Lowden Comments Draw Ridicule

Posted April 21, 2010 at 3:41pm

Do you have the vapors but all you can pay a doctor is 15 bolts of cotton cloth? Write Sue Lowden. At least that’s what the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is asking people to do.

The DSCC seized on a comment Lowden (R), a Senatorial challenger to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), made during a local television interview suggesting an “old-timey solution for a modern problem,” as the committee puts it. The product: a Web site called Chickens for Checkups.

“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,” Lowden said on the Nevada Newsmakers show Monday. “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.”

Now the DSCC is encouraging supporters to “write a letter to Sue Lowden with your ailment and what you’re willing to trade, and we’ll make sure she gets it. It’s just like the good old days!”

“Dear Sue,” the letter reads. “I recently heard about your bright idea that people should barter goods and services for healthcare, so I was hoping you could help me find a physician.”

A drop-down menu of ailments allows users to choose from rickets, scurvy, ill humours, the vapors, bloodletting, gout, consumption, pox, lumbago, quinsy or swamp fever.

A payment menu allows a choice from 10 chickens, 2 goats, indentured servitude, 50 bushels of barley, 10 acres and a plow, 15 bolts of cotton, mineral rights, three cow-calf pairs, five sets of overalls, a new log cabin, soddie or a ranch hand.

“Thanks for coming up for such a simple solution to a complicated problem!” the letter ends.