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Now Sue Lowden says the reaction to her Chickens for Checkups barter scheme proves how out of touch Harry Reid is:

I want to say that I know that bartering takes place here in Nevada. It takes place throughout the country and that Harry Reid has been attacking me for saying something like that and the truth is it is happening and that’s how out of touch he is.

And, Lowden adds, Reid took her out of context. (Emphasis added.)

Harry Reid has a paid operative who follows me everywhere with a camera and the one-hour conversation... The only thing that was taken out of that one-hour conversation was about thirty seconds was about bartering. They took it way out of context.

So...Harry Reid took her out of context, and that proves how out of touch he is? Sounds like she's trying to have it both ways. Let's look at what Lowden originally said (emphasis mine):

I think that bartering is really good. Those doctors who you pay cash, you can barter, and that would get prices down in a hurry. And I would say go out, go ahead out and pay cash for whatever your medical needs are, and go ahead and barter with your doctor.

And then (emphasis mine):

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, 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. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system.

It didn't stop there -- the campaign tripled down on Lowden's remarks.

And now, finally, after two weeks of ridicule, Lowden's trying to stop the mocking by attacking Reid as out of touch on barter and claiming that he took her out of context. But she wasn't taken out of context, and even now as she tries to recover, she's still defending barter.

The truth of the matter is there is bartering going on in this state and in the country. It has been going on for years and it was a casual statement talking about the reality of what’s going on, and not in a negative way by the way. This is something... you know when I talk about bartering like you said it’s also bargaining for the price, asking doctors if there’s a different price if you’re paying cash or paying by check. We know this is going on.

...frankly I grew up poor. I grew up with a single mom. We didn’t have insurance. How do you think we got our health care? I know that this has gone on for many many years.

The chickens thing is obviously the funniest aspect of Lowden's views on health care, but there is a serious point to be made about her view on restraining health care spending. Under LowdenCare, people don't need insurance. They should, as she said, "pay cash for whatever your medical needs are." Don't have cash? Then you should "go ahead and barter with your doctor." An example of barter? Bringing "a chicken to the doctor." And she's "not backing down from that system."

Lowden's ideas -- all of them on video -- might be reasonable for a handful of people with deep pockets or access to doctors willing to barter for livestock, but as a framework for dealing with health care for the vast majority of Americans it is woefully, laughably insufficient. Lowden might have political regrets about publicly stating her views, but while attacking Reid might help shore up support in the GOP primary, it isn't going to make her LowdenCare problem go away, especially when she keeps on defending barter as a realistic approach for paying for health care.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 02:50 PM PDT.

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