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Politics:

Sue Lowden stands by health care bartering plan

Image

Sam Morris

Senate candidate Sue Lowden looks out the window while she and her husband Paul Lowden travel on her campaign bus to a Lincoln Day dinner in Minden Sunday, February 21, 2010.

Updated Thursday, April 22, 2010 | 3:09 p.m.

Leno on Lowden

Sun Coverage

Democrats opened a new round of gleeful attacks as Sue Lowden, the Republican front-runner to unseat Sen. Harry Reid, again extolled the virtues of "bartering" for health care.

Lowden was recently the subject of late-night humor after saying health care costs would be lowered if health consumers paid with cash and bargained down prices with health providers. She called it "bartering," a term normally referring to a trade of one good or service for another.

Lowden defended her remarks Monday on the "Nevada Newsmakers" TV show.

"You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor, they would say I’ll paint your house," she said. "I mean, that’s the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system."

The Reid campaign, which has for months focused its attacks on Lowden, sent out a statement with the subject line: "Has Sue Lowden Lost her Mind?"

Lowden, a wealthy casino owner, has occasionally veered off message since the campaign began. The latest slip threatens to make her appear out-of-touch, which is the very attack Republicans had hoped to use against Reid.

Still, Lowden can claim a healthy lead in polls against both Reid and Republican primary opponents.

Republicans have attacked the recently passed health care reform law as an intrusive, big government solution that won't cut costs and forces people to buy insurance against their will.

Robert Uithoven, spokesman for Lowden, responded: “If people want to see Sue Lowden’s plan, it’s been on the website since November, when Harry Reid was using Nevada taxpayer dollars to bribe other senators to support his health care plan Nevadans didn’t want.” He was referring to deals Reid engineered to help the home states of senators in return for their votes for the health care legislation. The deals were later rescinded.

Uithoven added: “We’re happy to debate Harry Reid about his vision for health care reform against our vision of health care reform. He hasn’t been here much in the past 30 years, and we’re happy to bring him around to doctors who are also small businessmen and businesswomen and have them explain to Reid how they negotiate lower prices to avoid insurance hassles and government-run health care.”

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