NY Times columnist Bob Herbert appeared on Countdown to put some perspective on McCain's rose-colored promises of a $5,000 per family tax break somehow being an adequate plan to insure more Americans.
OLBERMANN: The infamous article—the “contigencies” article—that John McCain wrote when he wrote an article for the actuarial magazine reader: “We need to do for health insurance what we’ve done for the banking industry.” We’ll just for a moment throw out the economic collapse that resulted from doing that, even taking him at his word that he only meant the interstate commerce part, of letting you shop for a better healthcare plan in Arizona if you live in Michigan, is there any way that won’t end in disaster?
HERBERT: No. That will be guaranteed to end in disaster because what he wants to do is essentially deregulate the healthcare insurance industry. So what happens is a health insurance company sets up in a state that has the least regulations, so what happens now is if you purchase private healthcare, you may have a plan that says you get breast examinations that are covered or covered if you have a pre-existing condition or you’re covered for an ordinary annual checkup. Well if the company is set up in a state that says you don’t have to provide that coverage, well, guess what? Do we think that they’re going to provide it? No, they’re not going to provide it. So you’re going to get healthcare that is of a much lesser value.
This is exactly what they want to do, though. I mean, this is an ideological thing. They want healthcare to go into the marketplace. They don’t want healthcare provided on the job and they don’t want government sponsored healthcare. They want everybody out there in the marketplace.
We need only look at the financial market now to see how dangerous this is. As Herbert wrote in the NY Times:
In a refrain we’ve heard many times in recent years, Mr. McCain said he is committed to ridding the market of these “needless and costly” insurance regulations.
This entire McCain health insurance transformation is right out of the right-wing Republicans’ ideological playbook: fewer regulations; let the market decide; and send unsophisticated consumers into the crucible alone.
You would think that with some of the most venerable houses on Wall Street crumbling like sand castles right before our eyes, we’d be a little wary about spreading this toxic formula even further into the health care system.