Monday, October 8, 2007

Republicans Beginning To Understand The Importance Of SCHIP

It seems that at least some right wingers are beginning to realize that SCHIP is a big loser for the Republican party. The right wing blog Proprietor Nation starts a post today:

Republicans everywhere must start to face reality while vetoing SCHIP in its current form maybe good policy it makes for bad really bad politics. Last Saturday, Graeme Frost, 12, gave the Democratic response to the President's radio address
And who is Graeme Frost and what did he say? Well according to the Democratic Party's website
Graeme Frost, 12, was in a serious car accident a few years ago and suffered severe brain trauma. He was in a coma and lost his ability to eat and walk. Fortunately, Graeme was covered by the CHIP program and was able to get the medical care he needed. After extensive therapy and continual treatments at a clinic he goes to every summer, Graeme has regained his functional abilities. He still needs to visit several different specialists, and his mother, Bonnie, says he would not have survived - or would at least be wheelchair-bound - without medical coverage.
His comments are after the flip. You can pick up an mp3 feed at the Democratic Party Website.

"Hi, my name is Graeme Frost. I'm 12 years old and I live in Baltimore, Maryland. Most kids my age probably haven't heard of CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program. But I know all about it, because if it weren't for CHIP, I might not be here today.

"CHIP is a law the government made to help families like mine afford healthcare for their kids. Three years ago, my family was in a really bad car accident. My younger sister Gemma and I were both hurt. I was in a coma for a week and couldn't eat or stand up or even talk at first. My sister was even worse. I was in the hospital for five-and-a-half months and I needed a big surgery. For a long time after that, I had to go to physical therapy after school to get stronger. But even though I was hurt badly, I was really lucky. My sister and I both were.

"My parents work really hard and always make sure my sister and I have everything we need, but the hospital bills were huge. We got the help we needed because we had health insurance for us through the CHIP program.

"But there are millions of kids out there who don't have CHIP, and they wouldn't get the care that my sister and I did if they got hurt. Their parents might have to sell their cars or their houses, or they might not be able to pay for hospital bills at all.

"Now I'm back to school. One of my vocal chords is paralyzed so I don't talk the same way I used to. And I can't walk or run as fast as I did. The doctors say I can't play football any more, but I might still be able to be a coach. I'm just happy to be back with my friends.

"I don't know why President Bush wants to stop kids who really need help from getting CHIP. All I know is I have some really good doctors. They took great care of me when I was sick, and I'm glad I could see them because of the Children's Health Program.

"I just hope the President will listen to my story and help other kids to be as lucky as me. This is Graeme Frost, and this has been the Weekly Democratic Radio address. Thanks for listening."

According to Proprietor Nation, Republicans have responded to Graeme's story with sobering statistics, ideological concepts, and cigar makers complaining about a hike in the cost of cigars. Twelve year old child on one side, sobering statistics, ideological concepts and cigar makers on the other. Proprietor Nation correctly concludes that is a losing proposition for Republicans.

For back up PN cites a new Rasmussen poll. The results of that poll have got to be scaring Republican office holders to death. You should read the entire poll, but let me share one statistic that would seem to doom Republicans.
Among all voters, 70% say it is Very Important to insure that all children under 18 have health insurance. This figure includes 83% of Democrats, 71% of unaffiliateds, and 54% of Republicans. Another 18% of all voters say it Somewhat Important to provide health insurance for all children.
Folks don't believe all the happy talk coming from the administration. The override is a fight Democrats can win. Congress is up for reelection next year. How many of the Republican incumbents really want to an electorate that is absolutely against them on the importance of all kids having healthcare? I know I wouldn't want to be running with the departing deeply disliked President on an important issue where between 70% and 88% of the electorate thought I was wrong.

Keep sending those cards and letters to your favorite Republican Congressman. Let them realize that this is an issue that will cost them dearly. Some of them will probably see the light. As Nancy Pelosi said on Fox News yesterday,
"It's hard to imagine how we could diminish the number of children who are covered. The president calls himself 'the decider,' and I don't know why he would want to decide that one child has health care and another does not. So we take it one step at a time. And right now, we have the next 10 days to two weeks to try to peel off about 14 votes in the House."
Now tell me how we cannot do everything in our power to change the minds of a small gaggle of Republican congressmen?