Monday, February 26, 2007

"[A] victim of her own success" and the convenient omission of a 'little' detail.

Dr. Sanity rants on the sub-culture of victimhood:

...This brief guide is for those searching for an expedited pathway into the exalted status of Victimhood. Becoming a victim --as we all have learned from famous TV stars, prominent politicians; religions, races, and even nations--is an advantageous state of being in many ways, several of which are:

-You are not responsible for what happened to you
-You are always morally right
-You are not accountable to anyone for anything
-You are forever entitled to sympathy
-You are always justified in feeling moral indignation for being wronged
-You never have to be responsible again for anything...

And now, according to NPR's Health Policy and Science Desk reporter Julie Rovner, we can add to that list being a "victim" (kid-you-not) of your own success.

That's how Ms. Rovner described the situation of a single mother, Ms. Susan Molina, dealing with her ineligibility for the Colorado Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). Ms. Molina became ineligible when her income went over the program's $34,000 limit for a family of three in Colorado.

You can hear Ms. Rovner's "victim" pronoucement at NPR's Governors Focus on Children's Health Program. Transcribed section follows starting at approximately 33 seconds into the report) (empahsis added):
(Ms. Rovner): ...Susan Molina is exactly the kind of person the Children's Health Insurance Program was designed to help. She's a single mom with two kids; 14 year old Bernadette and 10 year old Joseph.

After her abusive husband walked out on them 7 years ago, Molina went back to school. She eventually worked her way up from cleaning a condominium building in Denver to managing it. Along the way she also managed to get her children covered by Colorado's S-CHIP program

(Ms. Molina): It's an amazing program. It's a great program. My kids received great care. I had that insurance card and I didn't worry about whether we're going to be seen or not or how much money I was going to have to pay. I just had that assurance that I was going to be able to take them and they were going to get the care they needed.

(Ms. Rovner): But recently Molina has become a victim of her own success. When it comes to deciding who will be covered and who won't, each state has its own definition of the working poor. Some states like New Jersey are relatively generous; covering families with three-and-a-half times the poverty level or $60,000 a year for a family of three. Molina's kids would still be covered if they lived there.

But she's in Colorado where the upper limit is just over $34,000 a year. Molina makes a bit more than that so Bernadette and Joseph have lost their S-Chip coverage.
BTW, when did $60,000 a year start being considered working poor?!?!

Ms. Ravner's report goes on to highlight Ms. Molina's tearful recollection of having to deal without the coverage and testimony at a Congressional subcommitte hearing:

(Ms. Molina): My son came home with kind of a fever and a stomach flu. If I would have had S-Chip then I could have taken him right away. But instead I had to wait...that was hard. Wait and see if it was going to get worse. Parent's shouldn't have to make those type of choices.

(Ms. Rovner): Molina was in Washington to testify at a U.S. House Subcommitte hearing. She told the panel she's looked into buying private insurance for her children, but it's more than she can afford; $200 to $300 a month.

(Ms. Molina): I don't have that. You know, that would take away from other things. That's two weeks worth of groceries. How can we not work hard to cover our children? We work hard! I'm a single mother. And I'm proud of that. And because I'm so proud that's why it makes it so difficult...
Just how does a "single mother" get invited to testify at a U.S. House Subcommitte hearing? (Her testimony (real audio), text)

Well, it turns out that Ms. Molina is more than just a single mother. She's also an activist and chairperson of the Denver- based Metro Organizations for People; a fact that Ms. Rovner does not (oh-so conveninently) mention in her report.

Ms. Molina has actually been in the news quite a bit of late. Like in the

Here's another question Ms. Rovner didn't explore. Ms. Molina states that she manages the building. Does her employer offer any type of health insurance?...We'll try to track that down for you...

As Drudge would say....developing.

Update: State Children's Health Insurance Program: When do federal benefits start becoming an economic disincentive?



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