>Party Of No Progress

>Dear What’s Left of the Republican Party:

What century are you people living in? Bring a chicken to the doctor? Meet Nevada Republican Sue Lowden, running for Harry Reid’s seat:

Interviewer: Most people walk into a doctor’s office and the first thing they ask you for is your insurance card.

Sue Lowden: Yes they do.

Interviewer: When you make an appointment …

SL: And as soon as you say you don’t have one, “can I speak to the doctor. Can I speak to someone in charge.”

Interviewer: …they want that insurance card before you get past go.

SL: Yes of course they are used to doing that, but 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. 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.

Watch it here:

Lowden is just begging to be made fun of by the DSCC.

But I’m going to be fair to Sue Lowden and say she’s not actually telling people to bring a chicken to the doctor. She’s talking about “the old days” of what people did, and she’s trying to be all self-empowerment and “change the system” and “yes we can in a compassionate conservative way” and the reason it’s a huge fail is she doesn’t seem to know what people are already doing to get healthcare. They are filing for bankruptcy. They are cashing in their IRAs and 401(k) funds. They are filing lawsuits. They are raiding their kids’ college funds.

And of course the tried-and-true community fundraiser. The benefit concert. Or, for those not fortunate to have friends who are musicians, the pickle jar by the convenience store cash register. Such things are rare in countries not America; here, they have become so ubiquitous no one bothered to mention this staple of American life during the recent healthcare debate.

Change the system? Yeah I think we just did tried that. Your side didn’t want to play along. Now instead of no ideas, we find out your grand idea is to take the country back to the Great Depression? WTF? How do you “negotiate” on an $80,000 bill? A $150,000 one? How much is that in chickens? In house painting? For crying out loud, lady, have you looked at a hospital bill lately?

[Post updated to reflect what several commenters pointed out which is that no, we did not change the system, though many of us wanted to.]

For more insight on this story see Athenae and Atrios.

10 Comments

Filed under health insurance, healthcare, Republicans

10 responses to “>Party Of No Progress

  1. >She actually makes a very good point, which is that we should get the insurance industry OUT of healthcare as much as possible to allow for a more free-market based system.The manner in which we treat healthcare is a huge part of why costs are so high. Both government and insurance co. burecracy /middlemen are a huge part of those costs.Not to mention the inflated costs doctors charge as a direct result of the reinbursement rates they actually receive through your healthcare intermediary (insurance)

  2. >Mike, the biggest problem with the insurance companies being involved. Back when we first had "health insurance" such as Blue Cross, they were mutual insurance. Here in Cincinnati, it was known as Community Mutual. Have you seen the sort of dollar amounts that were paid out to policyholders were paid when they demutualized. The City of Cincinnati received $55 Million. I received over $1000 for my business. When companies like Blue Cross were first set up, they insured everyone at a company and the cost was spread out among the everyone. Sort of what we're now arriving at with the HCR now, although we're allowing the for profit industry to stay in the game. Personally, I would have looked for a single payer system.

  3. >"Both government and insurance co. burecracy /middlemen are a huge part of those costs."If I can believe what I've read, Government administrative costs are about 10% of what private companies take. 3 or 4 percent as opposed to 30 or 40. If Bush had succeeded in privatizing the VA, I think costs would have exploded.Yes, I think single payer would have been the best solution, but I never expected it to pass. We only get to nag our legislators, the Industry gets to buy them.

  4. >Single-Payer.From one of the Little People.

  5. >I have a nice 15" JBL musical instrument speaker from 1974 that I had reconed in 1976. The cabinet is rattle-free. It would make a nice sub bass or woofer for a 2-way or 3-way system. I also have several nice lamps and a collection of plastic horses from the 1960s.I wonder what I could get for that?Oh! The doctor is holding out for cash? Let me see, I must have something. I'd be willing to come over and do some repairs or clean or whatever. My coin collection? Let's work something out.This woman must be watching "Little House on the Prairie."

  6. >Yes, indeed, getting the government and the insurers out of the healthcare business would make it possible for doctors to not have to even SEE sick people, nevermind treat them. The VA has something like 13,000 doctors and over 50 nurses in its employee, plus another 135,000+/- employees. I can only speak for the ones I interact with or observe. They are the antithesis of a bloated bureaucracy.

  7. >"and over 50,000 nurses" that should have read.

  8. >Maybe we should let underwater mortgage holders pay off their loans in livestock and poultry. Chickens are relatively easy to raise, and they give eggs. Since so many people bought their house at the market peak and have since lost their jobs, requiring banks to accept chickens and eggs (in any order) would offer people a great way to keep their homes and get our banking system back on its feet with less of a government handout.

  9. >A "free-market system" for health care, Mike W? No thank you very much, from the rest of the world.Health care is not a business proposition, it is a service, according to everyone else. America almost uniquely sees this as a source of profit. America is exceptional, for sure. Here's something from the Huffington Post that goes a long way towards making this point. … you have to start with a fact that is usually kept obscure: Britain is a country with a large liberal-left majority. Eighty-five per cent of us say the gap between rich and poor should be "much smaller", and a majority would get there by introducing a maximum wage that caps the incomes of the rich at £135,000 a year. Fifty-eight per cent support a dramatic increase in the minimum wage. Fifty-eight per cent want to ditch Trident – an act of unilateral nuclear disarmament. Seventy-seven per cent want to bring the troops home from Afghanistan now, or within a year at the latest. Fifty-three per cent say people come out of prison worse than they go in, and would rather spend money on more youth clubs than on more prison places.A cap of about $200k per year on rich income? Anathema to the American Nightmare that enriches a miniscule proportion of the population at the expense of so many who live in poverty, unable to afford the things that are seen as basic rights by the rest of the world. And this is from a country that does not count itself as "Christian", where 4% or so attend church regularly. Seems like the spirit of Christianity has spread further and deeper in non-religious Britain than in "Christian" America. But I digress. Back to health care. It's true that the system where I live now (Japan) is far from perfect, but the faults mainly come from the "free market" capitalist approach to health care, rather than the "socialist service" approach. I'm talking here about the ownership of pharmacies by doctors and consequent over-prescription of expensive almost-placebos, the passing on of medical businesses from father to under-qualified son who buys his way through medical school, and the system that provides dentists, for example, with an almost limitless stream of income.Even so, the fact that I can have a molar tooth extracted, a temporary bridge fitted, and a permanent one produced and fitted, all for under $200, is pretty good, I think. Likewise, the cost of a full health checkup (blood, urine, stool tests, EKG, chest X-ray, barium meal, etc.) is less than $100. Would I want to live in the "free market" USA with "the best health care in the world"? No, I really cannot imagine living in a country that treats its citizens so shabbily, and still manages continually to find excuses to invade, bomb and kill the inhabitants of other countries. I'll settle for competent second-best at bargain basement prices.