "like you" with 3000sf homes, a commercial property with tenants, 3 suvs, kids in private school....ALREADY COVERED BY SCHIP before they agree to expand this coverage to families with even more.
I wonder what’s the extent of “brain damage”? A close friend of mine is brain damaged. It occurred during an ectopic pregnancy and oxygen was cut off to the brain longer than it should have been. But she’s living a somewhat normal life with some adjustments, has a job and making good money.
Thank you again for your efforts.
From Johns Hopkins Univ:
Assistant Professor - Adjunct
President, Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative
JD, Columbia School of Law MA, Johns Hopkins University
Health, Behavior and Society
Joint Departmental Affiliations
Health Policy and Management
624 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
Phone: (410) 235-9000
Fax: (410) 235-8963
Research and Professional Experience
Over the past 20 years, I have worked to build powerful grassroots coalitions to move important public health polices, including, reducing gun violence and teen smoking, and expanding health care access. We have put together a process for doing so that has been used as a model in other states across the country. A key element of this process is making public health a top issue in elections.
My goal at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is to help train students on how to advance public health issues through the coalition building and voter education model we have used in Maryland. I am looking forward to learning from the students and faculty at the School about good ways to make this model even more effective and how to replicate it in other jurisdictions and on other issues.
Vincent DeMarco, coalition building, voter education, health care access, tobacco control, gun control
Honors and Awards
2001 — Reverend Bryce Shoemaker Ecumenical Leadership Award
Presented by the Central MD Ecumenical Council for work with the faith
community on important issues.
2000 — Named Best Advocate in Baltimore Magazine for work in reducing gun violence and teen smoking.
2000 — Recognized (along with the Maryland Childrens Initiative) in a Baltimore Sun front-page article for a key role in the enactment of the tobacco tax increase, resulting in a 16% decrease in cigarette sales in MD.
1994 — Advocacy work described in a feature article in the Washington Post.
1988 —Named Marylander of the Year by the Baltimore Sun.
Missed Chance to Expand Healthcare Glenn E. Schneider and Vincent DeMarco. The Gazette of Politics and Business. July 23, 2004.
For a healthier Maryland; [FINAL Edition]
Peter L. Beilenson and Vincent DeMarco. The Sun. Baltimore, Md.: Jun 16, 2003. pg. 13.A
Forcing change by educating voters Advocacy: Interest groups used polling, coalition-building and election-year publicity to wage disciplined campaigns for gun control and the tobacco tax. Is health insurance next?; [FINAL Edition] Vincent DeMarco and Glenn E. Schneider. The Sun. Baltimore, Md.: Oct 22, 2000. p. 5.F
Elections and Public Health V. DeMarco and G. Schneider. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 90, No. 10:1513-1514. October 2000.
But the peasant shirt and clogs was a nice touch, don’t you think?
You should see all the emoting going on in the comments section of this article. Stuff like “the rich get richer and the poor DIE!!” and so on.
I thought the special session merely had to do with tax hikes.
Yes it was. God I hate parasitic, holier-than-thou, deadbeats.
Thanks for the background on Vinny - impressive (your info, not him).
Bascially what your information is telling us is that Mr. DeMarco is a champion of socialized medicine and gun control. I don’t think DeMarco’s “process” has been very effective in reducing gun violence in Baltimore, at least according to these statistics. Baltimore rates very high, especially it’s murder rate and is ranked #12 on the most dangerous cities list in the nation. Somehow I think he’s not going to do much better with his “health issues”.
I noticed today in a clip on Fox that Graeme is sporting a full set of braces.
A result of his accident, or just the $4000 rite of passage for your typical Park schooler?
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