12-year old to give Dems' weekly radio address: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted September 28, 2007 2:30 PM
The Swamp

by Frank James

Having had their own attempts to persuade President Bush to sign the children's health insurance program fall on deaf presidential ears, as well as appeals by supportive Republican Senate colleagues, Senate Democrats have decided to pull out all stops. They're having a 12 year old deliver their weekly radio address.

Here's a press release from Senate Democrats with a transcript of Graeme Frost's remarks.


Washington, DC—Graeme Frost, 12, delivers this week’s Democratic Radio Address. Because of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Graeme was able to get the medical care he needed after a serious car accident caused severe brain trauma, paralyzed one of his vocal chords and put him in a coma. He asks President Bush to sign into law the renewal of CHIP that both houses of Congress passed this week with broad bipartisan support.

The text of the radio address, as delivered, is below:

“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.”


If you think this is a hard political message to counter, just imagine when Democrats start running ads of other children with stories like Frost's against vulnerable members of the House and Senate.

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I bet he does a better job at speechifying (bushism) than Bush does.

Using a 12-year old's personal tragedy for political ends. Can the Democrats sink any lower?

Hey, the Democrats finally will have a speaker they can relate to intellectually. Though to be honest I think even most 12 year olds are smarter than your average Democrat.

And, once again, the Dems resort to demagoguery, just as they do with anyone who talks about reforming Social Security. The reality is that the last big tax hike on Social Security recipients came in 1993 via Clinton and the Democratic Congress, and the reality is this bill is nothing but another step toward government-run nationalized health care.

This kid needs to be taught a lesson in personal responsibility. Say not to socialized healthcare and freeloaders like Graeme Frost.

"12-year Old To Give Dems' Weekly Radio Address?"

We're going to let John D give our weekly radio address? C'mon!

Using a 12-year old's personal tragedy for political ends. Can the Democrats sink any lower?

Posted by: Bruce

His parents more than likely agreed to it and you can't make a 12 year old do much of anything unless they really want to. It is no different than the photo ops the WH does with injured soldiers and their hand-picked audiences.

Yeah...we listen to childrens. John D.

I wonder how many elderly Repugnants are dependent on govt.run Medicare?

I wonder if SS trust was in better shape under Clinton vs Bush?

and after the address she will challange Bush to:
Are you smarter than a fifth grader.

Using a 12-year old's personal tragedy for political ends. Can the Democrats sink any lower?

Posted by: Bruce | September 28, 2007 2:47 PM

Sure, they can continue to ensure that kids like this do not have universal coverage.

Didn't the President just the other day tout the No Child Left Behind with children on the stage and in the background. How quickly you forget Bruce.

Using a 12-year old's personal tragedy for political ends. Can the Democrats sink any lower?

Posted by: Bruce | September 28, 2007 2:47 PM

So your saying a brave kid recovering from a near fatal accident is a tragedy?

What a warped mind, Bruce.

Why do Republicans hate the children of the non-political class?

..."Using a 12-year old's personal tragedy for political ends. Can the Democrats sink any lower?

Posted by: Bruce | September 28, 2007 2:47 PM"...

...wonderful comment Bruce, what's the matter, couldn't you find any baby kittens to drown this morning...

Does anyone know anything about this kid's parents ? Correct me if I'm wrong but Bush isn't canceling this program just not expanding it any further ? Scary thing is the ignorance on the left is at epic highs and they'll buy into this.

Do republicans have to pledge some sort of allegiance to a hypocrisy oath before they get their fake badge and toy gun? The tragedy would have been had the kid died because of lack of health care. I’m sure the pro-lifers would claim it was all part of gods plan.

And remember when Foley surrounded himself with children at a news conference in order to shield himself from questions about the pages scandal?

Come on, Bruce. I think it is totally appropriate that a constituent who is relevant to this bill speaks.

The kid's parents could have saved a bundle by simply sending a video of the injured children to Sen. Bill Frist. He has the ability to diagnose complex medical conditions without even examining the patient in person.

