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Tilting at Windmills

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April 21, 2010

CHICKENS FOR CHECKUPS.... This week, Sue Lowden (R), the leading Republican Senate candidate in Nevada, reiterated her odd beliefs about the health care system. "I'm telling you that this works," she explained. "You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor.... Doctors are very sympathetic people. I'm not backing down from that system."

Greg Sargent reports that the DSCC is launching a new website today -- called "Chickens for Checkups" -- lampooning the conservative Republican candidate for her ridiculous approach to health policy.

There's little downside in putting up a quick and dirty Website on this kind of stuff, since it doesn't cost much of anything. Dems want to turn Lowden's chicken chatter into a symbol of GOP unwillingness to embrace real solutions to people's problems. There's a lot of whacky stuff out there, so it's never easy to predict what can break though into the national cable conversation, but Dems are hoping this one has national viral potential and even a shot at getting cable coverage.

I can never guess correctly what'll become a big story -- why so much of the media is leaving John Ensign alone is still a mystery to me -- but Lowden the Laughingstock seems like it has legs (or wings, as the case may be).

High-profile candidates for statewide office just don't offer their opponents this kind of opportunity very often. With Nevada's leading GOP candidate describing a livestock-for-care dynamic, Democrats have been handed an even more delightful gift than the RNC spending donor money at a bondage-themed nightclub.

I still think there's a potential for national significance, too, if other Republican officials and candidates are asked whether they agree with Sue Lowden's "bring a chicken to the doctor" health care plan.

Either way, though, Dems aren't hesitating to pounce on this one.

Steve Benen 11:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (60)

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Comments

When Republicans are as noble as Atticus Finch, I'll believe their policy proposals are serious! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Has anyone asked Lowden how many chickens she has traded for medical care? Or, if not chickens, just what she has bartered for what medical services? Or, if she's not done this herself (she probably has good insurance), how many documented examples can she cite of other people doing this? That is, people doing this recently, not just in "olden times."

Posted by: ambivalentmaybe on April 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

My doctor is a vegetarian.

Posted by: exlibra on April 21, 2010 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Chickens for checkups, Micro chip prevention, birther bills, And these are the people who are going to regain the majority in congress?

Posted by: Atlliberal on April 21, 2010 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps the Dems can get some traction by making this their reply to the death panels canard, the difference being that this one is true.

Posted by: davidp on April 21, 2010 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Sure sign that the woman's been playing too much FarmVille lately. Anybody check her Facebook page??

Posted by: Michigoose on April 21, 2010 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the RNC will squawk about this web site?

Posted by: Bill on April 21, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK


why so much of the media is leaving John Ensign alone is still a mystery to me

How can this be a mystery? It's because he's a republican-sheesh, that's not hard to figure out.

Posted by: bobbyk on April 21, 2010 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Has anyone interviewed anyone from the American Medical Association and asked how their members feel about the Republican proposal that they be paid for services with chickens, casseroles, fresh eggs or crocheted blankets?

Lowden has accidentally tripped over one of the factors which keep costs high in our health care system -- the current payment scheme by which doctors are reimbursed.

Wouldn't it be great if Republicans actually suggested a practical and reasonable new scheme for paying and educating them?

Hahahaha.

I'm not going to hold my breath.

Posted by: karen marie on April 21, 2010 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Well, there was a time when poor people could barter for health care, with chickens, ducks, meals, personal services, hand knitted goods, whatever they could get their hands on.

Of course, in those days, doctors would accept such items in payment for their services. If things were still the same way today, then Ms. Lowden's point would not be so obnoxiously tone deaf.

Many of us would find it most helpful if hospitals and doctors accepted bartered items/services instead of demanding cold, hard cash.

Posted by: getaclue on April 21, 2010 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Emily Dickinson wrote that "Hope is the thing with feathers..."

So now health care is the thing with feathers?

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on April 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Does the DSCC have a response prepared for when a cadre of doctors who support Lowden endorse her view? It will surely happen. They should be ready.

Posted by: doubtful on April 21, 2010 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Chickens for checkups, Micro chip prevention, birther bills, And these are the people who are going to regain the majority in congress? Posted by: Atlliberal

This may be our strongest way to minimize the enthusiasm gap. Non-wingnuts need to understand just what the government could look like after a low turnout election. Its pretty scary stuff.

I wonder if the RNC will squawk about this web site? Posted by: Bill

Let 'em. We'll just tell 'em to go cluck themselves.

Posted by: zeitgeist on April 21, 2010 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

The only kind of doctor who would want you to bring a chicken these days is the kind who lights candles, sprinkles powder, and does a spirit dance to "heal" you.

