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Lowden's campaign chief: Everyone has access to health care -- at emergency room

Okay, chickens-for-checkups has taken another new turn: Sue Lowden's campaign manager has now said that all Americans already have access to health care -- because if you get shot in the chest, you can simply head over to the emergency room.

This will make it easier for Dems to argue that there's a serious ideological reality underlying all the joking about Lowden's proposal, since disavowed, to bring down health care costs with barter: Lowden doesn't have any real plan to fix our health care mess.

Robert Uithoven, Lowden's campaign chief, made the claim on Nevada columnist Jon Ralston's TV show:

Asked if all Americans should have access to health care, Lowden's campaign chief answered:

They do. If I have a bullet hole in my chest, I can go down to UMC and I'm gonna get health care.

UMC is the University Medical Center, the only publicly run hospital in Las Vegas. No word on whether people who have been shot in the chest should grab a chicken en route to the hospital in hopes of using it to purchase better treatment.

Uithoven stuck by the quote when I reached him, insisting he was merely answering the question literally, not saying we should do nothing to improve American's access to health care.

Uithoven, who said his wife works in an emergency room, continued that the real way to improve accessibilty was not with the Dems' reform proposal and the individual mandate but by bringing down costs. "If you make it more affordable, it becomes more accessible," he said.

Still, in this context, it's worth pointing out again that even though Lowden did finally walk back chickens for checkups, she did clearly suggest twice that Americans should barter with their doctors to bring down costs. She suggested it as a policy idea. And Dems will seize on this latest from her campaign manager to feed the narrative that Lowden is fundamentally unserious about solving our health care problem -- and to remind everyone that her campaign is still struggling to put this to rest four weeks later.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 3, 2010; 6:10 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Health reform , Senate Dems  
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