It all started when Democrats featured a 12-year old kid for their Sunday radio address, who said this:
If it weren’t for CHIP, I might not be here today. ... We got the help we needed because we had health insurance for us through the CHIP program. But there are millions of kids out there who don’t have CHIP, and they wouldn’t get the care that my sister and I did if they got hurt. ... I just hope the President will listen to my story and help other kids to be as lucky as me.
Of course, this set off the right-wing smear machine, desperate to defend Bush's horrifically unpopular decision to veto the SCHIP bill. And they picked the easiest target upon which to train their smears -- the 12-year-old kid -- Graeme Frost -- and his family.
Conservatives have more recently turned their targets on young Graeme Frost himself. A poster at the Free Republic propagated information alleging that Frost was actually a rich kid being pampered by the government. Among other bits of information, the post by the Freeper "icwhatudo" asserts that Graeme and his sister Gemma attend wealthy schools that cost "nearly $40,000 per year for tuition" and live in a well-off home.
I linked earlier to an easy rebuttal to wingnutosphere's attacks over at Whiskey Fire, which notes that the private school in question gives financial assistance to students whose families make up to $160K per year. The obvious conclusion?
If the school is giving assistance to families making $160K, they are offering pretty substantial assistance to those making $45K. I'm just guessing here, but it sure does seem plausible!
Indeed, Think Progress (same link at the top of this post) did some journamalism and got the facts:
- Graeme has a scholarship to a private school. The school costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year.
- 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.
- They bought their "lavish house" sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.
- Last year, the Frost’s made $45,000 combined. Over the past few years they have made no more than $50,000 combined.
- The state of Maryland has found them eligible to participate in the CHIP program.
Desperate to defend Bush’s decision to cut off millions of children from health care, the right wing has stooped to launching baseless and uninformed attacks against a 12 year old child and his family.
Oh, and catch the update over at that Think Progress post. Seems that the ever-classy Michelle Malkin has been stalking the family.