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John McCain: “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.”

Late Update: Obviously, to rejigger that wonderful line, this is not excellent news for John McCain. If the Obama folks are smart — and they are — they’ll ride this one all the way to the election. But among ourselves let’s admit that you could only be surprised by this statement if you were willfully ignorant to what McCain and his key advisors believe. Remember, his top economics advisor is former Sen. Phil Gramm, the legislative architect of the banking and financial services deregulation that led to the current crisis. And his health care proposals are all off-the-rack Heritage Foundation-style initiatives based on the premise that people have too much, not too little insurance. The only thing jarring about the statement is the degree to which it has been overtaken by events as McCain now tries — a la Palin the Earmark-Killer — to rebrand himself as a Mr. Wall Street oversight and transparency when he’s been pushing deregulation for 25 years.

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