New ideas “crop up” as alternatives to health care reform

You may have heard in recent days that a Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, Sue Lowden, proposed bartering chickens for health care. Not to be outdone, Rep. Mike Bell (R – Riceville), who voted this session to nullify national health care reform with the “Health Freedom Act,” suggested uninsured Tennesseans pay doctors not with poultry, but with vegetables.

His idea was so a-maizing that the Rachel Maddow Show picked up on it and featured Lowden and Bell’s ideas on the April 22 show. Click here to view the priceless clip.

You also can read a brief transcript below of the exchange between Rep. Bell and Rep. Joe Towns (D – Memphis) as Bell explains his proposal:

Bell: They’re [the Mennonites] some of the healthiest people you have ever seen. They pay cash when they go to the doctor. They work out arrangements with the hospitals if their children have to be hospitalized. This is an individual choice that we’re talking about.

Towns: You’re saying they pay cash? For organ transplants and cancer and heart cases, they pay cash?

Bell: I said they pay cash or work out other arrangements. I know for a fact. I know someone in the medical field who has been paid with vegetables from the Mennonite community.

Towns: That’s an anomaly. That’s not how the system works. I can’t take a sack of vegetables down to the utility company and pay my utility bill on my house. Nobody’s going to take vegetables for payment. We can’t run the country on vegetables and horse trading.

We think Tennesseans should take Rep. Bell up on his idea. If he knows of doctors who are willing to trade health care for vegetables, he should let us know! Click here to send him an email, describe your ailments, let him know what you can afford to pay in vegetables, and ask him to find you a doctor willing to accept the arrangement. If he gets back to you, please share his response with us! And if he doesn’t…well, maybe he’s just “full of beans.”

Once you’re done, post this on Facebook, tweet about it, and forward this message to your friends so Rep. Bell can see just how many people would like to take him up on his “solution” for an affordable health care in Tennessee.

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