Besides, if they were injured in a car crash, they are obviously rich enough to afford a car. They probably have a microwave oven and a DVD player too. Why should the wealthy get any help with their medical bills?

RNC Bruce,

Why do you kill the child messinger?

"Using a 12-year old's personal tragedy for political ends." I guess IOKIYAR. How soon they forget Junior's FIRST EVER VETO against a backdrop of "snowflake babies" http://www.godweb.org/bushstemcells.htm

Finally the Democrats have a radio response from someone with a semi-adult mentality. What about Harry Reid or Nancy P? Weren't they smarter than a fifth grader?

What kills me is that 80,000 dollars a year under this new bill will be considered Poor. Sorry, my wife and I combined make about 80 grand a year and we pay for our health insurance. I would rather have insurance that I Pick and Pay for then to have a federally mandated system that tells me where I have to go to get care. It kills me that no one, not one media outlet, is talking about the fact that this "extended" coverage would cover those who have children 20+ years of age and make 80 grand a year.

Bruce buddy, the real tragedy would be children like Graeme not getting the treatment they need and dying, or their parents going into bankruptcy to pay for it. By claiming he's being manipulated, you try (and fail, as usual) to minimize the real truth: That government run right can add incredibly tangible value to people's lives by helping those that need it most in times of extraordinary crisis.

Why do Republicans hate the children of the non-political class?

Republicans hate all children...once they leave the womb.

I take it they had no automobile insurance?

Talk about over the top posts. Yes, Republicans hate children.

But here are some real facts that show if anyone hates kids, it is Demoncrats.

The fact is that Demoncrat after Demoncrat in state after state has fought, blocked, continues to fight and prevent any legislation protecting children from child predators. In Vermont, a loony liberal bastion of a state, judges let child rapers free to do hurt more kids, and politicians are fighting against laws demanding minimum sentences for those who rape kids and steal their lives.
Massachusetts is another liberal bastion in which Demoncrats are more interested in protecting child predators and the trial lawyers that aid abd abet them than they are the children victims.
So, the reality is that it's liberals and Demoncrats who are children haters, children abusers and friends to the end of those who abuse, rape and kill children.

I think it would be fine for the 12 year old to comment on a childrens blog. However, I don't like to see lawmakers or candidates hold babies, or use children as props in any way. I don't like seeing either party use children- even if children would benefit from particular legislation. Both parties have used children as props.

John E,

In a few years you qualify. Hope there is no math.

We're going to let John D give our weekly radio address? C'mon!

Posted by: John E | September 28, 2007 2:55 PM

John E,


most of you guys have no idea how much of an accomplishment this is for my brother, being in a nearly fatal car crash, and now being the first kid in history to give a democratic response. More than you could do.

Oh, and by the way, they didn't just tell him what to say, so he could be some kind of prop, Graeme came up with everything he said, because he cares about the subject. All they did was write it up for him.

bruce, it's not a tragedy. did u even read the text? "I hope the President will listen to my story and help other kids be as LUCKY as me"

What gets me is we can afford to spend hundreds of Billions for a war we should never be in.. but when it comes to helping our own children Bush says no.

"So your saying a brave kid recovering from a near fatal accident is a tragedy?"

What kind of fool doesn't thing a 12 year-old having a near fatal accident ISN'T a tragedy?

I have no doubt this very bright, capable young man came up with all that he said, having worked with him when he was in the hospital - he is the REALITY of how this program helps children! I think the fact that people on this blog are denigrating Graeme just shows how worried they are that his message makes the impact of this bill REAL... Bravo, Graeme, for being an important speaker for this bill!

"Using a 12-year old's personal tragedy for political ends. Can the Democrats sink any lower?

Posted by: Bruce | September 28, 2007 2:47 PM"

No worse than Republican flacks using disabled Iraq war vets in TV commercials showing the WTC falling down while the vet says that we have to stay in Iraq because those people did this in NY.

