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McCain wants to make health insurance just like banking

You can’t make up stuff like this.  In the Sept./Oct. issue of Contingencies (the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries — the people who figure out how much life and health insurance should cost) there is an article from John McCain.  Here’s what McCain says about market-based health reform:

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.

Opening up the banking market by removing those nasty regulations is exactly what led to the current financial meltdown on Wall Street, as barriers between mortgage banks and investment banks were torn down for the first time since just after the great depression. Sub-prime mortgages were one of those “innovative products” that resulted.

The cost of bailing out the failing financial institutions is estimated (by the Bush administration) to be more money than it would cost to pay for health insurance for every citizen of the US. So if McCain has his way, we just might be bailing out failing health insurance companies in a few years. That is, if our country has any money left by then.

UPDATE: Apparently Obama has picked up on this quote. At a rally in Jacksonville, Obama said that McCain “wants to do for healthcare what Washington did for banking”. As a side note, the rally attracted an overflow crowd of 28,000 people, 8,000 of whom were turned away at the gate and had to listen from outside. McCain spoke at the same spot on Monday, and 3,000 people showed up (less than were turned away for Obama).


One Comment

  1. I made a comment about this bailout on Digg, responding to a bailout story at, yesterday, and then sent it to Senator Chris Dodd, the head of the Senate Banking Committee.

    Here’s what I said:

    Hi Chris,

    Listen, I wanted to share with You some thoughts on this economic collapse. Maybe there are some ideas in there You could use – I know You plan some hearings and legislation about this real soon now.

    date Sat, Sep 20, 2008 at 1:59 PM
    subject 092008 – Here’s what I wrote about the Economic Collapse on Digg today

    I wrote this in response to this item on


    Both candidates say they want to address the problem of the current economic collapse of the western economies, but I seriously doubt they will. Instead they will haul out the metaphorical bubble-gum, spit, string, and paperclips to gin up a jury-rigged patch for the current economic models practised by the WTO-ordered western economies.

    A true solution would actually be to address the root causes – the foundations of which were laid in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. We (the US) slammed the gold window shut in 1968-9, deciding to not back our currency with any tangible thing anymore, and instead to start a system of “floating” currency valuation, where the dollar is measured against all other currencies.

    Then, the congress repealed our USURY laws. How much does anybody want to bet that whatever solutions – bipartisan solutions – they come up with will include a new usury law that makes it illegal to charge more than 12 percent interest on home mortgages AND credit cards?

    They won’t. But that must be part of any real solution.

    Another part of any real solution must be to make Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) illegal. These instruments are predatory by definition, and allowing them has contributed the most towards the current epidemic of forclosures, and homelessness. And unsold homes, standing empty.

    And another part of any real solution must be to either eliminate, or very tightly regulate (with transparent public access online to data about) the bundling of mortgages by issuing banks and reselling them to others, who then bundle them with other mortgage bundles and resell these larger bundles to others who sell percentages of said bundles to others. (So who holds the bad debt of those mortgages that have gone south? That’s the problem. Hard to tell. This has been a great way to hide fraudulent predatory paper – and tends to freeze up and halt liquidity in times like these).

    No. No solution – bipartisan solution – the incumbents and their parties present us will include strong new Usury laws to use against predatory lenders and credit card issuers; No solution they give us will include outlawing predatory financial instruments including ARM mortgages; and No solution they offer will require the banks issuing mortgages to keep them.

    Also, no solution they offer will include requiring banks and other institutions to keep at least a 12 percent reserve against their outstanding loans.

    And all four of these actions need to be taken to even begin to honestly repair our economy.

    So, in summary, I doubt Bush, Bernake, Paulson, McCain and Obama will truly aim to repair these root causes of the current collapse of the western economies. In that respect, I humbly submit, they are all full of shit.

    I wrote a bit about this in Blogging and the Emergence of DotCommunism, in late 2005.
    ( )

    For What It’s Worth,

    David C. Manchester
    Niantic, CT

    Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 4:22 am | Permalink