“Will these be enough chickens for an angioplasty? No. Ok, then. Can I get a couple of weeks of chemo then?”
(from <a href="www.doolittlefarmyarn.com/images/chickens.jpg"here)
Sadly, I’m not kidding. Republican candidate for Nevada’s senate seat Sue Lowden thinks bartering farm animals is a way to control healthcare costs. No, really:
A couple weeks ago our Eric Kleefeld came up with video showing Nevada Senate candidate Sue Lowden suggesting that “bartering” for medical care would be a good way to rein in spiraling health care costs.
I mocked her with the headline: “I bid three chickens for that MRI!” But I sort of figured she’d rethink that plan after her advisors sat her down for a moment and explained the concept of a cash economy or maybe if she found out what ‘barter’ meant. But it turns out that she was serious. Not just serious. She was actually thinking about payment in chickens too.
Yesterday she told a local news program: “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.”
That someone who believes in the equivalent of flat-earth economics could even run for Senate in one of the two major political parties is testimony to the power of the unholy alliance of theocrats, recidivist segregationists, and ‘free marketers.’ As John Cole put it:
Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax.
At this point, the Republican Party has, as driftglass put it, devolved from Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose into Glenn Beck’s downer cow. In the 21st century, we have someone who stands a very good chance of being a U.S. senator, who could, for instance, have the power to declare war, who ‘thinks’ that bartering farm animals will control healthcare costs.
I think it’s safe to say that she won’t be up on the nuances of modern monetary theory either…