The parents sent him to private school but thought health insurance wasn't a worthwhile expense. They drove into a tree, almost killing the kids and stick the taxpayers with the bill. Now he's back in private school and the parents are using him as a tool to advance their political agenda. I know Democrats are the patron saints of poor decision makers but their spin on this sad story, and the reaction it's getting, is unbelievable.

Bob, the parents sent the kids to private school so that they could have a good education, and not grow up to be Bush-lovers. some parents make sacrifices for their kids.

Personally I think it's a wonderful thing that Graeme is getting to tell his story. I've known him and his family for a long time. They went through something extremely difficult and it's an amazing accomplishment for Graeme and his family to be able to use their experience to help other people in need. I think it's extremely shameful the way people are responding and it speaks loads of how are country and society are today. When you start tearing down a 12 year-old,especially one who is still recovering from a near fatal car accident, there is something wrong with you!

i would caution those who judge - we do not know the personal financial situation of the frost family - there are many scholarships offered for private schools, for instance - may we scrutinize your financial status and choices you make to better yourself and/or your family?

Graeme is my nephew and I couldn't be prouder of him! The radio address may have been written by someone else, but it accurately represents his opinions about S-CHIP, the President, etc. Graeme is extremely intelligent and outspoken, especially on politics (I can't print his true opinion of Bush here).

He may attend private school, but on FULL ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP. His parents couldn't possibly afford the tuition, let alone health insurance.

who caused the car crash? if someone ran into them then call john edwards and he will get them all the money they need.
how nice for you ann frost to tell us his parents can not afford health care or his education, but some how they believe the rest of us should pay for him because they love him and can not afford everything they want him to have.

Please they should have had a puppet on a string.Do any of you really believe that kid wrote that!

alright, Greame Frost goes to my school.. I'm Republican and I don't even agree with all of Bush's choices. But can you honestly try to put down a kid that is trying to tell his story? No, hes not a very rich kid. Graeme is an extremely bright kid. Now, if you try to call this kid a tradegy than maybe you should grow up. This kid didn't have the easiest life. Now, try to think about this in his shoes. Would you still be saying the same things?, just rethink

I am puzzled why such a poor example was chosen as represetative of a crisis for healthcare coverage of children. An automobile accident and ensuing medical care is normally covered under an auto insurance policy. Is this some quirk of Maryland law that necessitates private coverage, were the Frosts not covered by auto insurance, or was some other circumstance in play? Regardless, I say a poor example was presented to plead the case.

SUVs, private schools, family members who are engineers and architects. Mother even works in the medical field. Google them. The New York Times carried their wedding announcement. Too bad the Frosts didn't pay their own bills and save the government program for actual disadvantaged children and families.

Not only would they be covered by their car insurance, but, if Dad wasn't at fault they could sue somebody.

I can't say I have read all of these posts but it seems many on both sides are missing the point. The debate seems to be surrounding this one kid and his story, when the true issue is this. Can we really expect the government, federal or otherwise, to be able to maintain the same level of health care which we enjoy in this country today in the private sector? The democrats contend that it can, whereas the republicans believe it will hurt the economy and the health care system at the same time. As much as you might admire a twelve year old boy in an situation like this, it is hard to believe he would have any real insight to add to such a complex topic. It appears the dems are merely trying to infuse raw emotion into the debate, in order to win the favor of people who allow feelings to trump intellect when making decisions (i.e. your average democrat).

You really can't blame democratic operatives for using tactics that consistently work.
It's the thirty percent of the country who they are able to bamboozle that are the real problem.

I know the Frost family and other families at the Park School.

Graeme really did have a serious accident. He does honestly believe everything the ghostwriters scripted for him, and it's no wonder -- his parents relentlessly tell him he'd be sicker without CHIP yet fail to teach him, much less themselves, that free-market alternatives are superior.

If you're in a crash and rushed to the ER, they're not going to deny you care because of insurance, lack of, income, etc. These people would have received their care regardless. They probably did not have insurance at the time of the crash and were lucky enough to qualify for Chip after the fact.

