Monday, April 26, 2010

A Chicken In Every Plot

The next senator from Nevada suggests we can solve rising health care costs by paying with chickens. Like the good old days. A Republican dream, if ever there was one. No need for insurance: gecherself some Rhode Island Reds.

Not that I mind the idea of chickens as payment. No vegetarian, I. Given the opportunity to trade my services, I'd be happy to consider it, although for most people who couldn't afford care, I just gave it away. Actually to figure the price of an operation in terms of proffered services -- not simple. Better, I felt, to go freebie. And there are legal issues. Charging a patient less than one charges Medicare is, last time I checked, considered fraudulent, subject to monetary penalties and institutionalization. Ouch. So, either you hide the transaction (tax fraud), or you need a much bigger waiting room. And a greenback/grocery converter. Is there an app for that?

The larger problem is that, as has been pointed out, the cost of office care or even a surgeon's fee for a procedure, is a pretty small slice of the costy pie. I might take six hundred bucks' worth of chickens, especially if the giver would build me a coop, come by once in a while to twist a neck. But the price, say, of an appendectomy really turns on hospital charges; I'm guessing not many of those institutions would accept payment in poultry, or even the installation of an air conditioner.

How many chickens ought I share with my nurse? My receptionist? If I sent some along to my suppliers, would they squawk?

The funny thing is that an all-barter economy is pretty much the thing those right-wingers claim to hate: communism. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. How strange things get, when the Foxobeckian, the Bachmannopalinized among us begin to confront reality -- even their version of it. Putting forth actual ideas, as opposed simply to screaming about what Obama is doing: harder than it sounds, huh? Which, probably, is why they are so much better at the latter, and so piss-poor at the former.

At every turn, these guys are giving us chicken shit, and asking us to believe it's chicken soup.


  1. I charge less than Medicare all the time...
    You'd be surprised how many Illegal Immigrants, I mean, hardworkin uninsured, want Vasectomies, Epidural Injections, TriggerPoint injections, without all that messy paperwork...
    and I'm not above a little Chicken Tradin', infact, thats why I don't have to pay at a certain KFC until 2012...
    Now if I could just pay my malpractice insurance with Chickens...


  2. I wonder how many surgeons, GPs &c are gonna vote for this woman.

    Far too any, I fear.

    Huh - the WV isn't even trying now: "stststs"


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