I think the problem here is Lowden took that teabagger Obama-as-witch-doctor sign not as satire, but as an actual suggestion for a solution to fixing health care.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 21, 2010 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

She has been a teacher and a TV reporter/ anchorwoman. One wonders if she would have accepted chickens in leu of a paycheck.

Posted by: Big Red on April 21, 2010 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Chickens for Checkups is fun, but doesn't cut far enough into the right wing desire to turn back the clock - or more accurately, calendar. With that in mind, I prefer a slogan like Livestock for Leeches. We can all go back to that happier day, with historically accurate health care!

Posted by: JoeW on April 21, 2010 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Every American family should have a flock of pullets as a safety cushion in hard times.

Posted by: Al on April 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Given long-standing GOP fiscal and economic policy, I wouldn't be surprised if their long-term goal is to return us to a barter economy.

Posted by: Jon on April 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Anthem just denied my appeal of a $15,000 bill for reattaching the tendons in my left wrist which were cut by a broken vase at an otherwise lovely wedding last May. Unfortunately, I have no chickens.

Posted by: Nic on April 21, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Ridicule is a double-edged sword, of course. That's why Harry Reid is in such deep trouble. Pretty much all of talk radio is an extension of that idea: laugh at Negroes, mock environmentalists, lampoon feminists, etc. At the moment, liberals depend on comedians for their mock-back (as it were). We need to do this thing better than we are.

Posted by: walt on April 21, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that this idea, "Chickens for Checkups" aims too low. You need something like this:


For Sue Lowden, it's not enough for you to pay your health insurance bill.

"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.' I mean, that's the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors."

Now, she wants you to be your doctor's personal servant.
Tell Sue Lowden that you've done enough. You won't be your doctor's maid...or worse. Vote for Harry Reid, and stand up to Sue Lowden's plans for indentured servitude to the health industry.

Posted by: Sisyphus on April 21, 2010 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Question - would sex be an acceptable good/service?

Cheap whores don't charge that much so it would take them a loooong time to pay off a doctors debt but high class prostitutes charge much more (and take less mattress time) so you get more bang (no pun intended) for your *uck.

Posted by: ET on April 21, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Chickens for Checkups"

Cows for Cat-Scans!

Sorry...couldn't...help.....it.................

Posted by: S. Waybright on April 21, 2010 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

See she doesn't actually believe it.....

(read to appropriately schmaltzy muzak)
This hearkens back to "simpler" days.It makes people feel better, it is something that evokes a picture in their head. Before government got involved with daily life. When GPs were the doctor.
(end schmaltzy muzak)

And then welcome to reality.....
How many doctors are GPs? Not as many as "the good ole days."
How many doctors would accept this? Not Many. Brain surgeons? heart surgeons? other specialists? I doubt it. It would take a whole lot of chickens (or whatever) to pay back one of these if they accepted (which I doubt).

Posted by: ET on April 21, 2010 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

...And this just in from my 12-year-old:

Old MacDonald broke his legs;
Eee-yi, ee-yi, o.
He tried to pay the bill with eggs;
Eee-yi, ee-yi, o.
The surgeon said, "You're kidding me!"
(He took both legs off at the knee.)
Old MacDonald walks no more;
Ee-yi, ee-yi, o....................

Posted by: S. Waybright on April 21, 2010 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

I really think that most Republicans imagine that everyone was a farmer/rancher before their lifetimes; oblivious to the fact that for over ninty years a majority of Americans have been urbanites.

I can guarantee that none of my grandparents ever paid their doctors in livestock.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on April 21, 2010 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if that doctor in Florida (I think that's where he is) who refuses to treat liberal patients will start taking chickens instead of cold hard cash?

Posted by: MarkJ on April 21, 2010 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

"why so much of the media is leaving John Ensign alone is still a mystery to me"

That may be true, but TPM is reporting "Last quarter, Sen. John Ensign raised $50. I'm not abbreviating $50,000. He raised $50. In two contributions from one guy."

Someone is getting the word from somewhere that this guy is toxic. The media perhaps ??
-----------------------------
Back to the post, does Sue Lowden realize that chickens and pigs aren't very sanitary and that bringing one to a doctor just might get you thrown in jail for endangering other patients, especially if the doctors in a hospital.

What in the hell is a doctor going to do with a chicken, take it to the gym for a months membership, maybe the dry cleaners, because I doubt there are too many doctors that can actually dress a chicken for consumption.

