Huffpost Politics

Sue Lowden Defends 'Chickens For Checkups' Proposal

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Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden on Tuesday defended her claim that a "chickens for checkups" barter system would be an effective alternative to the recently-passed health care reform bill.

She also said her original comments on the proposal were taken "way out of context."

Lowden, who is seeking to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, explained her previous statementin an interview with a local news outlet in Nevada:

"The truth of the matter is there is bartering going on in this state and in the country. It has been going on for years and it was a casual statement talking about the reality of what's going on, and not in a negative way by the way. This is something -- you know when I talk about bartering like you said it's also bargaining for the price, asking doctors if there's a different price if you're paying cash or paying by check. We know this is going on."

Lowden also blamed the Reid campaign for focusing too much attention on the comments she made about bartering during an event with voters in a rural Nevada town.

"The only thing that was taken out of that one-hour conversation was about thirty seconds was about bartering," Lowden said in the interview. "They took it way out of context."

Last week Lowden's campaign made a strong push for a chicken-for-checkups-style proposal as sound health care policy.

HuffPost's Nick Wing reported:

Lowden's campaign sent a letter to the Las Vegas Review-Journal Wednesday defending her stance and providing a testimonial of "Robin L. Titus, M.D." who claims that he has "bartered with patients -- for alfalfa hay, a bath tub, yard work and horse shoeing in exchange for my care." Her campaign has also been circulating an extensive background document explaining the perks of bargaining with your health care provider.

In light of Lowden's "chickens for check-ups" blunder, the Democratic Party of Nevada is having some fun with the Republican candidate's health care proposal at her own expense by holding a contest to highlight "how ridiculous the plan really is." Democratic supporters are being encouraged to submit funny videos to help make the case. Here's an excerpt from the announcement of the contest posted on the state party's website:

By now you've probably heard about GOP Senate candidate Sue Lowden's health care plan for Nevadans: bring your doctor a chicken or offer to paint his house. It's the revolutionary Chickens for Checkups plan, which has made Lowden a laughingstock across the nation.
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But, if Chickens for Checkups, Cluckers for Chemo, or Hens for Healthcare doesn't seem realistic for your family - I mean, how many of us have livestock handy for trading? - then here's a contest that you'll love.
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The Nevada State Democratic Party wants to see which supporter can make the best funny video highlighting how ridiculous Lowden's Chickens for Checkups plan really is.

Listen to Lowden walk back on her "Chickens For Checkups" claim here.

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