Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pay Your Doctor With a Live Chicken!

That is what the leading candidate from the party of Hoover for the senatorial election in Nevada is advocating:
"Let's change the system and talk about what the possibilities are. I'm telling you that this works. You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I'll paint your house. [That's] what people would do to get health care with their doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I'm not backing down from that system."
That was a system called "bartering". Bartering largely went away when "money" was invented about seven thousand years ago, because it was pretty darn inconvenient to have to carry around a bag of squawking chickens or a few bushels of wheat every time you needed to buy something. (If only they had invented the MasterCluck card!)

So here is my proposal: If you live in Nevada and if Sue Lowden's fundraisers call you for a donation, send her a chicken.


SkinnyDennis said...

Interesting idea, the chicken thing.
My dad used to have a radio repair business in the 40's. Sometimes he'd get paid by chicken. However on tax day I don't think he tried to forward it on the Uncle Sam. Or pay a highway toll with one - imagine stuffing one into the coin chute. If one whole chicken is too much, do you get eggs in change?

Cujo359 said...

I wish I could pay with a chicken. Even wrapped up in plastic and sitting in the poultry department, a whole chicken couldn't be worth a tenth what a doctor's appointment costs.

Justin Buist said...

A good honest doctor will work with a patient on price if that's what's needed. I myself received some surgery when I was 4 (1984) well below market cost because we were poor and the doc was just coming into his own. He got a surgery under his belt, I got the ability to see. Win-win. Still wasn't cheap, $5k out of pocket when my parents only made $10k after taxes that year.

And bartering isn't dead either. I've traded IT services for retired networking equipment in the past with an ISP. A few years back my old man was approached by a furniture store that wanted to give away pansies with every visit. He quoted them two prices, one for a small plant that wasn't all that much in looks and another for what he thought they would rather give away. They couldn't afford the good one with their budget, but dad did happen to be in the market for some luxury theater seating at the time. They got the good plants and he got 5 leather recliners for his media room. Another win-win.

Sometimes it works out that way, but I certainly don't want my reps in government relying on it. Bartering and negotiation are a fallback when all other options just don't work.

Comrade Misfit said...

Bartering is not dead, true, but to suggest that barter can be a significant part of getting health care costs under control is crazy talk.