October 8, 2007

S-CHIP Expansion - The Ultimate School Voucher Program?

Last week, I scolded the Democrats for sending a 12-year-old to make their argument for S-CHIP expansion rather than making it themselves. This week, it might be the NEA protesting a new indirect voucher program. It turns out that the spokesboy for the Democrats goes to an expensive private school, lives in a 3000-square-foot house, and all of this gets subsidized by federal assistance:

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.

So what this amounts to is a school voucher system for the middle class. The Frosts can affort to spend $20,000 per year on private-school tuition because they don't have to spend money on health insurance for their children. That allows them a better break than urban students get, because under S-CHIP as it was originally conceived, the health insurance subsidies allowed the family to spend money on frivolities like food and utilities.

This demonstrates the absurdity of expanding programs like S-CHIP into the middle class. Children in homes like the Frost's don't lack insurance coverage out of a lack of opportunity or resources, but from the choices made by their parents. Freedom entails making choices and living with the consequences. It certainly doesn't entail subsidizing poor decisions, or in this particular case, taking money from primarily lower-income workers who smoke to subsidize health insurance for kids who go to expensive private schools.

If we had school vouchers, the Frosts could afford both private education and health care, because their tax dollars would not go to the education monopoly owned by the government. It would also allow poorer families to have access to the kind of private education that the Frost children receive, forcing public schools to improve to meet the competition. The same holds true for the coming monopoly in health care, if the Democrats who support this Trojan horse S-CHIP expansion get their way.

And speaking of competition, how did the mainstream news media fail to discover the true financial status of the Frosts, which was the entire basis for the public argument made in favor of S-CHIP expansion? (via Power Line and Instapundit)

UPDATE: A word on the supposed "smear" that conservatives have applied to the Frosts, as Michelle Malkin notes about the pushback on the Democrats' attempt to make this family the poster case for S-CHIP. If they want to nutpick some of the comments in this thread, they might have a point. So far, I've seen vague accusations of organized crime and other oddities in this thread aimed at the Frosts with no evidence whatsoever. People need to get a grip and stop speculating. The facts speak for themselves.

However, if they refer to the financial standing of the Frosts, that's no smear -- it's an answer to the argument made by the Democrats. They had the Frosts pose as a typical family that needs S-CHIP to make ends meet. I think it's quite germane that this family made choices like purchasing a 3,000-square-foot house and commitments to expensive private schools ahead of that health insurance coverage. This is a means-tested entitlement, and the level of means has everything to do with the debate. Most people I know don't live in houses of that size regardless of how many children they have, and most people who require federal subsidies don't own their own businesses and investment properties. Including people with those assets in a federal subsidies program pretty much makes means testing pointless.

The Democrats chose the Frosts, not their conservative critics. If they chose poorly, that reflects on S-CHIP, too.


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Comments (131)

Posted by starfleet_dude | October 8, 2007 12:25 PM

Before going on further here Ed, you should be aware of this about the school in question:

Park enrolls students based on their talents and capabilities. Families who are unable to meet the full cost of tuition may apply for the Financial Assistance Program, which supplements tuition payments. Financial assistance does not need to be repaid.

In 2007, 18% of Park students in grades 1-12 received over $2 million in financial assistance that ranged from $1,000 per year to full tuition. Tuition remission for children of our faculty brings that total to 25% of the student body.

Because each family's situation is unique, it is impossible to predict the amount of funding awarded based solely on income. For example, the number of children attending tuition-charging institutions is an important factor. As a guide, families with incomes up to $160,000 received financial assistance during this past school year.

There's probably more to the home issue that may meet the eye also. Certainly I'd not be willing to engage in a wholesale slamming of the Frosts just because it might be politically correct for me to do so.

Posted by Gmax | October 8, 2007 12:34 PM

Wait a second. Before remodeling the House cost $485,000? Well if they put 20% down on the house, the principal balance would be $388,000. Assume an interest only mortgage at 6% and that would require payments of $23,280 per year. How in the world did they qualify for a loan of that size on $45,000? Even if they had no other debt any competent underwriting would limit them to about 1/3 of their income or at best $15,000 of principal and interest payments. They are at 150% of that even using an interest only mortgage. Something is way wrong on the numbers they reported, I suspect.

Posted by PackerBronco | October 8, 2007 12:34 PM

Gotta agree with starfleet_dude on this one. The story is a non-starter. You have to know a lot more about the family than what some bloggers find out by doing a Web search. I help run a private high school and I know that there's several families who can't afford the tuition and receive financial aid. If some blogger posted their financial status and claimed they were rich because they went to our school, well, I would more than slightly pissed off.

Posted by Angry Dumbo | October 8, 2007 12:39 PM

Captain, this is great.

Facts all come with points of view. Facts about the Frost family are in plain view and are being ignored.

Posted by Joel | October 8, 2007 12:53 PM

Fair point Starfleet, but did you read the post by 'icwhatudo' and further investigation by commenters? Here is the Frost's wedding annoucement in the NY Times (moveon.org rate for poor couples?):

"December 20, 1992
WEDDINGS; Bonnie Sebring, Halsey Frost

Bonnie Lynn Sebring, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James R. Sebring Sr. of Sparks, Md., was married yesterday to Frederick Halsey Frost, the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Corwin Frost of Bronxville, N.Y. The Rev. Anne Reed performed the ceremony at Immanuel Episcopal Church in Glencoe, Md.

Mrs. Frost, 26 years old, is a receptionist at the Cat Hospital at Towson, in Baltimore. She graduated from Towson State University. Her father is an electrical engineer at Tracor Inc., a defense electronics manufacturer in Crystal City, Va.

Mr. Frost, also 26, is known as Halsey. He owns Frostworks, a woodworking and furniture-design studio in Baltimore. His mother, Randy Frost, is a quilt artist. His father is the deputy director of design and construction for the City University of New York in Manhattan. The bridegroom’s late grandfather Frederick G. Frost Jr. was an architect responsible for several public buildings in New York, including Martin Luther King High School in Manhattan."

He's been a business owner since at least 1992, and both sets of grandparents seem like they'd be quite well off. This screams trust fund liberals.

Additionally, the press photo of the Frosts in their kitchen shows a nice remodel with granite countertops and frosted glass cabinets. As Ed comments...it's about the DECISIONS...hmmm, health insurance for my family or that fabulous kitchen?

Additionally, the home they live in is worth MORE than the $485,000 that Ed mentions...the research actually showed that a 1000 s.f. smaller home than the Frosts in the same subdivision just sold for $485,000. At $240/s.f, recently remodeled kitchen it would be reasonable to put the home over $700,000.

An article about the poor Frost family quoted one of the parents as saying they couldn't afford the $1200/month insurance costs to cover their family, as $1200 was as much as their mortgage payment. $1200/mo mortgage on a $700,000 leaves quite a bit of equity, ya think? Also, a quick quote for their size family in their zip code shows that coverage could be bought...zero deductible...for about $640/mo. (per Insureblog).

Additonally, the $160,000 commercial building Mr. Frost owns was purchased in 1999...it's probably worth more now. Another company also rents space in this building, so there is additional rental income.

Getting easier to engage in wholesale slamming of the Frosts yet??? How about wholesale slamming of the politicians who try to prove a point with such a lousy test case?

My favorite Freeper comment: "And now we have “phony” kids!"

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 12:55 PM

Unclesmrgol -- Teresa?


Sweet to be missed! Thanks Unclesmrgol. I knew you really loved me!

I will add that I attended a private school here in our town on a completely free ride. I had an academic scholarship that paid all my high school tuition so I'd hold off on basing anything on that.

I agree with Starfleet Dude that we don't know nearly enough about this story. For instance, did they buy the house or inherit it? Should be easy enough to find out by searching deed records.

Posted by planetgeo | October 8, 2007 12:57 PM

Sorry, starfleet_dude, your Liberal cloaking shield is only partially covering your logic's reverse thrusters. Even if the kids were on full scholarship (doubtful, at best), there are way too many other potential assets here to ignore. He owns his business, He owns the building the business is in. He owns a not so modest home. They are both on salary (though the IRS might want to look into whether he is fully reporting all his income...$45,000???...No Way!).

With all those assets, your phasers must have accidentally been set to "Self Stun" for you to even try to cover this one. Illogical.

Posted by daytrader | October 8, 2007 12:58 PM

They have two children in the Park school, and yes both could be on full scholarship.

The accident happened in a family vehicle which by Maryland law requires medical coverage in your insurance package.

The boy supposedly struck the tree the vehicle hit and the girl a window. Thus one could wonder if they had seat belts on.

The commercial building also seems to have another tenant (unless it's an old listing) meaning possible rental income.

Posted by navyman54t | October 8, 2007 12:58 PM

This absolutely shows how souless these democrats are.

Posted by daytrader | October 8, 2007 1:01 PM


The story says their mortgage is 1200 per month which back figures to about a 200k loan.

Still an really risky qualification ratio.

Posted by hunter | October 8, 2007 1:01 PM

Wow - the lefties rise to the defense in a hurry, when it comes to protecting wealthyprivelege.
The clue that this family is not poor by any stretch is that they pretended dad was some sort of day labor framer. He is not.
If he was, they would not have lied.
Add to that the high end house, the New York society background, and the fact that they allowed their kid of 12 years to schill for politics maeks it clear this is a put up job. come on lefties, stop the mental gymnastics. this waddles, paddles and poops like a duck so don't be surprised when it quacks.
Y'all been had.

Posted by Ken | October 8, 2007 1:06 PM

I grew up in Maryland (although moved out 1991), and even back then $45k annual salary would put you in a decent apartment or maybe a trailer. There is no way you live in that type of house in that area on a $45k salary. Either the house is paid for or else they have some form for financial assistance (such as a trust).

Posted by Gmax | October 8, 2007 1:10 PM

Well the quote from the school says 18% receive some aid. That is a bit less than 1 in 5 students. The number that receive full tuition reimbursement is a lot smaller than those that get partial. Lets just assume that the second kid has a full ride and the first kid gets 50%. ( 75% tuition aid for those of you who are number challenged 1). That is still diverting resources in a conscience choice at a level high enough to buy a very nice policy. In fact, public schools for the kids give them health insurance for free up until the second kids get an award of 70% ( or 85% overall tuition grant for the family ). If the school awards full tuitions to a family with this level of assets, the financial aid officer should be fired. Just sayin'

Posted by woof | October 8, 2007 1:12 PM

A few other points:

If the kids are on full scholarship, doesn't that double their income? Doesn't the IRS consider scholarships to be income?