Bush doesn't want to end Chip, he just doesn't want to extend it to cover families who have insurance available and can afford it. If the Dems would pass a bill with Chip intact as is, Bush said he would sign it... what are they waiting for?

Three of the many words that no liberal understands.

What will all those poor children, mere 24 year old toddlers, do when their poor families, who make $80,000, can't get government health care?

When the Dems trot out this 12 year old faker, whose parents are pretty financially sound, they won't remind people that this expanded program covers people up to 24 and up to 80K incomes.

If the government would cut programs rather than expand them, more Americans would have the money to take care of themselves.

Every time you see a program like this, remember, it's the government taking more of your money to take care of you, rather than leaving you your money so you can take care of yourself.

C'mon, this bill insures families making up to $80,000.00 per year and "children" up to the age of 25. Since when is $80,000.00 a year considered poverty level and since when have adults over the age of 18 been cinsidered children? This is nothing but a not so vieled attempt by the Socialists(aka Democrats) to backdoor socialized medicine.

I don't think anyone is saying that this Graeme Frost is a rotten kid or that they aren't happy he recovered, but if he wants to wade into a heated policy debate (as people seem to claim that he's doing this of his own free will), then being 12 years old does not afford him a suit of armor, immunizing him from questions. If the Dems want to hold him up as an example, then the Frost family is naturally subject to the fact that people want to know more about this "example." Why wasn't he covered under auto insurance? How much does his family make? Why didn't they have health insurance? Why would he have been denied health care without SCHIP? Why should my family have to buy our own health insurance and his family's health insurance, too? If he is already covered by SCHIP, then isn't his situation completely irrelevant to the current debate about expanding SCHIP?

The left-leaning posters here seem to want to avoid these questions under the guise that even asking them is attacking a 12-year old because Republicans "hate" kids. People either get answers to these questions or the Dems must admit that that Graeme Frost is a shameless prop.

Does anyone bother to know the details of these bills anymore, or run around crying 'hater' to anyone they don't agree with?

The CHIP program that did such a great thing for this young man WILL NOT go away if Bush vetoes the bill! The bill this speech is meant to endorse is just to EXPAND that program to cover "children" up to age 25... yes, 25. The fact that we're calling 25 year olds "children" in this is a whole additional statement on society.

AND the bill is to expand to cover families making up to something like 60,000 a year!

Again, if Bush Vetoes this bill, other children like this one will STILL have the program. It is unchanged.

If he signs it, you just have to pay for the healthcare of some 23 year old whose family may actually make an ok living.

Some of us who LOVE children, don't love this bill.

This is grifting.

They're using a 12-yo boy as a tool to allow them to steal from the rest of us.

They're not *asking* you to give and letting you have a choice. They're using this kid to guilt people into supporting a bill so that, in the future, you won't have a choice about helping someone be they in need or not in need.

I'll take the choice of charity and the freedom that goes along with it over this current government theft that occurs.

With the freedom of choice, if the charity starts to do crazy crap and goes spend crazy I can immediately stop giving and can take that same money and give it to some other charity or, possibly, give directly to some 12yo kid in need that I know.

Instead everyone wants the government to step in, use it as a way of legally stealing from people, all under the ruse of helping this poor 12yo kid. When the government administration which oversees such 'charities' goes nuts with spending or claims they can't cover it all and then wants more of your money you no longer have that freedom of choice of backing out. Instead they'll set up some 'oversite committee' which will amount to nothing and more than more nonsense spending and, eventually, steal more from you to cover the expenses.

Freedom is the better path.


If we are going to throw stones then maybe Bush should be your first target. How about that great big photo-op hug he gave Kaitlyne McNamara during his stem cell research veto speech. You remember, the girl with the spinal bidifa, spina bifadida. Here is Bush trying to make a point and he can't even pronounce the disease his prop has. Now for some answers to your questions. Why didn't auto insurance cover the kids injuries? Because "Bodily Injury Liability" on an insurance policy covers people that are not on the insurance policy.

