The Assassinated Press

Sue Lowden’s Genius 'Cluckers for Care' Barter Plan for Health Reform.
AMA Rushes to Endorse Lowden's Plan.

By BOB MCDONNELL
Special to the Assassinated Press
4/21/10

I am a private contractor living in Richmond, Virginia. I'm 46 years of age. My family does not have health insurance. Recently, I was rushed to the hospital with pains in my chest. There I was told I needed triple bypass surgery and that the cost would be $48,000.00.

I do not have that kind of money. I had to sell my truck to make good on my emergency room bill and two days in the hospital. So I was particularly intrigued by Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s suggestion that we use the barter system to pay for our health care.

I immediately began to do the math required to pay for my triple bypass surgery using chickens as currency as Ms. Lowden suggests. With raw packaged chicken in the Virginia area retailing on average $1.09 a pound it seemed obvious that starting a chicken farm to pay for my surgery would in the long run be the more economical way to go given that my chickens would be provided essentially wholesale. But soon the start up coats-- land, sheds, feed, feeders, lights etc. showed that approach to be untenable.

I realized that the start up costs of a chicken farm to pay for my surgery was not a practical solution. But my confidence in Ms. Lowden's plan never waivered. I'd simply have to go retail. At $1.09 a lb. and with the average chicken weighing 3 lbs. 10 ounces, the breakdown of chicken to surgery looks something like this:

Cost for Primary Surgeon: 3000 chickens
Secondary Surgeon: 2800 chickens
Anesthesiologist : 1850 chickens
Nurses: 1000 chickens
Recovery room nurse: 320 chickens
Two week hospital stay: 7,000 chickens
Medication: 3000 chickens
Physical Therapy: 1500 chickens

It became clear that Jim Perdue and Tyson CEO Dick Bond are perhaps the only two people in America that could afford Suzy Lowden’s poultry barter driven health care plan. And since Reagan era laws make Federal taxes on barter a requirement even the nation’s two largest chicken producers may demure from putting Ms. Lowden’s imaginative plan into action.

I thought briefly of arranging a loan for a Popeye's or KFC franchise and then defrauding the bank and turning over all the chicken to my surgeons and the hospital, but I soon abandoned this plan. It was easier to eat the fast food chicken and die. Also, what’s a surgeon to do with all of those chickens? And one can only imagine what the hospital menu would look like if Ms. Lowden’s plan went into effect.

Under this barter system, doctors’ houses would be painted on a biweekly basis. Doctors would be forced to purchase fleets of cars so that mechanics with stints and valves could tune them every other day to pay down their debt. And the average hysterectomy would cost 4000 coconut custard pies.

It has also been suggested to me that under Lowden's plan I could barter a kidney for the heart operation and that perhaps both procedures could be done simultaneously. I'm still considering my options.


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