This week’s Democratic Radio Address will be delivered by a 12-year-old boy named Graeme Frost. Graeme was in a severe car accident three years ago, and received care under the SCHIP program.
In his address, Graeme will tell the story of how he “was in a coma for a week and couldn’t eat or stand up or even talk at first.” But, using coverage provided under SCHIP, Graeme received treatment that allowed him to return to school and begin to lead a normal life again.
A spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) sharply criticized Graeme’s appearance:To use an innocent young child as a human shield and misrepresent the position of the president of the United States is, frankly, beyond the pale.If there’s one thing Boehner just won’t tolerate, it’s politicians employing children for political purposes…
The SCHIP bill sent to Bush for authorization would provide essential medical care for four million children like Graeme Frost. Yet John Boehner seems more interested in playing partisan games than in supporting expansion of a program that is “widely regarded as one of the country’s greatest social policy successes.”
It's also not a problem to use children for political posturing in the worldview of Republicans when it's the Head Idiot In Chief pushing another agenda, like stem cell research:
Adding further insult to injury, William The Bloody Kristol (R-Vampire) weighed in on the SCHIP Amendment on FNS:
KRISTOL: First of all, whenever I hear anything described as ‘a heartless assault on our children,’ I tend to be…think it’s a pretty good thing…The Democrats are trying to get away with demagoguery? Yeah, Republicans never do that.
WALLACE: I think a lot of our viewers would not be surprised to hear that…
KRISTOL: ...I’m happy that the President’s willing to do something bad for the kids. You do wonder about the Democrats, putting a 12 year old, I mean, how pathetic is that? A 12-year-old kid giving the radio address, Nancy Pelosi pretending she’s praying for the President. You really wonder how stupid they think the American people are. This is…look, poor children are covered by Medicaid, this was to cover children from 100% to 200% over poverty. The Democrats are now extending it up over 300% above the poverty line. If you think you need to help children and families over 200% - 300% over poverty line, which is already double to triple over poverty, you can do two ways: expand government insurance or make it easier for families to buy private insurance. Republicans want to try to make it easier through the tax code for families to get private insurance; Democrats want to expand government insurance. I think it’s a good philosophical fight for Republicans, if they can explain the issue well enough that the Democrats can’t simply get away with demagoguery.