He didn’t actually say it today, but I’ll bet he wished he never said it at all:
"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."
Yeah. Good call. Let’s make the health care industry like the banking industry. NOT!
Obviously, McCain wrote this piece before this week. What’s interesting is the phrase "as we have done". Because all this week, McCain has been blaming Obama for the banking crisis.
The quote comes from a magazine article coming out this month (pdf).
Ezra Klein comments:
This, incidentally, is a pattern. Three years ago, John McCain wanted to turn Social Security over to Wall Street. One month ago, he wanted to make health insurance more like the banking industry. John McCain is a died-in-the-wool deregulator. He’s not going to come out and endorse the financial crisis, but if you press the rewind button for just a moment, and freeze frame right before the collapse, McCain was trying to give Wall Street more responsibility over pensions and paint the basket of deregulatory policies that led to the meltdown as a model for other industries. It’s why his response to the financial crisis has been so tinny and confused: The collapse is directly disproving McCain’s view of the world, and no man can replace a long-held ideology in a matter of weeks.
If the Obama folks are smart — and they are — they’ll ride this one all the way to the election. But among ourselves let’s admit that you could only be surprised by this statement if you were willfully ignorant to what McCain and his key advisors believe. Remember, his top economics advisor is former Sen. Phil Gramm, the legislative architect of the banking and financial services deregulation that led to the current crisis. And his health care proposals are all off-the-rack Heritage Foundation-style initiatives based on the premise that people have too much, not too little insurance.
P.S. The Saturday cartoons are brutal. Brutally honest, that is.