Last week, I posted about Republican Sue Lowden, the candidate who's running for Harry Reid's seat in the U.S. Senate. She'd mentioned that it could be possible to barter for healthcare. In my original post, I put an asterix next to her name, and intended to indicate that a subsequent statement seemed to imply that she's meant "bargaining," not "bartering." Somehow -- I think because when I went back to reread her statement, I discovered that it didn't explicitly disavow the bartering idea -- I never got around to writing that caveat. Bad blogger, me.
But it's just as well. Because bartering is exactly what Lowden meant.
"Bring a chicken to the doctor."
That's her plan. That's her fucking plan. "Bring a chicken to the doctor," and hope they'll treat you.
What, exactly, would a chicken cover? How many chickens would I need for knee surgery? Should I keep oxen in my yard, just in case? How many houses do I have to paint before I can get an MRI?
Look, the good old days of country doctors who treated people, in exchange for whatever they could pay, however they could pay it, is inspirational. Atticus Finch did some of his lawyering the same way. But it's case-by-case charity, not a plan for coverage. It's not a sound basis for a healthcare system. Chickens are cheap, and medical treatment is expensive. Most poor people don't have chickens, and most doctors don't want them. It's just mind-numbingly stupid. We have money for a reason. We have insurance for a reason.
Attention, GOP. Your healthcare plan sucks. I mean, just between us chickens.