Lowden keeps balking at chicken controversy

LOWDEN KEEPS BALKING AT CHICKEN CONTROVERSY…. Sue Lowden, the far-right Senate candidate in Nevada, seems to realize that the “bring a chicken to the doctor” matter is not only damaging, it’s also not going away. Today, she publishes a piece at Politico in the hopes of putting the feathery mess behind her.

The comment I made about bartering was not, and was never intended to be, a policy proposal. It was an example of how struggling families are working to pay for medical care in any way they can during these tough times.

On her own blog, Lowden added:

If you want to see my policy on health care reform, it has been on my web page since last year — and it remains there to this day. Nowhere in my health reform proposal do I discuss bargaining, bartering or negotiating, rather I offer real solutions that work without creating a new, government-run entitlement program that Nevadans don’t want and they cannot afford.

As walkbacks go, this might seem compelling. But at the risk of being picky, it also seems pretty wrong.

Lowden is on firm ground when she notes that her “health reform proposal” doesn’t incorporate “bargaining, bartering or negotiating.” It’s not really a “proposal,” per se — Lowden’s “plan” is really just eye-rolling palaver about tort reform and buying insurance across state lines — but let’s put that aside.

The problem is she continues to deny what is plainly true: she was presented with policy questions, asked for her thoughts on policy solutions, and twice, in front of cameras, defended bartering as a reasonable approach to health care delivery.

This isn’t a matter of opinion. Lowden was specifically asked how her approach to health care policy would differ from the new national law. She recommended, among other things, that patients “go ahead and barter with your doctor.” Lowden said, at the time, that such an approach “would get prices down in a hurry.”

When pressed on her bartering ideas a week later, Lowden said, “I’m telling you, this works…. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system.”

Now Lowden would have us believe she was just offering “an example of how struggling families are working to pay for medical care”? That’s clearly not true.

Saying ridiculous things is bad. Lying about saying ridiculous things may prove to be even worse.

Postscript: And in case the story wasn’t a big enough problem for Lowden, a left-leaning independent group is launching a very effective ad on this.