Shifting gears – but still in reverse

Financial implosion not enough for the republicans, now health insurance is in their sights.

John McCain’s reversal on financial regulation came suddenly this week, and out of political necessity, but not soon enough since it was needed years ago. That’s water under the bridge.

What is not is that he still desires (further) health insurer deregulation. Less regulation for those companies like Blue Cross of California which were caught fraudulently canceling health care policies for sick and injured Californians. By the way, the fine that was levied by the state last Spring has not been paid and may never be, as the company is squirming its way through a maze of legalities guided by attorneys paid for with ill-gotten gains.

And not only does McCain want even less federal oversight of health insurers, he wants to negate the ability of states to regulate their markets as well. Just as his fellow Bush Administration has wanted to negate California’s financial privacy protection laws for consumers.

As McCain wrote in an article Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American recently for Contingencies, a trade magazine.

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.

Does this have a familiar ring to it?  Innovative products, more choice = subprime mortgages = $200 million dollar bonus checks for executives and $700 billion charged to private citizens.

As Paul Krugman said,

So McCain, who now poses as the scourge of Wall Street, was praising financial deregulation like 10 seconds ago — and promising that if we marketize health care, it will perform as well as the financial industry!

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