Senate candidate Sue Lowden (R-NV) is now clarifying her comments on the use of barter for health care, claiming that she was never pitching this as a real policy idea. She instead claims that she was simply describing what people in rural areas actually do — thought this doesn’t quite match up with her earlier positive statements about the practice.
Lowden appeared with local radio host Alan Stock, and said that the Democratic attacks against her for what they have called “Chickens For Check-Ups” shows that it’s Harry Reid who is out of touch. “I want to say that I know that bartering takes place here in Nevada,” said Lowden. “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.”
Lowden also seemed to be using the terms “barter” and “bargain” interchangeably: “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.”And finally, Lowden credited her own life experience as proof that negotiating with doctors can work: “Alan 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.”
Lowden spokesperson Crystal Feldman also told Greg Sargent that Lowden was not pushing barter as a serious idea. “Sue’s comment on bartering was never a policy proposal,” said Feldman, also adding that it was “an insight on how struggling families in Nevada are working to pay for medical care during these tough times.”
Of course, as Greg points out from our previous posts on the subject, Lowden originally said that “bartering is really good” and also, “go ahead and barter with your doctor.” And Lowden later dug in further: “Let’s change the system and talk about what the possibilities are. 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.”