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A Chicken in Every Waiting Room

When I first heard of Sue Lowden’s suggestion that commoners should pay for health care with chickens, I thought it was an exaggeration, that she must be quoted out of context:

“In the olden days, 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.”

Then I watched the YouTube video, and found she was taken in context. She wasn’t specifically, literally suggesting that you, personally, pay for health care with chickens, but she was openly advocating turning national health care into a barter system. So then I thought she must have spoken inarticulately, that in the heat of the moment in front of the cameras, she spouted some gobbledygook that might reveal her true sentiments, but which she intended to come out differently.

But no, when she said she wasn’t backing down from that system, it was after taking heat for expressing the same idea ten days earlier, at a forum in Mesquite. This was a considered restatement, and she’s serious. She wants you to know she aims to abandon health care to a medieval institution.

Yeah, I just bet some doctor is going to be happy to accept a flock of chickens in exchange for your kidney operation, or three hours’ math tutoring for his kids in exchange for an ear exam. They’re very sympathetic people, and the eggs will go a long way to covering tuition loans. As I recall from my history lessons, in the olden days what people generally did when they got sick was die. I don’t think I want to go back to that system. Nor does Lowden. She just wants you to go back to that system, because she’s rich and doesn’t feel like participating in the tax system that keeps the country running.

A little extra surfing turned up that Lowden is insulated from the need to barter; she and her husband own $50 million in casino stock. Also, that she chaired the Nevada Republican Party’s decision abruptly to close and relocate its own presidential convention upon discovering that too many Ron Paul had showed up, endangering McCain’s stately endorsement. And she’s expected to trounce Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010.


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