The role of choice. Mom stops working for self-employed Dad, but gets a non-health care providing job. Why?

Grandpa (on the Dad's side) is a first rank architect. Did Grandpa do architectural work for the school? Is some of Dad's income in kind, e.g. he did work for the school with Grandpa so tuition is included?

Couldn't the DNC have found a family that we really would have agreed needs assistance instead of some Yuppies who have quite visible means of support?

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 1:17 PM

According to this website, Maryland law has NO requirements for medical expenses or personal injury expenses to get auto insurance. And if you got the optional medical expenses insurance the most common amount to get covered is $5,000. That would hardly get you through a week in the hospital not to mention 5 months. (http://www.allstate.com/auto-insurance/Maryland.aspx)

Just because someone's grandparents have money (if they have money) doesn't mean they have money. You have no idea how many grandchildren they may have left money to or if they donated it all to charity for that matter.

Posted by burt | October 8, 2007 1:20 PM

" S-CHIP as it was originally conceived, the health insurance subsidies allowed the family to spend money on frivolities like food and utilities."

If I Limbaughed you or Borked or Thomased would I be the first? I certainly won't be the last.

Posted by Joel | October 8, 2007 1:20 PM

Now, the Frost's also raised cash for the kid's medical bills in a way I can support:

[From the February 2005 edition of "Butchers Hill: Baltimore's Friendliest Neighborhood" newsletter:


Two children in the Frost family of S. Collington Ave., Graeme and Gemma, were seriously injured in early December when the car they were riding in slid on glare ice into a tree. They spent three weeks in the Pediatric Intensive Care at Sinai Hospital and are now undergoing reconstructive surgery, and rehabilitation and therapy at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

A fund has been set up for those who would like to contribute to help defray the family's expenses. These funds will be available to the family for medical costs and other needs they will face as they cope with their ordeal. Deposits are anonymous. Checks may be made out to The Frost Kids' Fund and sent to:

Bank of America NA
Frost Kids' Fund
Attn: Doug Woodward
100 S. Charles St.
Baltimore Md. 21201

A very special thanks from Bonnie and Halsey Frost to neighbors past and present who have done so much to help, in so many ways, over the past weeks. You truly make our neighborhood special and unique.]

Now this is the kind of assistance I'm all for. If someone in my community or church or family or circle of friends has a need, we choose to give out of the kindness of our hearts. With SCHIP, the "kindness" of the Democrat's "heart" decides who has a need, and then uses my money to pay for it (and by "it" I mean votes)

Posted by Joel | October 8, 2007 1:33 PM

Imagine the two Frost kids are such "talented and capable" child prodigies that deserve full ride scholarships to a $20,000 per year GRADE SCHOOL. Imagine the nice home was inherited from the rich grandparents with so many grandkids there isn't much inheritance to go around. Imagine Mr. Frost's decades old business still isn't very profitable and Mrs. Frost's college degree just can't get her a decent medical insurance providing job in this horrible Bush economy. They STILL are not anything CLOSE to the poor uneducated family in the hood, putting every ounce of blood, sweat and tears into providing for their poor family, yet still can't afford the basic human rights of life, liberty, freedom and health care. I'm amazed the Dems put this family forth as an example of the need for SCHIP (hey, isn't the S in SCHIP supposed to stand for State, not Federal?).

I guess phony kids is all the Dems have left to prove how "Bush hates kids". And now Pelosi can tell us about another one of her phony prayers for the poor kid hating president.

The party of phony soldiers, phony kids, and phony prayers...not my grandpa's Democratic party. What a shame.

Posted by commander0 [TypeKey Profile Page] | October 8, 2007 1:33 PM

Not for nothing but two full time people at the peak of their careers earning a combined $45,000 is about what two illegal day laborers make around here (NYC suburb). $100 a day plus lunch. Maybe they should have gotten real jobs.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 1:41 PM

Unbelievable the lengths you Conservatives are willing to go to to make someone look bad.

45k a year with a large family is barely scraping by.

The guy is a cabinetmaker, and he has a nice kitchen in his photo? Oh my god, they must be super rich! A hint for you people: when you do the work yourself, it's a hell of a lot cheaper to have a nice kitchen, especially when you have a business which involves pulling out other people's old cabinets.

But, hey, let's smear as a bunch of freeloaders anyone who isn't dirt poor who needs assistance. Way to come off as a bunch of caring people who are concerned with the welfare of the child.

I think many of you probably live way out in the sticks and have no clue how much city life costs. And it isn't an option to just up and move to the country when your work is in the city.

Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 1:52 PM

No surprises here that the Dims are shown yet again to be living the big "do as we say not as we do" lie.

No more surprising than the Dims finding it logical to use 12-year olds to connect most effectively with their base. Soon it will be a talking horse. "Vote for angry, bug-eyed Hillary, okay, Wilburrrrr." Then maybe Barney the purple dinosaur (with Pelosi as sidekick reptile) could do a song about scary re-education camps for any bad kiddies still opposing socialized medicine or the joys of Marxist oppression.

Posted by Ken | October 8, 2007 1:52 PM

Somebody hit Cyclo-whatever with a cluebat. Somebody "barely scraping by" doesn't live in $500,000+ homes, nor do they send their kids to $20k tuition private schools, nor do they install other people's cabinets in said $500k home, especially if that person is a cabinet maker!


BTW, when I redid my kitchen the "cabinetmaker" drove up in a brand-spankin' new BMW ragtop. The only cabinetmakers not doing well in this day and age are blind ones.

Posted by theblacksheepwasright | October 8, 2007 1:58 PM

I'm sorry but reading about the kids actually has me extremly pissed with the parents.

Firstly they were riding in the family SUV according to the Baltimore Sun.

SUV.. ah hello they aren't cheap and why not proper insurance..

Years ago I ran a business in Lake Tahoe and one evening while I was waiting to see my doctor a man came in with his son. The son had broken his leg waterskiing. What had me angry as hell with the father is when he said... We were up here using our NEW SPEED BOAT...

Ahhh speed boat...SUV and Amercians are saddled with the bills.... wrong...

In the past 8 years my wife has supported our household on less than $40,000 while I pursue a dream. Her income has covered a mortgage, putting 3 kids through California colleges (with some scholarship $$$ of about 40%) and general expenses. We've taken no vacations, no trips to speak of and on occassion go out to a dinner. My wife gets up everyday and makes her lunch for work to save money... and with all these expenses

The children had insurance and so do I..

Then again I don't believe the government is there to wipe my arse and take care of my children.

That's my job as a parent....

Posted by Gmax | October 8, 2007 1:59 PM

Cyclops, just wondering if the one eye you have is legally blind? Lets see if the mortgage on the house is only around $200,000 and the house is worth 485,000 the family had $285,000 in equity to put towards providing health care for their family. Let not take into account the commercial building with its $160,000 of equity cuz that would put them in the $450,000 of quity range and in this Two Americas we all know which one has those level of assets!

So if a good policy was $6000 to 7000 per year, why did they choose not to have a policy. The certainly had the means to do so.

I guess we should not let them make that choice? We should mandate that they have a health policy and if they dont like it, tough.

Posted by Ken | October 8, 2007 2:02 PM

Even if the house is paid for free and clear, someone has to pay the real estate tax on it. Considering Maryland (Socialist Republic of) taxes the snot out of you, they have to have either assistance or they aren't reporting full income.

Posted by planetgeo | October 8, 2007 2:03 PM

"Unbelievable the lengths you Conservatives are willing to go to to make someone look bad."

Apparently not as unbelievable as the lengths you Liberals are willing to go to gin up "phony poor kids", Cyclops. Our skepticism isn't based on the guy's kitchen or the (probably phony) $45K income. This guy has way more than enough assets to CHOOSE to get insurance for his family (equity loans, sale of certain assets, etc.).

And for the record, numerous studies have confirmed that Conservatives are far more generous personally in contributing to charities and helping poor people than Liberals are.

Posted by Dean Esmay | October 8, 2007 2:17 PM

I have to say, whatever is true of the Frosts, it's not true of our family. We get by on income very similar to what they claim, but don't own any fancy property or businesses and use public schools because it's all we can afford. And getting medical coverage is hideously expensive on our budget, even though we fall into the "middle class." So if the Democrats picked a bad family, well they sure as heck could have picked ours if they wanted to.

Not that this argues that Bush is right or wrong, but let's not go overboard with saying "if you're middle class you don't need assistance in health care" stuff. In point of fact we've tried to be traditionally conservative in our marriage and have momm staying home full time with the kids but it's starting to look very much like we're going to have to give that up and have mom going to work because we're falling behind more and more and more--and no, we don't live like kings, we have a very modest home, drive two cars each over 7 years old, use public schools, etc.

Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 2:20 PM

There's another explanation for the undisclosed wealth with that being unearned income.

They could be limousine Liberals just like the Kennedys living high off granddaddy's or great-granddaddy's bootlegger money. Maybe not bootlegger money specifically or in the same vast quantity as crooked Kennedy loot but inherited instead of earned while they lecture others on the ills of poverty.

Posted by skeptic | October 8, 2007 2:28 PM

School vouchers are another example of the stupidity of "mainstream" conservatives. We already have vouchers for higher education. It has led to federal control. Same with highway funding or any other "block grant" solution. Face it - there will ALWAYS be strings attached. That is the point. The objective is to change behavior to be consistent with whoever is in charge of the federal government. If there were no strings attached what would be the point? A simple redistribution of funds minus a handling charge?

When will you guys ever learn?

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 2:33 PM

viking01 -- They could be limousine Liberals just like the Kennedys living high off granddaddy's or great-granddaddy's bootlegger money. Maybe not bootlegger money specifically or in the same vast quantity as crooked Kennedy loot but inherited instead of earned while they lecture others on the ills of poverty.


