The current uproar about John McCain’s remarks on health care is as dumb as the earlier uproar over Barack Obama and the “bittergate” scandal. McCain’s views on deregulation are important, but how much can really be read into the article he “authored” for Contingencies, that influential journal of opinion?
Here’s James Fallows on the matter:
Many people have noted that this past week was a bad time for John McCain to have published an article promising to deregulate the health insurance industry, “as we have done over the last decade in banking,” given the collapse of the banking industry due in part to that deregulation. True enough…
But my immediate reaction to the flap was to sympathize with whatever poor schlub had actually cranked out the article in question, which appeared in Contingencies, the closely-followed journal of the American Academy of Actuaries. The article just before it in Contingencies’s newest issue was “An Actuary Weighs the Proposals.” I love the magazine business.
Two things are 100% certain about this article:
1) John McCain did not write it;
2) Whoever did write it was just trying to get through the to-do deadline list for that day in the campaign office, and knew that the simplest way to do so was to cut-and-paste from existing statements on health policy.