Monday, September 22, 2008

Financial health

The Bush administration's $700 billion plan to bail out the financial industry with taxpayer money is in many ways consistent with the Republican philosophy that we have seen in action for the last 8 years and that John McCain promises to continue. Paul Krugman has already cited "others" who "are calling the proposed legislation the Authorization for Use of Financial Force, after the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the infamous bill that gave the Bush administration the green light to invade Iraq".

But perhaps another apt analogy is to the Republican health care plan. McCain has already made the comparison explicit. In an article this month, McCain takes credit for the situation in the financial industry and says: "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."

The Republican stance on healthcare is that the 47 million uninsured Americans don't actually have a problem, because they can go to an emergency room, where they will be treated. Thus, rather than provide universal health insurance that would give everyone access to preventative care, the McCain Republicans would rather let medical problems go untreated until they need to be treated in an emergency room, at much higher cost. Likewise, the current woes in the financial markets could have been prevented through the government regulations that McCain was instrumental in repealing during the 1980s and '90s. Instead, the market (like an untreated disease) has been allowed to go unregulated until the situation has gone catastrophic, and now the Republicans want us to foot the much higher emergency-room bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment