Saturday, April 24, 2010

If Chickens Were Money: A GOP Health Care Reform Idea

Sue Lowden, former chair of the Republican Party in Nevada, and seeking to replace Sen. Harry Reid if she wins her primary, has been getting grilled and ridiculed for comments she has made that a barter system is the way to cut down costs for medical care -- notoriously quoted as saying that in "olden times our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor, they would say I’ll paint your house, they would do... that’s the old days of what people would do to get health care with their doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system."

Wow, our economy must really be tanking beyond the levels of the Depression from the 1930s if trading livestock or labor for medical care is seen as a viable and desirable plan.

The jokes are flying fast and furious, and there's a Facebook page wanting to provide Lowden with "one million virtual chickens". Or I suppose one could donate chickens rather than cash contributions to her campaign and she can convert those cluckers to dollars.

If you want to calculate your chicken-to-dollars abilities, a nifty calculator has been created.

Still, such weighty thinkers as those at the Wall Street Journal thinks she has a great idea which should not be dismissed:

No less an authority than the American Medical Association’s own newspaper, American Medical News, wrote about it just last year, calling it a “creative way to collect from patients during difficult economic times.”

Kaiser Health News also tipped a hat to bartering last year, reporting that “health care is surpassing auto repair and advertising as the service in most demand, say people who run local barter exchanges.” One doctor in Vermont “swapped Viagra samples for maple syrup.”

Even Lowden’s reference to livestock may not be so far off the mark. As American Medical News reported, an office manager for an orthopedics practice in Wisconsin said one doc bartered surgery for “a full cow’s worth of beef.”

All of which leads me to ask ...
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: To avoid being used to cover a pre-existing condition.

1 comment:

  1. Joe, Just discovered your blog. It's awesome, and this post is hilarious. I'm blogrolling you and I'll be back.

    ~ Kit