The good news for Sue Lowden's Republican Senate campaign in Nevada is that it's no longer talking about bartering, bargaining, and chickens. The bad news is, Lowden's campaign is still struggling with health care policy.
This week, the candidate's campaign manager, Robert Uithoven, was asked a straightforward question: does the campaign believe all Americans should have access to health care. He replied:
"They do. If I have a bullet hole in my chest, I can go down to UMC and I'm gonna get health care."
You know what you'll get after you "get health care"? A bill.
As the Political Animal link at the top of this post makes clear, this whole GOP "we have universal health care, it's called the emergency room" meme is as forehead-slappingly idiotic as it is common.
First of all, care delivered in the emergency department is not free. Somebody has to pay for it. Doctors and nurses don't work there gratis, and all the tests and treatments still cost something. Patching that bullet hole will involve a trip to the operating room, with a whole other set of nurses and doctors and medications and stitches and bandages and anesthesia, not to mention the care Lowden's moronic campaign manager would need as he recovered.
Further, not only does someone have to pay for all that "universal health care" people supposedly can access through the ED, but you can only get acute care there. What if, during the course of his bullet wound treatment, a chest x-ray discovers a suspicious mass that turns out to be lymphoma? Will Uithoven go to the ED for chemo or radiation? What about vaccines for his kids? EDs don't stock them.
It astounds me that so many prominent members of one of our two major parties seem to think EDs are a catch-all solution to health care problems. Quibble with the health care reform bill all you want, but don't suggest galactically stupid alternatives.