21 April, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Dear Nevada,

I know you don't like Harry Reid.  He often seems about as useful as using birth control with a eunuch, and it's understandable that you might be looking for someone a bit more assertive.  I'd like that, too.  However, you have a choice this November.  And given a choice between a wet Reid and someone who believes in exchanging Chickens for Checkups, I think there's only one sensible decision:
Sue Lowden (R), the leading Republican Senate candidate in Nevada, recently articulated her vision of how the American health care system should work. At a local candidate forum, Lowden, a former state senator and chair of the Nevada Republican Party, encouraged Nevadans to "go ahead and barter with your doctor." It would, she insisted, "get get prices down in a hurry."

Lowden appeared on a Nevada news program earlier this week, and doubled down on her notion of a more effective system.

"I'm telling you that this works," the Republican candidate explained. "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."

This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard from a candidate for statewide office. If there wasn't a video, I might not even believe it. According to nearly every recent poll, Lowden is the clear favorite to defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) in November, but that was before she started talking about trading livestock for medical care. It's a permanent credibility-killer. It's one thing to be a confused, far-right candidate. It's another to be a laughingstock.
Now, this is stupid enough.  It's grade-A dumbfuckery.  But candidates say and do stupid things all the time.  The true measure of a candidate is in how they correct themselves when they've done or said something blindingly stupid.  And by that measure, as well, Sue Lowden fails miserably:
This afternoon, the Republican candidate's spokesperson told Greg Sargent that the campaign is sticking by Lowden's argument.
"Americans are struggling to pay for their health care, and in order to afford coverage we must explore all options available to drive costs down. Bartering with your doctor is not a new concept. There have been numerous reports as to how negotiating with your doctor is an option and doctors have gone on the record verifying this."
The campaign's statement went on to blame Harry Reid because, well, just because.
Yes, my darling Nevadans.  Your candidate for Senator believes that because a few compassionate doctors accept arrangements in which desperately ill people without health insurance or money do, say, yard work or auto repair in exchange for life-saving treatment, and because (supposedly) Sue's own grandparents supplied their doctor with chickens rather than checks, we should all barter for health care.  This, she believes, will control costs and provide health care for chicken farmers everywhere.  No word yet on whether cows are an acceptable substitute (I suppose it depends on the doctor's views regarding the consumption of red meat).

You can send a letter requesting Sue's assistance in finding a doctor willing to trade goods for health care services here.  There are convenient drop-down menus for your ailment and the items you wish to trade.  And there is room for a PS, in which I asked a few additional questions in order to clarify matters:
What shall I offer my doctor if he already has enough goats?  Do you think I should sell my body instead?  Would you offer sex for services?  And in that case, should we choose our doctors not on the basis of their competence but on their physical appearance?  Thank you for your advice!

I'll let you know if Ms. Lowden responds. 

Nevada, you have a decision to make this November.  If you're short on livestock and/or doctors requiring same, I'd suggest you tick the box next to Harry Reid's name.

Dana Hunter

1 comment:

Woozle said...

Hey, that would be great if I could pay off the $7k bill for my little incident last year by working for it! At my usual on-site rate of $60/hour, I'd only have to work for Duke Hospital for about 116 hours to pay it off, or just short of 3 weeks full time. Although, to be realistic, I might have to work for a much lower rate, since they have no real reason to want to hire me... at my super-low off-site rate (which I haven't worked at since 2007 because it's way below market) of $20/hour, it would take 350 hours, or nearly 9 weeks of indentured servitude.

Well... to be realistic, I'd probably have to dilute it with some paying work, since we kind of also need to have money coming in at the same time. Maybe Duke would be willing to pay me cash for half of it, and the other half goes towards the bill? In that case it would take 17.5 weeks (a little over 4 months), and I'd be earning $400/week before taxes.

Done. Where do I sign?

(Do you think I should write to Duke Health's billing department and send them this as a proposal, along with a copy of my résumé?)