Yes -- electrical engineers often have a still out back. They chug moonshine while working on circuit boards and lecturing others. They have to be careful not to drip any shine on the electrical parts.

Posted by docjim505 | October 8, 2007 2:39 PM


Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 2:48 PM

The Kennedys didn't actually MAKE the stuff they simply greased the politicians and coddled the political, Irish and Italian mobs of Boston to play along. Distribution not manufacture. Much if not most of their contraband was whisky (sic) imported from the UK. Purveyors to crooked aficionados of quality sauce not bereft winos trading pulls under the overpass!

Teddy the Oldsmobile Skipper allegedly has a gen-you-whine law degree from UVA but that didn't keep him on the bridge. Should you vote for him regardless he'll certainly appreciate it.

If I ever meet an electrical engineer who is not a probationary newbie and still makes only 45k net per year I'll be sure to let you know.


Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 3:01 PM

Viking01-- If I ever meet an electrical engineer who is not a probationary newbie and still makes only 45k net per year I'll be sure to let you know.


First of all, the child's father is a woodworker. His maternal grandfather is an electrical engineer. And, a check of Payscale.com shows that the average electrical engineer makes $95,000 after 20 years on the job. Not exactly in the Kennedy range of wealth.

But, I'm glad to know that Republicans based on no facts whatsoever are willing to smear the GRANDPARENTS of this child as bootleggers and mafioso. Charming.

Posted by unclesmrgol | October 8, 2007 3:05 PM


Now you can see why I'm a bit peeved at SCHIP. I work hard for every dime, and I've forgone things that the Frosts have not foregone to assure healthcare for my kids. I didn't go into business for myself as a boutique furniture maker (although I have considerable woodworking skill -- probably enough to do so) because to do so would not be fair to my family.

I pay about $1600 per year for coverage for my entire family (my employer pays another $1600, I think). The adult Frosts made a life choice to be "the boss" -- hence, they ought to be responsible for that $3200 per year family coverage. I know I would be if I were self-employed.

My house is 1100 square feet -- about 1900 less than the Frosts'. Boy would I like a house more than twice as large as the one we live in!

And looking at the picture of their family, I note the really nice kitchen in the background! Is that a granite countertop I see? Well, it might just be Corean, but I somehow doubt that. Gee, I salivate over that kind of stuff every time I'm at Home Depot. We can't afford it, though, so all I ever get to look at is a wet countertop at Home Depot (and the 1930s-era tile at home). I'll give the Frosts their really fancy kitchen cabinetry for free -- I'm going to assume that Mr. Frost built those himself. And what kind of stove do I see over there on the right? The black finish, as I remember, costs about $200 extra over the white (I last bought my (white) stove about 15 years ago).

And, if the deed information on the house is correct, he himself bought the house in 1999 for $160.000.00 and has a $200,000.00 loan outstanding (so the house is worth at least $240k at this point), and he pulled out $40,000.00 via a refinance (maybe to remodel the kitchen?). Maybe he benefitted from one of those ill-checked loans being foreclosed upon all over the place, but I think not. This looks like a pretty solid wageearner to me.

Mr. and Mrs. Frost have four children, and every one of them will grow up on some form of welfare. I wonder if the grandkids will, too? Gee, Democrats have such luck! Maybe I'll go become a Democrat too. If everyone becomes a Democrat, everyone gets their healthcare and private schooling completely paid for, without any costs to themselves, right?

Oh, and a bit of background. I spent my entire life in those nasty public schools, because my parents didn't graduate from high school and probably didn't know how to go after all that free money hanging around out there. My 3rd grade clarinet cost my dad a month's pay; I worked hard to buy reeds for it, and it would be my job to get it repaired if it broke (it finally did, in my son's senior year in marching band, over 40 years after it was first bought). My kids went to the public schools as well. We had to choose between either private school or saving for college, and we chose to save for college. I'm glad we did, though, because my kids weren't eligible for the UC system because they chose the wrong race (azn) on their application forms, and thus ran into another Democratic ideal promulgated by the University of California's individual campuses -- "diversity" aka race discrimination. We sent them both to private universities, which ate through their college funds in a bit more than two years. So the wife and I work a lot of extra hours to pay tuition, books, and expenses needed for the final stretch, but we are doing it, and managing (barely) to pay for the Frosts as well.

If you look back at all your posts, you are hypothesizing excuses for the wealthy taking money out of the system. Maybe there's an excuse, but, given the facts about the Frosts unearthed to date, all are deniably plausible. And, if this is a Republican smear, it's a well-deserved one.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 3:09 PM

Equity. Gosh, why don't these people just pay for their health care on credit for the rest of their lives? That sounds like a great idea.

Not much mention from people here that health insurance rates have risen by double digits on a yearly basis for the last several years... wonder if that would make it harder for borderline families to make ends meet?

Posted by Gmax | October 8, 2007 3:15 PM

You did not answer, well directly. Indirectly you did though. You are blind. Why are health care costs rising? Well there is that pesky advance in technology like full body CT scans, and hip replacements and knee replacements that just could not be done even 10 years ago.

We can hold down those costs, we can just quit allowing innovations like $1mm a pop CT machines. If you go see Doctors without Technologies, it will be much cheaper. You may not live as long, but hey you controlled the cost of care.

Better yet lets limit access to health care, make folks wait to get an appointment. The really sick will just get sicker, some will die and we wont have their care to run the costs up. Sounds a little less compassionate to me, but indirectly that is exactly what you are advocating.

Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 3:25 PM

An electrical engineer can also develop a patent or two and sip Pina Coladas in Grand Cayman for the rest of his or her days. Engineers have a tendency to invent things and new technologies. Payscale or other rough average of data is oblivious to things beyond salary. The electrical engineer diversion was not introduced by me.

I'm merely speculating as to how the Frosts manage to live far beyond their claimed means and burdens. Their lifestyle fails to match their facade therefore it is logical to peek behind the Frosts facade. Frost says he's a woodworker. Parse that like Slick and that could be anything from whittler to toothpick operator. I'm well aware of what the Frosts claim to be. I'm just not buying it hook and sinker like some Clinton dupe.

My comments about the crooked Kennedy ancestors versus the crooked Kennedy descendants should not be, shall we say, given the Harry Reid phony soldiers style spin, by Teresa simply because the Frosts share her ultimate political agenda. The Kennedy analogy simply shows how a seedy current generation subsists on a level of luxury and lawlessness purchased by seedy ancestors. It's entirely possible that the Frosts are living off a legitimate inheritance or benefactor. Where I take issue is with their pretense of neediness.

I would never directly label the Frosts as crooked as Kennedys or even crooked as Clintoons. They could just as easily have used the Kerry formula and married the money.

Nice diversionary try though.

Posted by hgstern | October 8, 2007 3:30 PM

Thanx, Joel. We did indeed investigate the $1200 premium claim here:


and found it wanting.

Posted by daytrader | October 8, 2007 3:32 PM

Know Your State Laws

Remember that forty-seven states require that you purchase liability insurance. Liability insurance is what pays for bodily injury and property damage that you cause another driver. Fifteen states including Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey also require that you buy Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This coverage pays for your medical expenses and lost wages in the event of an auto accident. Your insurance minimum will most likely be determined by state law, but many people are encouraged to purchase more than is required.

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 3:33 PM

Unclesmergol -- And, if this is a Republican smear, it's a well-deserved one.

You can criticize the Frosts all you want. I draw the line at criticizing the grandparents and accusing them of being bootleggers as Viking did based on absolutely nothing.

Posted by docjim505 | October 8, 2007 3:44 PM

Let me repeat what I wrote earlier:


We have a family apparently living beyond their means, tied in with the (spit) democrats. Anybody checked to see if Mama or Papa Frost ever worked with or for Norman Hsu?

And has anybody asked Silky Pony about this? Which American are these people living in?

Finally, could somebody ask the Frosts to give me a call? I make about $45k per year... and I'd love to know how they manage to live in a house that's more than three times larger than mine AND send their kids to private school AND afford a building AND an SUV and still qualify to have Uncle Sugar sending them checks every month.

Rodney Dangerfield used to have a schtick about appeals for charity that seems apropos here:

"And if you send in your $1 per month, Su Goo can afford a new canoe. And his five children can have books and go to school. And they can be vaccinated and have medical care. And his family can have food for a month.

"I'll send in my dollar on one condition: ask Su Goo to talk to my wife to teach HER to stretch a buck like that!"

Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 3:46 PM

If anyone wonders why health care costs have skyrocketed they probably should ask an ambulance chaser and loyal Democrat trial lawyer like John Edwards.

Sorry, Teresa you've already worn that diversion out. Time for a new trick.

They can surely dish it out when it's blame Bush or Cheney or Rove or Halliburton but they certainly can't take it.

(audio fadeout of Hillary cackle.)

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 3:50 PM


health insurance payouts have not risen significantly since 2000; they certainly don't account for the rises in healthcare costs that we've seen.


Isn't it obvious? They can't really afford it. There are a lot of families in this position. Living on credit. It's not that bad until health care costs rise.

The funny thing is that until this family got into health care troubles, they were the model GOP group: owners of their own business, property owners. Until they needed something, you group would have loved 'em...

Posted by Gmax | October 8, 2007 4:07 PM

Uh reports are that the front door of the house has a "1-20-09" bumper sticker plastered on it. Shall we play name that party, helath insurance edition?

Posted by Gmax | October 8, 2007 4:14 PM

health insurance payouts have not risen significantly since 2000; they certainly don't account for the rises in healthcare costs that we've seen.

Have you got a citation for this Wrigley's fun fact? You are contending that virtually all premium increases since 2000 are going to the bottom line of insurnace companies? Please indicate your source of such a contention.

Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 4:15 PM

I wasn't merely talking about insurance or insurance premiums I'm talking about doctors who now must practice defensive medicine and charge patients accordingly then do defensive procedures and tests because of the corruption in the courts. Not to mention the pharmaceutical companies whom also must safeguard against judicial shakedowns like the Vioxx or breast implants circuses. The typical Vioxx patient was elderly, already with advanced heart disease and spinal or joint degeneration also due to aging processes thus indicating Vioxx or similar medication. It is and always will be a balance of risks versus benefits in medicine. There is no free lunch.