Posted by: ScottW714 on April 21, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

I can never guess correctly what'll become a big story -- why so much of the media is leaving yet another Republican scandal alone is still a mystery to me...
-------------------

Now it's a macro -- you can use it anytime! Enjoy!

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on April 21, 2010 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Since the not particularly good old days, medical care has gotten a lot more expensive and chickens have gotten a lot cheaper--the "chicken in every pot" slogan was actually a promise of affluence.

It might be worth doing a graphic showing how many chickens it would take at prevailing prices to pay off a routine birth.

Posted by: john sherman on April 21, 2010 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Someone ought to donate and deliver a couple of crates of live past-their-prime egg layers to the Lowden campaign and ask for a receipt.

Posted by: ringrid on April 21, 2010 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK
Well, there was a time when poor people could barter for health care, with chickens, ducks, meals, personal services, hand knitted goods, whatever they could get their hands on.

That was the same time doctors treated most diseases with leaches, right?

Posted by: a different phil on April 21, 2010 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

But if you trade in your chickens, you won't be able to make chicken soup! What kind of medical advice is that?

Posted by: jrosen on April 21, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

This would only work if you can pay off your student loans with chickens.

Posted by: Dave on April 21, 2010 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Dead Dog walking

ScottW beat me to it. An updated link to that Ensign donation:
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/04/sole_ensign_donor_all_men_are_dogs.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: Bruce Webb on April 21, 2010 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

You can have my chicken when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Posted by: Cazart on April 21, 2010 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: Because he was a goddamn socialist.

Posted by: Cazart on April 21, 2010 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the thing... this probably won't hurt this candidates chances. Now she can point to how the liberal bullies pooh-poohed her health care reform idea and she'll raise tons of cash from senseless fools. The better response is to say, she's not serious and she doesn't really believe this. Then, she either defends this to death (and keeps doing so, hopefully until she's lost the election) or calls Harry Reid a fairy or something. She's the one who's really joking about this... not us liberals.

Posted by: philonius on April 21, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

What is really strange is that Lowden lives in a world where all the poor people own chickens and can trade them for goods and services. Who actually has crap to barter? A large majority of the population lives in cities and most people buy dead chickens, not raise live ones.

How disconnected can she actually be?

Posted by: superking on April 21, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Well, there was a time when poor people could barter for health care, with chickens, ducks, meals, personal services, hand knitted goods, whatever they could get their hands on."

Yes just as there was a time when people set out collection jars on store counters and had community bake sales to raise money for that operation for that family whose father got laid off just as their mother was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Oh SHIT! That was like LAST week in about a thousand small towns around the country, including one near you!

Rallying around a sick family in your community should be about taking the kids off their hands for the day, or bringing them meals, not about trying to beat the Reaper to their door raising money for some operation after their lifetime limit ran out (if they had insurance to start with). But who among us hasn't seen a one-gallon jug with a picture of some local kid.

It is a pretty crappy thing when "Only in America!!" means denying life-transforming operations to little children.

Posted by: Bruce Webb on April 21, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the RNC will squawk about this web site? Posted by: Bill

Let 'em. We'll just tell 'em to go cluck themselves.

Posted by: zeitgeist

ROFLMAO

Posted by: Schtick on April 21, 2010 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK
This hearkens back to "simpler" days.It makes people feel better, it is something that evokes a picture in their head.

It also-- this is important, really the core of GOP marketing efforts-- flatters them. They may not have much money or a stable job with benefits, but they can by-God fix that fancy-pants doctor's car, can't they?

I doubt there are too many doctors that can actually dress a chicken for consumption.

Well, to be fair, doctors are usually pretty good at cutting & separating body parts.

Posted by: latts on April 21, 2010 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Please think back to the Virginia Senate Race of 2006 where much was made of George Allen's "Macaca moment". Someone with some brains saw that go wide on the intertubes and it helped lead to Allen's defeat to Jim Webb.

Why is the idiocy of Lowden's remark not being seen front and center on the 'tubes???

On a slightly related note, I am the proud owner of a gorgeous oil painting of an ocean sailing ship - four masts, I think - that was painted for my grandfather, who was a urologist in Chicago during the Depression as payment for care rendered. The ship's name is the "Suark", which is my grandfather's name - Kraus - backward.

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on April 21, 2010 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Well said, Bruce Webb.

Posted by: RR on April 21, 2010 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

[...] who among us hasn't seen a one-gallon jug with a picture of some local kid. -- Bruce Webb, @13:01

It *used to* be like that in my town, several years ago. But it's gone way past that, what with people losing their insurance in droves on the one hand and losing their jobs (hence having less money to help out a neighbour) on the other. So, these days, the only gallon-jugs with money in them are designated for the Free Clinic, which has seen a 38% uptick in patients seen in just the last year (meanwhile, our little Bobby McD has slashed some funds from us).

