Sue Lowden, a senate candidate in Nevada, says if you want to combat health care costs you should consider bartering with your doctor. In an appearance on a local political talk show yesterday, she clarified her proposal:
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 the old days of what people would do to get health care from their doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system.
You can watch the entire segment over at the Nevada Newsmakers website.
The Economist blog notes that bartering might be a solution to financial-sector reform as well:
It would be virtually impossible to structure a chicken-based CDO; sure, you could find buyers for the breast tranche easily enough, but who would take all those necks and feet? Leverage rules become much less necessary when you can only hedge with items that actually exist; it’s hard to imagine the notional value of chicken-based hedges greatly exceeding the number of actual chickens on the planet. And all this could be accomplished without any new taxes.
At any rate, I think doctors might be more open to this idea if they can then use the chickens to pay off their student loans.
“Paying with chickens” [Economist]