The technology is also more expensive and becomes more expensive as people live longer and require its greater application. The new magic bullets medications (Enbrel, for example) are expensive because they cost a fortune to produce. Don't forget the huge costs of treating illegals or welfare queens who go to the emergency rooms for a common cold, because they can. Or the urban crack dealers taking on machine gun fire then subjecting the hospital(s) to a few hundred thousand in costs in just a few hours and which will never be repaid.

Yet this gets away from the Frost's problem which is explaining how they're so bereft while they're living so comfortably.

Posted by Gmax | October 8, 2007 4:22 PM

Listen, if there really are two Americas and the one that is missing out has people with over $500,000 of net assets to their names, the number of people in the other America to fleece for all the wonderful government social programs is awfully damn thin. John Edwards, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy but not very many other folks. I am dead serious.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 4:24 PM

Gmax, whenever I post a link here, the comment gets moderated and I never see it. So I would merely suggest you google 'health insurance profits' and read for yourself; in the last decade, the insurance industry has consolidated and merged considerably and profits are up across the board.

Of course, prices are up as well. But I'm sure it's those eevvvul trial lawyers who are causing the rise in all of our health care rates, and nothing else.

Except of course the corruption in the courts, illegal aliens, crack-addicted minority mothers and greedy poor people who had the temerity to complain when their Vioxx killed them. Can't forget them.

Posted by Jeff | October 8, 2007 4:28 PM

Hillary's minions pulled a similar stunt in 1994. That time, the poor girl's mother turned out to be defrauding Medicaid of tens of thousands of dollars, and was abusing the girl.

Michelle Malkin has it up on her site.

Mrs. Clinton and her lackeys seem really skilled at doing background checks - legally or illegally - on their political opponents, but they'll run without a background check for anyone who's willing to pimp for communist-style health care.

That's pretty disturbing.

Posted by jfm | October 8, 2007 4:30 PM

The NYT could have done a much better job than the Baltimore Sun when reporting about the Frost family.
Suggested headline:
“Despite the Trappings of Affluence, Health Insurance is a Worry.”

Posted by Gmax | October 8, 2007 4:33 PM

In other words you dont have a source? If you do state it without a link but with sufficient detail that we can find it without a generic Google search for gosh sakes. You dont make broad brush statments about a factual matter without a source ( make that I dont ). You should expect to be called on it, and its not good enough to say profits are up, so what. If they werent the investment that stock holders made would be stagnant or losing value, which I am sure you agree is not desirable. Besides you said ALL, prove it or take it back.

Posted by Jack Okie | October 8, 2007 4:35 PM


You said *You can criticize the Frosts all you want.* But what about you? Are you comfortable with what we are learning about the Frosts? I told you on an earlier thread that I would not want to let a kid go without medical care, despite the choices his parents made. But where do we draw the line? If the current S-CHIP program provides money when the parents have other resources, why in the world should we expand it? And how did the kids get so messed up if they were buckled in?

OT: Great nail-biter Saturday. I felt like the team that scored last would win. If there'd been another 5-10 mins to the game, it probably would have gone into overtime. As I explain to folks from other parts of the country, sometimes Texans actually do live up to the hype.

Posted by hunter | October 8, 2007 4:37 PM

The mental gymnastics dhimmies go through to rationalize people demanding the tax payer to pay their bills. and instead of dealing with the obvious fraud you have been fed, you attack those who point out the bs. And fire does not melt steel, either.
I have an idea - for all of the lefties here who think people living in $500,000 homes, owning business work space and their own company, whose wife makes $45,000 a year and the hubbie does not disclose anything, and whose kids go to private school, deserve help- give it to them. I am too poor to qualify for that kind of help so please do not ask me to pitch in.

Posted by Dawn | October 8, 2007 4:40 PM

No wonder you know who vetoed it.

Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 4:42 PM


Don't expect Cyclops to take the blinders off. He's got his story (and his conveniently unnamed sources that get "moderated" by the vast conspiracy) and he's stickin' to it.

Hillary merely need push the "jump" button and he jumps. Just don't ask him to avow or disavow any knowledge behind his actions or beliefs lest they be censored by hidden forces... or Karl Rove. 'Nuff said.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 4:46 PM


As I said, I can't post links here without getting moderated. So I would suggest You read the Arkansas' Business link, as well as the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 10th link pulled up, as they are all directly relevant to the topic. And that's the maximum amount of work I'm putting into pleasing your request for more information.

The profit motive is not compatible with quality health care, I'm sorry to have to point out to all you money-loving Conservatives. When your profits are directly tied to providing less and less services, you won't have a quality system for the patients involved.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 4:50 PM


I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that we had met. Yet you seem to have a picture in your mind, ready to go, summing me up completely; a Hillary-bot.

Hardly a logical or gentlemanly position.

Posted by Loren | October 8, 2007 4:50 PM

I see some folks mixing numbers, etc. So will try and clear a few things up in that regard.

1. The commercial building owned by the Frosts was purchased for $160,000. This is not the homestead. No indication of what rents are received from the other business which is housed in the commercial building.

2. A nearby home, on the same block and across the street, 2/3rds the size of the Frost's home, sold recently for $485,000. So the implication will be that the homestead is worth more than that, perhaps by as much as $250,000.

3. The house payment is stated to be $1,200 per month. No indication whether this is just P&I or PITI.

Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 4:53 PM

"Money loving Conservatives"

Said as though Liberals dislike money! Conservatives like their own money. Liberals like other peoples' money. That's why they support big government bureaucracies to pilfer / redistribute it. (aka Marxism and not the Groucho kind)

I'm still not buying the "I'd prove it to you but the comments would get moderated dodge." That's too much like Clinton's denial before the blue dress arrived. Or Perot's loopy black helicopters story.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 4:58 PM


You're more then welcome to either google and check the sources - I laid out exactly the process of doing so - or, alternatively, provide me with counter-balancing evidence showing the meteoric rise in health insurance payouts, which have forced the rates to rise spectacularly - by more then 10% per year for the last 5 or 6 years.

I'm not really interested in 'what you're buying' as it is immaterial to me either way. It isn't as if you're going to say to yourself, 'golly, well that random Liberal online was right, I've been wrong all these years about how I look at the insurance industry.' So why bother stressing over it?

Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 5:01 PM


I assure you that anything you say or promote does not stress me beyond head shaking prompted by your willingness to believe it.

(returns sticking out of tongue gesture)

Posted by Keemo | October 8, 2007 5:03 PM

Personally, my wife and I are both self employed. We pay 745.00 per month; 8,940 per year for our Blue Cross health insurance policy for my family of four. This story pisses me off to no end.

Take from the hard working middle class, and give it to others. Just ask the government in GB how this precious little program is working out for them; as 5,000 hard working middle class citizens are leaving their country each week. Socialist bullshit that has been an utter failure in every country implemented; generation after generation after generation.

S-CHIP Expansion - The Ultimate School Voucher Program?

Once again, this is another story getting blown out of the water "pure bullshit slung on the people by the MSM"; just another staged story designed to fool the citizens into thinking something is the color red, when it really is the color black. Busted once again by the new media. It's no wonder why the Democrats are now trying every play in the book to shut down the new media.

You're on a roll CE... Watch your back side!

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 5:04 PM


I would note that I've offered positive evidence to support my position, whereas you have offered none. In the absence of this situation changing, any objective observer would agree that you aren't winning any sort of theoretical match of wills.

Posted by GMAX | October 8, 2007 5:06 PM

That is about the lamest support for a contention I have ever seen in my entire life. Al Gore did beeter than that in Inconvenient Truth!

You got no cite. Arkansas Business link??? ( what the hell does that even mean?) which is not something I can read on my own or likely even find. And the rest is like saying " I have a list and you wont like the 3rd thr 15th items on it.", and then refusing to show me the list.

Once more. If you have a source to a study that says "health insurance payouts have not risen significantly since 2000; they certainly don't account for the rises in healthcare costs that we've seen." again state in some detail the name of the study and who performed and timeframe etc. I dont want a link so save me the conspiracy nonsense, again.

But you dont have such a study do you? Or anything remotely close. You were just talking out of yur Arse.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 5:17 PM

Gmax -

You may recall that I asked you to Google the exact phrase 'health insurance profits' and THEN select items from the list which ensues. You do understand what that means?

I've really reached the end of my tolerance for this conversation. You don't really seem capable of keeping up, so I'll wait until someone else comes along who is.

Posted by GMAX | October 8, 2007 5:29 PM

Cyclops you may be the most disingenuous Libtard I have read and tried to have a discussion with in some time. You made a wildly improbable assetion, basically that the Big Insurance companies were sticking huge rate increases into their bottom line with insignificant payout increases since 2000!

When called on it, first you ignored, then you mumbled and misdirected and now when all that fails you adopt the Libtard standard of Ad Hom attack.

YOU GOT NOTHING to support your outrageous contention. You are a liar and not even a very good one. I would take all that back with the name of a study that you have read with enough information for me to find it. But after politely asking three times, I can only conclude through your insults that you are in fact what I accuse.

Insurance companies are increasing premiums to cover increasing costs. Period. A course in economics ( the Non Marxist one ) would be helpful to you in having an informed discussion.

Posted by GMAX | October 8, 2007 5:30 PM

And I am not going to wade thru 10 pages of health insurnace company solicitation ads unearthed by Google trying to find something that I dont believe exists, and you could easily state the study if you had even one on point.

Posted by Captain Ed | October 8, 2007 5:45 PM

I bumped up the number of links that create a moderation flag. I also regularly free legitimate comments from spam purgatory. One link or even two will not cause a comment to disappear permanently.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 5:48 PM

Let's see if this gets posted:


“Although it is encouraging to see a continuing decline in health care trend rates, employers are still challenged by the fact that health care cost increases are more than four times general inflation rates, said Bill Sharon, senior vice president with Aon Consulting and director of the study. “For many businesses, health care costs continue to be their fastest growing expense.”

According to Sharon, there are a variety of reasons for the double-digit health care cost increases, including:

* Increasing patient demand for health care services as the population ages;
* Rising medical technology and hospital costs;
* Increasing price and utilization of prescription drugs;
* Poor lifestyle choices.

