As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Your Modern Conservative Movement

Mitch McConnell's office was actively pushing out the Grame Frost smear to reporters. They were sending emails that said things like "Could the Dems really have done that bad of a job vetting this family?" Things which end up in broadcasts like when a CNN reporter says “the Democrats didn’t do as much of a vetting as they could have done.”

This is your modern conservative movement, folks. There is no difference between mouth-frothing bloggers, wingnut welfare queens like Michelle Malkin, the right-wing radio movement of Rush and Hannity, and the Senate Minority leader. They're all taking their cues from the same source, preferring to smear a 12 year-old and his family rather than discuss the real problem of rising health care costs. Tony Snow was making $168,000 a year and he couldn't afford to stay in his job after a recurrence of his cancer. The wingnut noise machine is answering its own question here. "How can a middle class family not afford health insurance?" EXACTLY.

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 Frost family's situation highlights our health care system's moral injustices, economic failing, and simple absurdities. The employer-based nature of our system makes it far harder to procure health insurance outside of a corporate job, and makes it almost impossible for the self-employed to afford coverage. The burden of health costs weigh heavily on small businesses, and force some to fold. The vicissitudes of the individual market, and the freedom insurers are granted to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, means it would be impossible for the Frosts to procure insurance now that their children have severe health problems -- indeed, three private insurers had previously rejected their applications outright.

And this was a family that was doing everything right. Both parents work. They own their own home. They care for three children, two of them now with serious health problems. They've gotten their son into a good private school on scholarship. But, like millions of other Americans, they've found that doing everything right doesn't mean you can afford health insurance.

All the right did was draw attention to the crisis in the American health care system. And exposed their rotten souls, besides.

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