How much does the family make? I don't know, but the policy is that the family makes less than $36,200/year. Considering the average health insurance premium is $12,000/year I would say this family would need some help with the cost.

Why would he have been denied health care without SCHIP? He wouldn't have been denied basic health care, but would not have been given the therapy he would have needed to gain his motor skills back. Which a typical compassionate conservative doesn't understand the need for.

Why should my family have to buy our own health insurance and his family's health insurance, too? Because it's what Jesus would want you to do. Let me ask you this, should someone who doesn't have children be allowed to forego paying taxes that go towards the school system? After all they don't have kids using the school system. Why should the government give farmers subsidies? After all isn't that just some form of government handout?

If he is already covered by SCHIP, then isn't his situation completely irrelevant to the current debate about expanding SCHIP? It is completely relevant to the current debate. He was one example of how the system worked, but without the program his life would have been completely shattered. Since the program does not cover every child from low income families, there is a good chance that Graeme's situation, without the insurance, is currently being lived out by some other child.

By the way, I am obviously a left-leaning poster, but I don't believe that Republicans "hate" kids. You just don't like the poor.

Don - "Republicans don't like the poor." OH! So that explains why Bush passed the 2nd largest senior entitlement in history - medicare part D. It explains giving BACK some of the money that 'poor' people paid in taxes. When you say 'poor', the cat is out of the bag; you are including 'poor' people who have a car and pay thousands for insurance and gas but want ME to pay for their bi-annual physical! 'Poor' people who pay HBO over $10 a month but expect ME to pay for their children's vaccines. Sorry, try again when you have an argument based in REALITY...

"Don from a Car phone" provides an adequate illustration of what happens when one combines sanctimony, ignorance and anger into public debate. Despite not knowing any of the details involved, he still feels free to "provide answers to [my] questions." These supposed answers include:
1) A shot at Bush's poor speaking ability in a completely unrelated event;
2) Correctly noting that bodily injury liability covers only other people a driver injures but failing to understand that PIP coverage includes the driver and all passengers;
3) Noting the general federal SCHIP policy of covering up to 200% of poverty level, but that each State makes its own plan which may cover higher levels of income. Nor do we know if either parent was offered an insurance plan at work but declined.
4) A bizarre claim that conservatives do not understand the need for physical therapy.
5) A bizarre shot at Christians.
6) A question of whether people should have to pay for a wide variety of subsidies for others (Answer: In many cases, no).
7) Graeme Frost's example shows that SCHIP should be extended to "kids" up to 24 years old making up to $80,000 because of... well, Don from a Car phone doesn't have an answer for this question, which is the most important one.
8) Oh yeah, and for some inexplicable reason, Republicans "just don't like the poor."

So what have we learned? We've learned that "Don from a Car phone" is ignorant of the issues involved in this debate, a rather cynical and nasty bigot and wisely uses a pseudonym to avoid humiliating himself. But we still have no idea why Graeme Frost's example provides an ounce of support for the current bill under consideration.

HM, they make $7,000 more than me, and I can afford insurance (car, PIP and Health for family.) All of you that want to have free healthcare, send this family $1,716, Because that is what it costs now for my mediscare. This free healthcare is going to run it up exponentially.

Yet another incentive to be poor.

Once the libs make the incentives so good that everyone decides to be poor who will then fit the bill.

If you like the cause so much, then donate the money for that cause yourself. Don't wait for someone else to do something. Don't tell someone else it is their responsibility. And don't force others to your cause by having the Gov't rob them of the money they would otherwise spend on causes that are near and dear to them.

"Why do Republicans hate the children of the non-political class?

Republicans hate all children...once they leave the womb."

As liberals love all children...once they leave the womb. Oh wait...Libs also hate the children if their parents are well off. Or the parents are Republican. Or if they're intelligent, because just makes the dumb kids feel bad, and we can't have that.


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