Thursday, April 22, 2010


Politico's Ben Smith notes that GOP Senate candidate Sue Lowden is defending her remarks in praise of barter for medical care by sending out a press release that features positive media references to the practice.

Problem is, as you'll see if you go to the link, of the four clips quoted (from CBS News, The Wall Street Journal, and AARP Magazine), three don't mention bartering at all, using chickens or anything else -- they merely recommend trying to bargain down a high medical bill.

And the fourth? Well, it's a letter to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, from someone who says she's a rural doctor. The letter can be found here:

LETTERS: Bartering is effective in many instances

To the editor:

... As a family physician in my rural community of Smith Valley for more than 26 years, I can state from personal experience that bartering works.

... I have bartered with patients -- for alfalfa hay, a bath tub, yard work and horse shoeing in exchange for my care....

Robin L. Titus, M.D.

Lowden's memo doesn't actually give the name of the letter-writer -- probably because a quick Google search would reveal that she was, until recently, a fellow Republican candidate seeking Harry Reid's seat who is now highly supportive of anyone in the GOP who's trying to oust Reid, and who will probably remain in the GOP's candidate pool:

Dr. Robin Titus dropped out of the U.S. Senate GOP primary because she couldn't raise enough money, but she has resisted Republican efforts to get her to run against Assemblyman Tom Grady, R-Yerington. Titus said she will consider running after Grady retires following his last eligible election in 2012, or perhaps she will run for a state Senate seat.

So: Lowden's citizen-barterer is not exactly Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman -- she's just another party hack.

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