Posted by: exlibra on April 21, 2010 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Game on! The poor woman has delivered herself into Reid's hands. Give me a camera, six chickens, and a guy in a white lab coat, and I will deliver a dozen 30-second TV spots that will have America (and maybe even Nevada) rolling on the floor.

(LOL, CAZART)

Posted by: buddy66 on April 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Anthem just denied my appeal of a $15,000 bill for reattaching the tendons in my left wrist which were cut by a broken vase at an otherwise lovely wedding last May

Whole chickens are on sale at my local grocery store for a dollar a pound, and they seem to be mostly in the 5-8 pound range. So, to get a tendon reattached, you'd need at least a couple of thousand chickens, and probably more. Meanwhile, your doctor has to retire from the practice of medicine to devout himself full time to chicken ranching.

Posted by: rea on April 21, 2010 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

And let's not forget that in Nevada, "Chicken Ranch" has a whole other meaning.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_Ranch_(Nevada)

Posted by: efgoldman on April 21, 2010 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

If you present a chicken at the hospital as payment, does the chicken have to present its insurance card?

Will hospital collection agencies accept chickens as payment?

Will candidate Lowden accept chickens as campaign contributions?

I think I'll purchase every effing chicken in the country and have them delivered to her home and campaign office as barter in exchange for her promise not to gut the healthcare bill if elected.

I'll bet any number of chickens won't matter to this murderous republican zombie.

Posted by: John Thullen on April 21, 2010 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

My wife is barely interested in politics, and to the extent that she is she's much more conservative than I am. But when I told her about this she nearly fell out of her chair laughing.

"I'll pay you a cow and three chickens for a triple bypass."

Posted by: AndrewBW on April 21, 2010 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

I tried my best, but Thullen wins.
As usual.

Posted by: efgoldman on April 21, 2010 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

S. Waybright, your 12-year-old clearly has both more wit & more messaging sense than almost all the Congressional Dem's combined.

Posted by: smartalek on April 22, 2010 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

but Lowden the Laughingstock seems like it has legs (or wings, as the case may be).

I imagine if any doctors are accepting barter, they'll haggle a price between breasts and thighs.


Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on April 22, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Are we rushing to judgment?

Maybe the solution is to pay doctors chicken feed!

But how do we get Big Pharma to work for scratch?

Support ChickenCare: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=119828144699328

Posted by: rewinn on April 23, 2010 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

It sounds like Socialism to me: From each according to her means, to each according to her needs. Maybe we should embrace this candidate into the fold?

Posted by: Andy on April 24, 2010 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Choose Chickens..." - Naven Man.

Posted by: Tim on April 24, 2010 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly this nutjob has no clue what doctors are like. There are several physicians in our family and most are very concerned about their bottom line. It has become more and more about the money, which is why so many prefer to be specialists instead of internists or family practice docs. The AMA fought government reform for years because they saw it as a threat to their incomes. It was only the insurance companies started controlling them and squeezing them financially that they have agreed to support reform.

Posted by: BernieO on April 25, 2010 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

wall - about them chickens - only ones being raised in the usa anymo are factory farm birds - caint stand up, covered in their own excrement - hardly any of us little guys left - but if the candidate wins, ah'll be happy to pay her annual salary with a truck load of manure - about what her idea deserves - (p.s. most physicians practice hundreds of hours of uncompensated care, service for all y'all - ever try to get a lawyer to not charge you for a phone call or a family conference on a dying relative? thought not - )

Posted by: farmer andy on April 25, 2010 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

I would really have a problem under Chicken Sue's plan. I the following 1]asthma---treated by my gp) Deafness ---treated by an audiologist 3) blindness treated by an opthalmologist 4) Carcdiac problems treated by a heart specialist 5) High blood pressure treated by my g.p.6) foot problems---treated by a podiatrist On top of all that, I live in a suburban town that won't allow animals to be raised in a residential zone, except for family pets, which brings up another problem---when my little dog needs medical care (she's an expensive little mutt, she sees a veterinarian. I don't think I could possibly raise enough chickens to pay any of my medical expenses , unless I was Frank Perdue.

Posted by: Don Berghuis on May 13, 2010 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

I like this data shown and it has given me some sort of desire to have success for some reason, so thank you.

Posted by: What is Rent to Own on January 10, 2011 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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