Apologies in advance for the high volume of Nevada-related stories today, but this couldn't be passed up. A couple of weeks ago, a video made the rounds online of Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden suggesting that one way to deal with soaring health-care costs is to barter with your doctor. Predictable laughter from political bloggers ensued. But then a strange thing happened. The Lowden campaign didn't backtrack. It didn't claim the line was taken out of context a tactic often used whether or not it has any credibility at all. It didn't claim she'd misspoken (some suspected she simply meant "haggle"). Instead, it doubled down.
Speaking to a local newspaper yesterday, Lowden said:
"I'm telling you that this works. You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I'll paint your house," she said. "[That's] what people would do to get health care with their doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people."
"I'm not backing down from that system," she added.
Hey, if it worked for the Great Depression, it's got to be a good system for right now. But don't just take Sue Lowden's word for it. What about a real doctor, one who has bartered so often that it's clear he'd prefer any payment except money. Luckily, the Lowden campaign found a letter to the editor from one such man, and sent it out to reporters today.
And yes, Mr. Leno [Jay Leno had apparently made a joke about this], I have bartered with patients for alfalfa hay, a bath tub, yard work and horse shoeing in exchange for my care.
There. Proof. Bartering works. Now how many bales of alfalfa hay will it take to cover our liver transplant, exactly?
Lowden Doubles Down On Health-Care-By-Barter: 'Bring A Chicken To The Doctor' (VIDEO) [TPM Election Central]
Barter background [Ben Smith/Politico]