None of the reasons listed are 'high court payouts due to malpractice.' There's no evidence that malpractice lawsuits increase the cost of health insurance at all.

Posted by Captain Ed | October 8, 2007 5:55 PM

Apropos of nothing to this debate, I looked up Aon's "about us" page, and saw this:

Aon's fast-paced growth began in 1982 when Ryan Insurance Group merged with Combined International Corporation. In 1987, that company was introduced to Wall Street as Aon, a Gaelic word meaning "Oneness."

I hope they didn't pay too much for their Gaeilge consultant. "Aon" means "one", as in the number 1. Aontacht would be "unity".

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 5:56 PM

I think that you will find that profits have proceeded apace with the cost increases in health insurance as well, if you bother to look.

Witness: an industry which we rely upon as a nation to safeguard our well-being. They will make roughly the same profits no matter how high costs go, until the whole thing collapses. We can't afford (individually or collectively) to give up health insurance without putting ourselves and our families at risk.

It's a perfect recipe for cost increases and benefit cuts; there's no incentive for the industry to do anything other then that at all, as they make more money when those things happen. They make less overall profits when prices fall and benefits increase. There's only one direction that this thing will head. It's probably the best argument for a nationalized health service you could make; there's no evidence that costs will stop growing, due to the profit motive, ever.

Posted by Keemo | October 8, 2007 5:57 PM


It's like banging your head against a wall; you're dealing with a closed minded incoherent individual (Liberalism, it's a mental disorder.) The debate was enjoyable for a while there though; not a complete waste of time. Take a deep breath; give thanks for not being one of those "Cyclops things"; be grateful for having an open and teachable mind.

Keep up the good work; you smoked this Lib.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 6:01 PM


Gmax, in fact, did not prove anything worth mentioning - and certainly not that malpractice insurance payouts raise insurance and health care rates - though I'm sure he appreciates your support.

Posted by GMAX | October 8, 2007 6:04 PM

None of your banned article that magically got linked says anything like what you said. Nothing support your contention that costs are not increasing.

Again you are just making stuff up.

Reminder since I am sure you want to distance yourself from the comment, you said :

health insurance payouts have not risen significantly since 2000

Your own article shoots that and you right in the sittee.

And who would have thought that technology was running up health care costs? Well except that I said it way upthread, but really who else.

Posted by Keemo | October 8, 2007 6:06 PM

BTW Cyclops,

Insurance costs have risen much faster than the pace of inflation due to the rising cost of litigation coupled with the 500% increase in frivolous law suits filed by ambulance chasers such as the "one and only" John Edwards.

In California, insurance companies were literally bankrupted by "mold suits" and other "junk science" related health hazards created by lawyers as a way of raping the insurance industry. Workman's Compensation insurance coverage in California went from dozens of carriers, to only a few by the year of 2002 due to phony back and neck injuries on the job. The examples of this crap are many.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 6:08 PM


Viking said,

"If anyone wonders why health care costs have skyrocketed they probably should ask an ambulance chaser and loyal Democrat trial lawyer like John Edwards."

To which I responded,

"health insurance payouts have not risen significantly since 2000"

Naturally, we were talking about medical malpractice payouts - the sort of thing you'd be talking to John Edwards about. Medical Malpractice payouts have not significantly contributed to the rise of health insurance costs, which have gone up significantly over the last 6 years. This has been my consistent point all along.

Please read carefully before jumping into a conversation, indignation ready to go...

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 6:10 PM


"Insurance costs have risen much faster than the pace of inflation due to the rising cost of litigation coupled with the 500% increase in frivolous law suits filed by ambulance chasers such as the "one and only" John Edwards."

Please provide a link showing proof of this. It should be a trivial matter for you to do, if it is so obvious.

Posted by GMAX | October 8, 2007 6:13 PM

None of your banned article that magically got linked says anything like what you said. Nothing support your contention that costs are not increasing.

Again you are just making stuff up.

Reminder since I am sure you want to distance yourself from the comment, you said :

health insurance payouts have not risen significantly since 2000

Your own article shoots that and you right in the sittee.

And who would have thought that technology was running up health care costs? Well except that I said it way upthread, but really who else.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 6:15 PM

Here's just one example, Keemo:


"Re-igniting the medical malpractice overhaul debate, a new study by Dartmouth College researchers suggests that huge jury awards and financial settlements for injured patients have not caused the explosive increase in doctors' insurance premiums.

The researchers said a more likely explanation for the escalation is that malpractice insurance companies have raised doctors' premiums to compensate for falling investment returns."

I'm glad this article brought up another salient point - falling investment returns for insurance companies have risen costs as well. Always got to make that bottom line for the investor. Just another reason to remove the profit motive from insurance.

Posted by docjim505 | October 8, 2007 6:21 PM

The Idiot Cycloptichorn: Isn't it obvious [why I am paying for THEIR health care]? They can't really afford it. There are a lot of families in this position. Living on credit. It's not that bad until health care costs rise.

Yeah, I'm reminded of the commercial showing the guy mowing his lawn. "I live in a $300,000 house. I've got two new cars. I send my kids to private school. How do I do it? I'm up to my ears in debt. Somebody please help me."

To hear The Idiot Cycloptichorn tell it, the Frosts are up to their ears in debt, so much so that they want me (and you, and you, and you...) to pay for their kids' health care... even while the kids go to private school and the Frosts continue to make payments on their expensive house and SUV.

The mind boggles...

It used to be that government assistance was for people who, basically through no fault of their own, found themselves in dire straights and needed a hand. It would seem that, in the case of the Frost family, they simply don't want to give up their ostentatious lifestyle and want the rest of us to foot the bill... and libs think that this is just fine.

The Idiot Cycloptichorn: The funny thing is that until this family got into health care troubles, they were the model GOP group: owners of their own business, property owners. Until they needed something, you group would have loved 'em...

Very true. They apparently were living the American dream.

Then they decided to live it on my tab.

Perhaps I'm just a nasty, greedy ol' rightwing Scrooge, but the moment people start sponging off me, demanding that I pay their bills while they live a better lifestyle than I do, I think I may be forgiven for becoming a little irate.

What I really can't figure out is why libs seem to think that what the Frosts are doing is OK. I mean, the Frosts are (cue eeeeevil background music) RICH. They live in a big house. They own a business. They drive an earth-destroying SUV. They have four children (think of how much energy they use, and how much garbage they generate!). They send their kids to private school instead of supporting our public school system. And they are using tax dollars that SHOULD go to REALLY poor people. And you libs are spinning all sorts of reasons why this is OK.

I guess you've really never met a welfare program you didn't like.

Part of me wants to get in on this; maybe I can game the system and get Uncle Sugar to pay for my student loans, or my mortgage, or give me a check for... for... well, just because. But I have too much self-respect.

Posted by GMAX | October 8, 2007 6:23 PM

Well that was certainly masteful, I said it but I meant something else. Of course you cut off the comment which continued as thus :

they certainly don't account for the rises in healthcare costs that we've seen."

In which you are certainly talking about ALL costs not just litigation costs.

But then you went on to talk about profits. So again where is your source for the profits soaring at these insurance companies? Are profits even up, healthcare stocks have taken a beating so I would say that one does not lead to the other. Again prove it. You are lying and now even trying to change the subject.

I note your Marxist strategy for healthcare cost containment. Soon we will have too many foot doctors and not enough cardiologists, just like the soviets did in their factories making lots of stuff no one would buy and being in chronic short supply of thing really needed. How many metaphorical left shoes do we really need in health care? Are Britons happy with their system? How about Canadians? And why do people with money opt out of their system for private care? HMMMMM

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 6:28 PM

Think Progress actually got a few facts that some of you might want to hear:

"Here are the facts that the right-wing distorted in order to attack young Graeme:

1) Graeme has a scholarship to a private school. The school costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year.

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.

3) They bought their “lavish house” sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.

4) Last year, the Frost’s made $45,000 combined. Over the past few years they have made no more than $50,000 combined.

5) 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.

Right wing bloggers have been harassing the Frosts, calling their home numerous times to get information about their private lives. Compassionate conservatism indeed.

Digg It!

UPDATE: TP commenter Mr. Ed notes that Malkin visited the Frost’s home and business today. A coworker of Mr. Frost tells Malkin that the family is “struggling,” but she refuses to believe it."

Posted by jpe | October 8, 2007 6:30 PM

The Frosts can affort to spend $20,000 per year on private-school tuition

Good god, you guys are teh stupid. The kids get scholarships.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 8, 2007 6:40 PM

Doc Jim,

I don't believe your insults are either appropriate or gentlemanly, and I will ask you to cease and desist immediately. It is unbecoming towardsCap. Ed to pollute his site with crass insults when your post would have been perfectly fine without them. Wrong, but still perfectly fine.



Health insurance profits, including malpractice, have risen significantly.


"Bush asked Congress to "pass medical-liability reform" that would limit malpractice awards. The House passed it. Senate Democrats thwarted the bill this week. Bush wants Americans to believe that if insurance companies have to pay smaller damages to injured patients, physicians will have lower premiums and health-care costs could actually be held down.

Wrong again.

New information in a national database that collects reports of every judgment and settlement paid in malpractice demonstrates just the opposite. An analysis of that data by a consumer-advocacy group reveals malpractice payouts decreased by 8.2 percent between 2001 and 2002. Meanwhile, doctors" premiums didn't go down.

Damage awards greater than $1 million decreased more than 10 percent between those years. Doctors" premiums weren't affected.

There's simply no correlation between lawsuits and insurance rates. Rather, insurance rates are tied to the climate of the stock and bond market, where insurance companies invest much of their money."

There's no evidence - at least, none has been presented here - that malpractice payouts have risen at all, let alone contributed to a significant rise in health care costs. According to many here, that's the primary driver. One would think it would be more obvious.

Posted by red | October 8, 2007 6:47 PM

3) They bought their “lavish house” sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.

Like many rich people, they made a great investment. I am happy for them. I lost some money in my most recent home purchase.

Many liberals would castigate them for exploiting the poor around them as they 'gentrified' the neighborhood. Now that they are real estate rich, they could realize that investment.

I'm rather shocked that the libs here are so forgiving to a pretty wealthy family. I guess that liberal affiliation really counts for something. Ok, 'question authority' == where's mine?

