Lowden Plan Medical Chicken Calculator

Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s repeated suggestion that we go back to the barter system for health care (“in the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor, they would say I’ll paint your house”) has generated endless fun for leftie pundits and, now, some wag has generated a “Lowden Plan Medical Chicken Calculator.”

Sue Lowden Medical Chicken Calculator

Actually, the DSCC seems to have come up with the idea first but their execution was much less clever.

via Matt Yglesias’ Twitter feed

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, Health, Humor, US Politics, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Triumph says:

    I love how the east coast, Hollywood elites are trying to make Lowden’s plan into some sort of scandal.

    Unlike what the Dummocrats would lead you to believe, Lowden’s solution to dealing with health care costs is not so simplistic.

    She basically makes the sensible point that you should negotiate with your health care provider to get the best deal.

    The reason that health costs are so high is that we have not been good consumers. You need to be more savvy and responsible. The only way to do this is to assert your authority in the market and negotiate.

    I had to get knee replacement surgery a couple of years ago and I worked out a deal with the doctor where he gets to use my Daytona timeshare for a week each year, I gave the anesthesiologist one of my pairs of tickets to the Tennessee Titans game (skybox seats!). I didn’t have much left for the hospital, but I had a couple of bottles of 30-year old scotch that they were willing to take. Everything worked out swimmingly.

    America was founded on the Art of the Deal. It is good to see patriots like Lowden bringing it back–as well as personal responsibility.

    Her plan is far better than Obama’s, where a Death Panel will determine your fate.

    The people’s will? Or the government’s?

    I go with Lowden and the people every time.

  2. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Some months back, a lawyer friend needed some work done on a couple of his rifles. I needed some legal advice on setting up a living trust and will. He knew nothing about restoring rifles so I made a deal to restore both of his rifles in return for the legal advice I needed.

    It was a deal we both liked. We both got what we wanted without costing us anything but our time. Bartering is a great way to go if you can find some win-win formula between both parties.

  3. Stan says:

    When I had a heart attack ten years ago I taught the guy who implanted my stents how to use singular perturbation theory in return for 30% off on my bill. I could have had a better deal if I had thrown in some tutoring on numerical analysis, but it wasn’t worth the time.

  4. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    Bartering is great if you have a dysfunctional market, but in the USA it is trivially easy to turn your chickens into cash in the spot market. Bartering cannot solve the problem that the health-care-to-chicken cost ratio is simply too high.

  5. tom p says:

    I now call my chicken coop a “health care savings account”. I wonder what kind of tax break I will get from that?

  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    When I was in a car crash and my spine was crushed, my lungs collapsed, my retina detached, my legs shattered, and I got burns over 40% of my body I sat right down and did some hard negotiating.

    Turns out the ER doctors and nurses, the general surgeon, the lab techs, the radiologist, the drug companies, the plastic surgeon, the physical therapist, and the hospital itself just wanted me to teach them how to construct a YA book series.

    Unfortunately the anesthesiologist was kind of an asshole and wanted cash so I had to scream may way through all of the above . . .

    I know Nevada isn’t one of your real intellectual powerhouse states, but could even they be dumb enough to elect this imbecile?

    (Oh, and for Republican readers, No, I wasn’t in a crash.)

  7. Herb says:

    Bartering’s all good and great, but it’s no replacement for a currency.

  8. Robertl says:

    I’m surprised people haven’t commented on the tax implications of the barter system. People barter goods and services to avoid paying taxes as would be required with proper invoices and an exchange of currency. In Patrick McGuire’s example above, I wonder if he declared the value of the legal advice in his income or if the lawyer declared the value of the rifle repair work. Highly unlikely.

  9. lr says:


    Now that you’ve given away your time share, your Tennesee Titan tix, and your 30 year old scotch, what do you plan to do if you end up realy sick in an ICU for a few weeks with a life threatening illness. Ready to mortgage your house? What kind of car do you drive? This is not a joke. The leading cause of bankruptcy in this country is major medical illness