Firing People, In Context

January 9th, 2012

A follow-up to You’re Fired, inspired by Mitt Romney’s “I like to be able to fire people” comment.

 

“I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” – Mitt Romney on the campaign trail today

 

Mitt, I like to be able to fire my insurance company too,
But if you become President, I won’t be able to.

 

Romney’s “fire people” comment was so juicy that it detracted media attention from what was really wrong with his statement. Even if you put Romney’s “I like to fire people” comment in context, it’s not good. Not good for Romney, but more importantly, not good for America.

Mitt’s wrong that the insurance company has an incentive to “keep you healthy.” — No it doesn’t. It has an incentive to maximize its own profits. That means raising its rates as much as it can, and reducing its costs as much as possible. Sure, it can do the latter by keeping you healthy, but it’s usually more lucrative to cut costs by: (1) denying claims reimbursements, and/or (2) denying care. Insurance companies have whole departments of people whose jobs it is to do those things. Do they “care” about keeping you healthy? No, not really.

Mitt also say says he likes to be able to fire his health insurance company. Maybe he can, since he’s a healthy quarter-billionaire. But until healthcare reform, the rest of us couldn’t, and if Romney has his way, we won’t be able to again. How can you “fire” your insurance company because they’re screwing you on reimbursements for an illness, when that illness is now a “pre-existing condition” that nobody else will pay you a dime for? And if the Repubs repeal Obamacare, not only will you not be able to fire your insurance company: they’ll be able to fire you, and if they do, you won’t be able to hire a new one. Insurance companies will again be empowered to cancel or deny coverage to anyone who isn’t profitable enough for them. Insurance companies will also be able to retroactively deny you coverage for a “pre-existing” condition that you didn’t know about at the time. If Mitt or any of the other GOP candidates have their way, you won’t be able to fire your insurance company, and your insurance company knows it.

Yes, Mitt, I like to be able to fire my insurance company too. But I and the millions of other Americans who share that feeling won’t be able to if you become President.

***

Here’s the video clip of Mitt’s “I like to be able to fire people” (i.e., insurance companies) statement. Yes, maybe Mitt should have said “companies” instead of people, but we know Mitt has a hard time telling the difference.

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