Wouldn't you really rather that health care assistance go to needy families?

Posted by Insurance Man | October 8, 2007 6:58 PM


Where do I begin?

Well, let's start with the basics.

There are 4 factors that drive up the cost of insurance year over year.

They are:

Medical inflation - When facilities are getting 6% - 10% increases every year from State regulators, that cost has to be passed on.

Utilization - As medical care advances, more people access the system than the previous year

Leveraging - when you pay a flat dollar amount for a visit (deductible or copay) and the cost of a visit rises 10%, the leveraged rise to the plan is greater (i.e., if I have a procedure that costs $100 this year, and I have a $10 copay, the plan pays $90. Next year, costs have risen by 10%, but I still have a $10 copay. Now the plan pays $100 of the $110 cost. The plans costs have gone up by 11% (100/90).

Cost shifting - ever wonder why the providers complain about private insurance so much? Because the private insurance companies demand that their fees be based on a % of what Medicare reimburses. Medicare reimburses providers at less than $.80 on the dollar in a lot of cases. So if a preocedure costs $1 and Medicare only pays $.80, guess where the difference comes from? That's right, the private sector. This is what happens when people with no health insurance incur costs; the provider socks them with a huge bill to make up for Medicare shortfall. The governemnt has not increased Medicare fee schedules for years. Guess who pays? Circular logic makes you go back to #1.

You also miss the boat that Medicare and Medicaid pay out more in fraud costs than for profit insurance companies make in profit.

Finally, the 47 million uninsured number is smoke and mirrors. If I lose (or quit) my job, and don't take COBRA, I am considered uninsured for the statistical reporting. Even if I get a job the next day where I get insurance as a benefit. The most frequently cited number I see for chronic uninsured is about 9 million.

The Frost's are frauds, IMO. Thankfully there are people out there who like to actually dig into a story instead of swallowing it hook line and sinker.

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 6:58 PM

Red says, "a) They bought their “lavish house” sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.

Like many rich people, they made a great investment. I am happy for them. I lost some money in my most recent home purchase.

If someone buys a house for $55,000 how do they become retroactively "rich investors"?

Baltimore had in years past -- and may still have -- a lot of programs to sell those row houses cheaply (at one time for $1) for people to renovate to keep them from decaying.

If you read Malkin, she went by the house and says estimates of $400,000 are way too high which in Malkin speak means the house is worth maybe a quarter of that.

Posted by Keemo | October 8, 2007 7:01 PM

Like I said before; tax the middle class to the point where the middle class has had enough and watch what happens. Same thing that is happening (has happened) in other countries such as is the case in GB right now.

The American Dream: reach for the stars; be the best you can be; rise to the occasion; live out your dreams...

The Liberal Dream: all men are created equal; take from the upper classes and give to all others so that all men live equally (plus that way we will have created a monopoly of voters so that the upper classes can never remove us from power). Create millions of men/woman that depend on government for their welfare & they will have no choice but to keep us in power.

If this continues, the day will come when there simply isn't enough middle class workers left to pay the bills. At one time, I averaged 50 plus employees; then came the Liberal domination of California politics. On came the workman's compensation suits; on came the EDD complaints; on came the mold suits... I closed the doors to that company last year; had had enough. I have NO desire to ever hire an employee again, simply due to the fact that it's too risky; the employer is
"guilty until proven innocent", and the costs of proving innocence is around 100K. Liberalism doesn't work... California was once an amazing display of capitalism, huge economy, great accomplishments, incredible achievements in hundreds of different fields. Not any more...

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 7:02 PM

Captain Ed -- It is nice that you updated your post, but don't you think it is worth correcting that one of these children has a scholarship to go to school for $500 a year and the other is in a special state funded school with children for brain injuries instead of continuing to leave the impression that the Frosts are paying $40,000 yr for private school? And that they bought the house for $55,000. Hardly a rich man's home at that price.

Posted by Captain Ed | October 8, 2007 7:04 PM

Would you like me to update it to show that they have around a half-million dollars in equity, at least?

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 7:18 PM

Captain Ed says, "Would you like me to update it to show that they have around a half-million dollars in equity, at least?"

That is fair. But I think their financial picture has been painted as far too rosy. And the Frosts are already having Michelle Malkin stalking them. Let's try to have a little perspective before some FreeRepublic nut starts following the kids to school and trying to determine if the little girl is really brain damaged or just faking it.

Posted by jr565 | October 8, 2007 7:19 PM

Sorry, but if you have a picture in your mind of a poor person, that person usually don't own his own house AND own an SUV and own their own business AND own the building which houses the business AND send not one but two kids to private school.
Whether the business is doing badly or well is irrelant to the fact that this family is doing well for itself. Many people do not own a home, do not have kids attending private school, do not own a separate building for a business, and if someone who own all that said they were poor a genuinely poor person might tell them to get some perspective.
Also, if they own their own business, can they not buy insurance through their business for their family? Also, if despite owning a business, they are only making 40,000 combined, why is the wife not getting a second job that actually pays money and which also might offer insurance for the family.

the fact that they are essentially not paying for two of their kids education, means that they are in effect saving 40,000 per year that other families who's children are not on scholarship are forced to pay.

They are not poor. Owning two buildings, a business and sending two children to private school is not poor. And its awfully disingenous for dems to roll out this family as a test case considering all they possess.

Posted by red | October 8, 2007 7:19 PM


You are not thinking this through. I am disappointed with you.

They paid $ 55 thousand sixteen years ago. You are right, that is a reasonable amount for a row house. In your terms, they are not retroactively wealthy. I don't know about you, but I am living in 2007 after a pretty prolonged housing boom. My part of the country didn't boom like the rich eastern liberal parts, but it is quite apparent that they made a great investment. Again, good for them. Markets create winners. They are richer than I am and from the posts many others who are posting here, but that's great!

Excuse me for introducing more specific data about their house from my sources (not Progressivethink)

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 wish I could paste the link to the supporting real estate site, but it is immense and I am sure it would be rejected by the site. Can we agree that if one hosue in a neighborhood is 50 percent larger than another house in the neighborhood it is most likely to list at a higher price?

Lets say they have gained over $ 300 hundred thousand on their house. That is a lot of coin. If they truly feel pinched, they could do what my relatives recently have done and downsized their house and realized their gain. Then put it towards health insurance for the family. Either parent could get a job that pays health benefits. Its all about them exercising choices and somehow asking people less well off to support them.

Also, from my sources-- Grandpa is a PROMINENT architect.

The info on Corwin Frost indicates that he is quite wealthy (not that there is anything wrong with that), probably spends/spent his summers in Vermont (maybe a current or previous family vacation home?), and donates to numerous educational and religious institutions. Has or had at least one prize winning antique car, not an inexpensive hobby. [Again, nothing wrong with any of this, just a disconnect between it and the idea that the son must rely on taxpayers for subsidizing necessary family expenses such as health insurance.]

Corwin Frost is from such an old established architecture family that the Smithsonian has an album of designs from several generations of Frosts.

Links and details per following about Corwin Frost:

Rhode Island School of Design
A. Corwin (Corky) Frost (Arch '59) is the Chair of the Facilities Committee. Frost is Principal of Frost Associates, which provides professional advice, guidance, and management to building owners and tenants for planning studies, expansion, relocation, renovation, or other facilities projects. In addition to his RISD degree, he holds a BA from Princeton University ('56). Frost began his career with positions as a designer at Harrison & Abramovitz, Architects (1959-60), project designer and project manager at Frederick G. Frost, Jr. & Associates, Architects (1960-68), and Partner and General Manager at Frost Associates (1968-78). From 1978 to 1988, he worked in various capacities with CBS Inc., his final position being Director of Facilities Engineering. He then moved to the Department of Design, Construction, and Management at The City University of New York (1992-95), first as Deputy Director for Project Management and then as Acting Director. Since 1995, Frost has been a consultant to the Newark Public Schools, responsible for managing a $1.7 billion comprehensive redevelopment plan. Frost Associates has won several awards from the New York State Association of Architects, including a certificate of merit ('70), two honorable mentions ('70, '74), and two Architectural Design Awards ('75). He retired as Chairman of the Bronxville Planning Board in 2004 after 14 years in that role. Frost has been an active participant in the New York Chapter of the AIA, the Westchester Arts Council, and the Westchester County Historical Society. He is the father of Anne R. Frost ('97 GD) and Halsey Frost (architectural designer).

honorary trustee Rhode Island School of Design

Leadership Donor Rhode Island School of Design

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 7:20 PM

Oh... Michelle notes -- after personal inspection -- that the house is NOT worth $400,000 so I think your estimate might be a bit high.

Posted by Keemo | October 8, 2007 7:25 PM


The key dynamics here are "frivolous law suits" and "rising costs of litigation". Many lawyers are now getting 500.00 per hour, up from 300.00 per hour just a few years ago. Did this increase in hourly rate keep pace with inflation?

If Congress passes a law that makes payment for legal expenses the responsibility of the losing argument, most frivolous law suits will stop.

The insurance industry (not my favorite industry) has been savaged by lawyers; this is not helping the regular folks out at all. This is not the only reason (cause) for the rising costs, as people are living longer now; medicines are available and covered that weren't available before; new equipment & procedures that allow for types of surgeries that weren't possible 10 years ago; et al.

Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 7:27 PM

Umm... Red... are grandparents personally responsible for their grandchildren? We have no idea what -- if any -- their relationship is with these people. My guess would be that if they were super involved, the family would not have bought a house 16 years ago in a crappy neighborhood for $55K. And in a town where almost every white child goes to private (Catholic) school, the other two grandkids would be in one as well if the grandparents were subsidizing these folks.

In addition, Michelle Malkin, went by the house her very own self and says that the estimates of $400,000 are too high. We have no idea what the condition of the house is. A lot of those old row houses are completely falling apart and without extensive renovations are not worth a lot. You don't get $400K just for location in Baltimore if the new owner is going to have to invest that much to get it in shape.

Posted by ck | October 8, 2007 7:37 PM

Really people --- You think you can tell everything about a family by guessing what their house is worth , looking at what school the kids go to, and speculating about family involvement?

