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Bartering Chicken For Medicine Talk Emerges AGAIN, This Time In Kentucky Race

First Posted: 07/27/10 05:26 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 06:10 PM ET

Chandler

I don't know what part of "Sue Lowden's candidacy cratered the instant she suggested that chicken-bartering was a sensible option for health-care procurement" was so difficult for people to understand, but now a video has surfaced of some idiot Democrat in Kentucky -- Blue Dog health care reform opponent Representative Ben Chandler (D-Ken.) -- talking with nostalgic lament of those bygone days of swapping chickens for doctor's visits. So the GOP gets to have a turn, making fun of chicken-barter. Greg Sargent has the rooster poop:

Chandler's chickens-for-checkup moment took place in a meeting with constituents in November 2009, and was captured on video by someone present at the meeting.


In the exchange, a woman who identifies herself as a farmer objects to health reform, noting that when she was young, her family didn't have insurance and paid their own way when it came to medical care -- and that this is how it should be.

"They didn't have any kind of health insurance, they went to the doctor, and we paid for the call," the woman tells Chandler. Whereupon he nodded and replied:

"When you didn't have money, you gave him a chicken. You could barter if you didn't have enough money."

In a statement to Sargent, the Chandler campaign says, so what: "Yes, and of course before we had electricity, people burned oil lamps. Before we had automobiles, people used horse transport." None of this explains why Chandler brought this up in context of the November 2009 fight for health care reform. I suppose we're lucky no one was trying to upgrade the infrastructure of the power grid! "I remember when people just burned oil lamps! It was dim and hard to read by and extremely flammable and people liked it!"

Sargent goes on to note that Chandler's GOP opponent "plan to pounce" on this, which is interesting, given the fact that if they could convince enough people that trading capons for angioplasties was a viable alternative to paying the escalating costs of health care, they'd probably see that as a win.

No word yet on whether Kentucky will ban people dressed as chickens from polling places, to keep voters from being intimidated.

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