I know I’m pretty late in writing about this, but I was busy haggling over chickens with my OBGYN. You have no idea how many chickens it takes to pay for child birth! (approx 2166, but who’s counting?) So here it is, the Sue Lowden, chickengate, Chicken Sue, Lowdencare post …
So just in case you have been living with the chickens and hadn’t heard about Republican senate challenger (she’s running against Harry Reid) Sue Lowden’s nifty idea, here’s the scoop. She thinks that the way to address out-of-control healthcare costs is to barter goods and services with your doctor. Specifically, she thinks offering chickens for services is perfectly acceptable.
I know Lowden is an attractive former beauty queen and all but this is a real goose egg. (No semi-pun intended.) I am not sure if it is to her credit or evidence of an even greater deficit in intelligence that Lowden has come out swinging in defense of her statements (she’s said it more than once) even after it has made her a national laughing-stock. (This clip from the Colbert Report does a pretty great job of it — sorry my blog host won’t let me embed any video unless it’s youtube.) There is at least one poll showing inconclusively that this may not hurt Lowden (is that possible?). But you know how I feel about polls …
And progressive organizations have done a good job of mobilizing around this … spectacular FAIL. Progress Now Nevada, for one, has a petition you can sign (plus more great videos).
The only thing I will add to this is that talking about chickens and bartering does not make you folksy, down-to-earth, more of an “Everyman,” or like me in any way. Lowden has said she grew up in modest circumstances. Me too! I grew up poor, on welfare and food stamps, without healthcare. I was one of those kids who had to go to emergency care for ear aches because we didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford a regular doctor. And on top of that, I was born in a teeny-tiny country farm town in a very rural part of Southern Illinois. I am from the Heartland, baby. (Raised in Wasilla, Alaska after age 8, just in case you’re confused.) My people are cattle and hog farmers. (In fact, my grandmother was not only a farmer, born and raised, but also became a nurse — so I got both bases covered.) I used to go pull eggs out of the chicken roost. I know about fucking salt-of-the-earth, Midwest values, farmer-stereotype stuff. And let me tell you something, this bartering for chickens crap is just that, a bunch of manure.
I dare Sue Lowden to walk into any doctor’s office and try this bartering trick. (And she can’t do something where it’s a set-up. It has to be the real deal, no pun intended.) I dare her to feign a serious illness — let’s say cancer — and go to a healthcare provider and talk about chickens. It’s offensive. It’s offensive to the doctor. It’s offensive to real people who are suffering right now without medical care because they can’t afford it.
So Sue Lowden, I’m not going to pull any punches because I’m not a chicken. Go fuck yourself.