It's arrogant and it's uncalled for. Also, you guys have got a few things wrong already, yet you are still willing to continue this? Debate the program on its merits, not the kid that was sent to put a face to the message. Yes, he was used in a political way, but he wasn't a fake... He actually did use this program and benefited from it.

Just spouting off guessed numbers says nothing about a person's actual wealth -

Posted by VA Voter | October 8, 2007 7:43 PM

The Democrats are like jihad recruiters of teenage suicide bombers.

Objective: Assassination

Death of bomber: Yes in both instances. Once Kid is outed he will be picked on by non-liberals to a larger extent than kid can cope.

Proud Parents: Yes (these parents may get more kickback than they expected with outing of their affluence).

Religious fervor: Yes

Recruiters Remorse: NO

The kid claimed parents couldn’t afford health insurance and was outed on Rush’s show today as being from a very affuent family.

Posted by Jeff | October 8, 2007 7:46 PM

I spit out my drink when Teresa joked that there were facts on the hard-left extremist Think Progress.

That's like saying "I was reading in PRAVDA the other day..."

Good one, Teresa!

Posted by ck | October 8, 2007 7:48 PM

VA Voter --

2 things - 1) They are not very affluent. I would suggest getting your information from somewhere other than Rush.

2) So it's the dems fault that the Republicans practice character assassination... And it's the dems fault because they should have known the republicans do character assassinations? That's some crazy logic my friend.

Posted by ck | October 8, 2007 7:50 PM

You know what's even funnier?
All day you guys have been saying this family pays 40,000 to send their kids to school. And they live in a 400,000 dollar home etc...

What's the truth?
They pay 500 dollars to send the kids to school. And they paid 55,000 dollars for their house.

Yeah, it's so funny... Apparently thinkprogress has more facts than all the right wing "citizen reporters" combined... or maybe just a little more common sense... 1 of the 2...

Posted by Gary Denton | October 8, 2007 7:53 PM

I love it when conservatives attack lower middle-class families with badly injured kids with their idiotic Googling. Let's make the story of this smear campaign big time and put it on the Nightly News.

Posted by Joel | October 8, 2007 7:55 PM

"Posted by Captain Ed | October 8, 2007 7:04 PM

Would you like me to update it to show that they have around a half-million dollars in equity, at least?"

Exactly! Look, the point that the Captain made in the original post stands. This is about choices. At the minimum, the Frost couple seems to have been blessed with all America has to offer...professional and successful parents and grandparents, college education (in at least Mrs. Frost's case), a house(with a ton of equity?), a business doing what Mr. Frost loves, a building to house that business in (heck many small business owners have to rent), 4 children, good friends and community, the family SUV, scholarships to expensive private schools for the kids (so Teresa says), etc. All this, and they still need government cheese? C'mon.

The Frost's could find a way to pay for the family health insurance. If you don't believe this, and still believe this family is a superb, or even an adequate poster child family for government provided health care hand outs, I don't know what else to say.

Captain's point, the DECISIONS, defines a critical difference between the Right and the Left. Personal responsibility vs. social responsibility. If Society is responsible for families in this opportunity-blessed situation, where does it stop? For the extreme Left, it doesn't stop until it is everybody. For the extreme Right maybe it stops before it starts, but I don't think so.

For the reasonable person, in my humble opinion, individuals should be held responsible for their decisions, or there will be no incentive to ever make a good decision. However, when an individual or family truly has a need, society should step up. By society, I would prefer that individual's family, friends, local community, church or synagogue or mosque, etc step in first. After that, as a last resort, the government.

Comments on this topic have suggested the Frosts receive $20,000/kid scholarships for private schools, government incentives to purchasse run-down real estate, etc. Plus "free" government health care for the kids. Rememember...some one paid for those scholarships, those incentives, and that health care. How much government cheese does one family need?

Posted by Joel | October 8, 2007 8:02 PM

"Posted by Teresa | October 8, 2007 7:27 PM

Umm... Red... are grandparents personally responsible for their grandchildren?"

Ummm...Teresa...maybe rich grandparents SHOULD be more responsible for their grandparents than Joe Tax Dollar Guy. Just a thought.

Posted by Joel | October 8, 2007 8:05 PM

edit...SHOULD be more responsible for their grandchildren...missed that in review.

Posted by Jack Okie | October 8, 2007 8:20 PM


Regardless of Mr Frost's relationship with his father, a well-to-grandpa is a hell of a lot more responsible for his grandkids wellfare that I am. And if the house is only worth 150K, that's equity thats available for expenses.

The more info that comes out, the sorrier this situation looks. At one point in the past, I had to sell my home - there was just no other way to come up with the cash. My son never went without health insurance and I never took a dime from the government. I did, however, bust my ass to bring in enough income until digging myself out of the hole I was in. I'm sorry the Frost's kids were hurt, but the Frosts do not fit the description of needy. And did your information from ThinkProgress indicate whether the kids were strapped into the SUV when the accident happened?

Why are liberals so ready with mealy-mouthed excuses for people on the big tit of the government?

Posted by jr565 | October 8, 2007 8:37 PM

by the way, Bush is not in favor of cutting this program, in fact he was proposing an expansion of it. Only he wasn';t in favor of expansion along the lines of what the dems are proposing. So even the framing of this debate is disingenuous from the dems standpoint. They even bring out the "how can Bush sleep at night" rhetoric and parade a kid out for purely political purposes to make it seem that Bush wants poor kids to suffer.

As per usual, the rhetoric from the dems is high on demagoguery, and low on actual fact. But then again, this is the usual template that is always brought out about the conservatives. they want the old people to starve, they hate black people, etc etc etc.

In regards to this family though, democrats couldn't find a poor kid (maybe even a poor black kid so as to also insinuate that conservates are also racist) who's parents didnt own home an SUV and a business as their test case?
And the defenders of this family still haven't explained why the owner of a business couldn't get insurance through his own business which would cover his family.

Posted by viking01 | October 8, 2007 9:19 PM

Assets is only one side of the equation. The Frosts may be mired in debt. That may explain why they've chosen to peddle their minor son's voice to the Democrat party for cold cash, or debt relief.

Hey honey! I've got an idea to solve our overspending... let's sell the kid. No, not actually auction him, just lease a few parts like his voice and his soul.

Posted by GMAX | October 8, 2007 9:34 PM

Just of rhte record our truth loving friend Cyclops posts a link ( I thought you could not link due to some conspiracy ? ) to an article clearly addressed to me at 6:40 where he states below triumphantly that " health insurance profits ... have risen dramatically."

Well I guess he showed me. Except

If you actually click the link its from the period of 2003!!!

But wait it gets better. The insurance referenced is PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE!!!

that is like going to a baseball game and asking loudly when kickoff is.

He has no facts. P & C insurance is for damage to buildings and personal injury like slipping and falling on ice in front of a property. It has nothing to do with health insurance at all.

Nice try though. I got to admit the hubris of trying to pass that off, just like a liberal to never admit for a second that you are wrong.

Posted by kingronjo | October 8, 2007 9:43 PM

Am I the only one here with any accounting experience? While I was attending grad school I worked for the most evil place on Earth, the IRS.

These people are self-employed and own the building they work in. Nothing spells hidden income like self-employment and property ownership. Depreciation, asset allocation, deductions for not working, the list goes on and on. All of it perfectly legitimate. And easily deflates the income well under the bottom line.

I believe the Dems should be excorciated for using this family cause they are without a doubt not poor. As the President(? leader, whatever title he gives himself) this fellow made a decision not to have insurance. Period. To lump him in the same boat as people working at a $10/hr job again shows the Dems are just a bunch of demagouges, and not even good ones at that.

The really scary part is that a very good portion of America is willing to be led around by the nose and swallow whatever the MSM says about any topic.

Posted by skeptic | October 8, 2007 10:17 PM

Ron Paul is the only Republican that can go up against the Democrats with any credibility on health care. Who would the people believe in a debate - a political shill or a physician that has honorably practiced medicine without Medicare/Medicaid?

Posted by jfm | October 8, 2007 10:20 PM

I'm going to offer a little speculation based on what few facts I've gathered on the web tonight and from my own personal experience.

The Frosts' income probably is $45,000 a year. The Frosts probably receive occasional gifts from Mr. Frost's parents and grandparents, who seem to be wealthy and successful. Perhaps these gifts helped them buy a house, buy a car, and send one or more children to private school.

Unfortunately for the Frosts, they cannot count on these gifts arriving with any regularity. They do have to watch their day-to-day expenses.

Perhaps one place where they decided to save money was on car insurance--they decided not to buy bodily injury insurance.

Who was driving the car that slid on the black ice and crashed into the tree, terribly injuring the children. Was it Mr or Mrs Frost?

If one of the parents was driving, they must feel terribly guilty over their driving (even if it wasn't their fault) and the lack of insurance for their children. Perhaps this crusade is their way of expiating their guilt.

Having written this, I feel sorry for the Frosts. I think we should just let this episode pass into internet oblivion.

Also, shame on whoever talked them into putting their child on the radio to rebut President Bush.

Posted by unclesmrgol | October 9, 2007 1:33 AM


You are correct -- the transaction was documented at about 50k. However, note the annotation "not arms-length" on the property description

"not arms-length" means that the property transfer was between relatives. Hence, the sale price was certainly less than the worth of the property (by about 210K, per the assessor).

zillow the area; while zillow is always a bit high nowadays, it's generally in the ballpark.

I'd love to know who "Muth, Thomas A" is and his relationship to "F Halsey Frost".

Posted by unclesmrgol | October 9, 2007 1:41 AM


Oh, I just noted another thing -- the description is marked as NOT principal residence. That indicates the Frosts owned a home elsewhere at the time of this sale.

This is becoming more interesting by the second.

Posted by Mark F. | October 9, 2007 1:48 AM

Teresa, it is not relevant what the current costs at private schools are for the two injured children. Their horrendous injuries must have had a tremendous impact on the objective and subjective assessment of their scholarship applications. What matters is how much of their tuition was paid by the family before the accident. We can only evaluation the situation fully if we can compare actual tuition paid before the accident with the purported income in the same time period.

