In the infinite wisdom of regressive thinking that is the touchstone of conservative ideology, a solution to the runaway inflation of the healthcare system has been found. Sue Lowden, former Miss America contestant and smartest member of the GOP, proposes that we enact a barter system in which patients can trade goods for medical services. Curious as to how the industry would react to such a regression, I rushed down to South Carolina to discuss the idea with true professionals.
“Well, I guess we could work out something,” says Dr. Goldlover, a general practitioner and Porsche enthusiast. “A regular office visit could be exchanged for a wash and wax of my 959 Cabriolet.”
I pressed him about more expensive tests and procedures.
“Hmmm, I would trade a mammogram for 4,872 white or brown chickens. An appendectomy would fetch 876 heads of cattle or 2,150 pounds of potatoes. That seems reasonable to me.”
Excited about the doctor’s positive reception of the concept, I then interviewed his receptionist, Bonnie Busybody, graduate of South Carolina State Technical Community College with an Associate’s in Office Administration and local Tea Party member.
“I don’t want no socialized medical system like that spear-chuck…uh…socialist is proposing. We need a good, old-fashioned barter system like they had in the Biblical days. People lived to be hundreds of years old back then, so it must’ve worked.”
I proceeded to ask what she thought about women taking a more proactive role in GOP and Tea Party politics.
“I have a lot in common with both Sue Lowden and Sarah Palin. I was Miss Palmetto Bug three years running, and both of them were beauty queens, too. Also, all three of my daughters got pregnant as teenagers, so I understand what Mrs. Palin’s going through.”
“How do you feel about sex education in grade school?” I asked.
“Good grief, the last thing we need is to corrupt our young folk with a firm understanding of how the reproductive system works. That’ll just encourage them to have sex. Abstinence is the only policy that really works.”
And considering how successful the abstinence policy has been in reducing teenage pregnancy, I suspect the barter system will just as effective at lowering healthcare costs.