Chickens for checkups

Finally, after all these months of debate about health care reform and after final passage of the bill, the Republicans have come out with their own plan for paying for medical care. It is simplicity itself. Instead of money, you are supposed to offer your doctor something of value in return for his/her services. In other words, you are supposed to barter for your medical care. In the famous, and now infamous, words of Sue Lowden, Nevada's Republican candidate for the Senate, you should bring your doctor a chicken to pay for your care.

We used to keep a few hens in our backyard. They are wonderful animals and I value them, but, frankly, I don't see them paying for our medical services. The priciest hen would be valued at around $6 to $10.

My husband recently required a medical procedure the total cost of which was right around $100,000. That's a lot of chickens. I don't think our backyard could hold enough of them to pay that bill.

I wonder if the Republicans have thought of extending this innovative plan to other areas of commerce. Ms. Lowden, I understand, works for a casino in Las Vegas. I wonder if her employer would consider taking chickens from its patrons to pay for their losses at the casino.

Or perhaps the Republicans would consider taking their campaign donations in chickens instead of dollars. After all, if it's good enough for doctors, surely it's good enough for politicians.


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