Posted by Mark F. | October 9, 2007 2:41 AM

Mr. Frost's name suggests that he was named in honor of Admiral William Frederick "Bull" Halsey. The admiral had a lot of connections in New York high society circles. This does not automatically mean a family connection. My own father was named Dewey in honor of the admiral who defeated the Spanish fleet at Manila six weeks before my father's birth in 1898, and there isn't a shred of connection between my family and the admiral. No big point being made, just a historical aside.

Posted by Mark F. | October 9, 2007 3:46 AM

Some commenters, here and elsewhere, are keying on Michelle Malkin's report of her personal visits to the Frost home and business place. She reported that valuations on the home seemed high, but she is not in real estate sales or management and did not take time to evaluate comparable properties and their taxing authority's assessed valuation, as well checking on recent sale prices for the "comps". She might have discovered that some taxing authorities do not make assessed valuations for tax purposes that are full market values. The idea that she might think that the valuation was too high just by the neighborhood and the appearance of the Frost home is ludicrous. She isn't in touch with the local market forces. If MM drove by my home, she would see a garage with rotting siding that is too small to park a car in. She would see an 1120 square foot single story house in need of major repairs. Looking further, she would see a small boathouse/screenhouse two-story building, also in need of major structural repairs. She would probably suggest a value of much less than a hundred thousand dollars, for a collection of shacks in Minnesota on a quarter of an acre lot, a hundred miles from Minneapolis. However, the lake I'm on has become a highly desired place for metropolitan rich folks and a few folks with local roots who want to move back after making their fortunes. My local taxing authority claims that my place is worth half a million dollars, and I'm being taxed out of my shorts. Appearances can be deceiving.

An earlier commenter pointed out that the Baltimore property report on the Frost home states that it is not their primary residence. Obviously the Frost family lives there. An explanation for this anomaly could be that they own a far more valuable residence in another area that offers homestead exemptions that reduce the real estate tax burden, and they can only apply the homestead exemption to one property, so they choose the higher valued property to maximize their tax savings.

There is a lack of clarity on the Frost family finances. Halsey was listed as an electrical engineer on the wedding announcement, and as an architectural designer in material about his father. Either career would pay much more. I support his decision to follow his dream at lower pay, but that decision, and my support of it, does not obligate me to pay taxes to cover his family's health insurance.

The stated income of 45G a year may be technically accurate, reflecting their taxable income, but there still might be non-taxable income that we aren't hearing about, and which would change the debate considerably.

Posted by docjim505 | October 9, 2007 4:01 AM


Yes, you're right. I apologize.

Posted by Olaf | October 9, 2007 7:10 AM

To me, the questions of how much the Frost family earns or how they can afford to place their children in private school are not that relevant. These are personal matters.

The more relevant question is: Did they have health insurance before the S-CHIP program? I know the assumption is that they did not. However, I have doubts that they went through 4 pregnancies and births, in addition to continued well-care for 4 healthy children, without some insurance policy. If so, it may be the case that they switched from carrying their own policy to a much less expensive coverage when the S-CHIP program became available.

Posted by GMAX | October 9, 2007 8:34 AM

Two points

Two able bodied adult working fulltime but without any overtime make slightly more than $45,000 annually if they both earn $11/hour. Both adults in this case are reported to have college degrees. If their income is that low, Maryland colleges must be dreadful places.

Second the lefty website made a big deal about scholarships for the kids. Great except that they also stated that the tuition being paid was $500 per month. That is enough to pay for a health insurance program, and its not my burden to pay for their health insurance so they can choose something else to spend their income on. Is it? How about an flat screen HD tv then?

Posted by davod | October 9, 2007 9:20 AM

What do the children's injuries have to do with anything. It is my understanding they were in a car accident. Maryland has a no fault system. Was there some problem with the Frost's insurance.

If the Frosts are abusing the current health care provisions, I wonder just what else they are filching from the sytem.

Posted by Les Nessman | October 9, 2007 9:21 AM

"Posted by Gary Denton | October 8, 2007 7:53 PM

I love it when conservatives attack lower middle-class families with badly injured kids with their idiotic Googling. "

Heh. Sounds like 'And I would have gotten away with it too; if it hadn't been for those meddling kids and their big dog Scooby!'

"Let's make the story of this smear campaign big time and put it on the Nightly News."

Sounds good to me. Bring it on. Let's get some probing investigative questions aimed at this 'poor' family. They've chosen to be the poster child for this cause. So in fairness, we deserve to know just what kind of financial trouble they are in before we bail them out.

Posted by starfleet_dude | October 9, 2007 10:18 AM

Steve Benen has some facts to pass along about the Frosts that I hope gives some here, including Ed, cause to reconsider what they've insinuated about the family:

Conservatives target 12-year-old boy and his family in S-CHIP debate

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 9, 2007 10:21 AM


thanks, don't worry about it; Happens to me too often.

Posted by Mark F. | October 9, 2007 12:05 PM

Starfleet Dude, I followed your link. I am singularly unimpressed. You'll have to do better than that. And you have a serious problem if you think that we "wingers" are mean and evil, and your blog commenters sweetness and light. I happen to be a Mensan who has never used booze or drugs, as one commenter on your linked thread would almost certainly be shocked to hear.

Posted by Loren | October 9, 2007 1:20 PM

Ignore the school, ignore the equity in the house.

Explain the $160,000 commercial property purchased in 1999.

The property purchase appears to have occurred in the middle of the Frost's having children. Certainly it occured when the daughter, now 9, was an infant. Other children appear younger.

Did they have health insurance then? Were they somehow able to come up with the money to purchase the commercial building, but not insurance?

Why in the period of 5 years did they have the cash flow to continue to make payments on the commercial building, but ceased to have the ability to pay for health insurance? They were apparently uninsured in 2004 at the time of the accident.

Still no indication why the manadatory auto insurance did not pay for this.

Why should the taxpayers subsidize the purchase of commercial real estate for the Frost's, by relieving them from having to pay for medical insurance?

If things were so deperate for the Frost's, why would they not sell their commercial real estate to obtain the equity within it, eliminate the cash outflow for the mortgage payments, which would enable them to pay for insurance. Since they choose not to sell the optional commercial property, why should I feel guilty about their not purchasing health insurance? And why should the taxpayers be obligated because of that choice?

Posted by unclesmrgol | October 9, 2007 2:41 PM


Your final paragraph is what has me most steamed about the frosts. I cannot understand why I'm obligated, either morally or otherwise, to pay for someone who chose not to have insurance.

It's the ants paying the grasshoppers all over again.

Posted by BC_brewer | October 9, 2007 4:47 PM

Many people are getting judgmental about the Frost family's occupational choices (& everything about them - even the color of their stove; FYI-my black stove color didn't cost extra because Sears had a sale).

No doubt many college graduates earn more, but I know college-graduate cabinet/furniture makers who earn similar incomes.

No doubt this family could have moved into a smaller home in a different neighborhood, or sold off the business property to look better if an asset test was instituted. We all make choices on how to provide for our kids. Some of us try to pick careers that are more likely to come with health insurance.

The Key for evaluating the S-Chip program - Do you think a family that earns $45K, less that the overall region's Median income should get Children's healthcare coverage(USDA-ERS lists 2004 Baltimore County avg as $52,308)? Should they have to earn less that $40K, or $66K?

Do Conservatives think that 200% of the Federal Poverty Level is a magic #? The natural incentive for a family about to lose S-Chip coverage for being just over the 200% is to work a few less hours (get under the income limit) and to spend more time caring for or educating our children. Is that the goal, or do we want to encourage them to work harder in the cabinet business & try to earn more (& maybe hire an extra employee) Either way these are decisions that I want to let other Americans make for themselves.

We need to draw the line somewhere & we can add an asset test for Schip programs. Don't think that we will save money by getting extra restrictive with S-Chip coverage. I work in Hospital Finance, and when the uninsured child or adult shows up in our ED, we treat them, and it costs more that a Dr's visit. We try to break even, so that cost is getting passed along to the private insurers in higher negotiated rates in our next contract session. (Yes, Hospitals also try to look more closely at jobs we can do without, or supplies we can get cheaper.)

Do these same people want to analyze every gov't tax break or program like the Frost's have been treated? Go look at the $30 Billion that Select Corporations got back in Alternative Minimum Tax Refunds back in 2001 (somehow my & most other American's refunds didn't seem that large.)

As a concerned Republican Taxpayer, I can find other Government Spending/Tax Breaks to eliminate, but their lobbyists are much tougher to defeat that a 12 yr old from Maryland.

Posted by ck | October 10, 2007 7:24 PM

What this comes down to is that Ed, Malkin and the rest of the right wing who was trying to dig into their lives were awfully wrong... No corrections or apologies have been issued though.

This is typical - Make things up, post them all over the place, and never correct yourself when you're found to be wrong. Then in a couple years you guys can cite this as an instance of how screwed up the democrats are, when in actuality it only shows how wrong you guys have been... It's wonderful how conservative blogs and talk radio operate...

What exactly were they wrong on?
Said the dad owns his own business - He doesn't.
Said their home was worth 400,000 - It isn't
Said their counter tops were granite - They aren't
Said they spend 40,000 to send their kids to school - They don't
Said they could get cheap insurance on their own - Thay can't (insurance companies won't because of pre-existing injuries)

Of course I haven't seen any corrections --- nice

Posted by bill1usmc | October 14, 2007 2:12 AM

Recently I was booted from the demowacky underground for espousing views not held by the ultra leftwing whiners. Labeled a “Republican” Oh the humiliation. LMAO. I would estimate that 99.8% of the 101,000 subscribers there have little if any cerebral function. Basically it’s a back patting hate group. In truth I was a formerly both democrat and republican. Now I’m nondenominational [sic]. Personally I think both parties stink to high heaven and it’s time to change the Status Quo. As for the Frosts, well they were just pawns in a game. The Dems knew rightwing azz bags would attack the family on a personal level. Merely exposing information pertaining to the Schip program wasn’t enough. Now they reportedly receive death threats. This is beyond the pale of rational thought. Why not expose the Dems for who they are? Why not expose both sides and reveal just how screwed up politicians really are. When the smoke clears there’d be few standing on either side. For now my choices are Rudyobamaronmey Clinton. God forbid someone like Duncan Hunter (true conservative) actually getting the nomination.

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