Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Condemning Mitt Romney for His Ignorance on Health Insurance

And Defending Him for His Remark on Firing People

Mitt Romney has approached his run for the Presidency as a business, where marketing is key and controlling the message, the messenger and the setting of the message is all important.  None of his campaign is about substance, it is all about marketing presentation.  And so Mr. Romney is not capable of speaking in a convincing manner on his own and thus is told by his advisers never to do so.

So it is always interesting when Mr. Romney goes off the reservation.  Like his recent remarks on health care, which reveal a total and complete lack of understanding.

“I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you could fire them.”

Uh, see Mitt, outside of Medicare individuals do have their own insurance.  It is usually obtained through a group plan sponsored by the employer, the same structure that you almost certainly had when you were working.  Did you even notice?  And most employers provide several options for employees, so they can “fire” their carrier if they are unhappy with service, as many of them do every year. 

And even in Medicare individuals have a choice.  They can keep traditional Medicare or choose a Medicare Advantage plan.  So what you want Mr. Romney, guess what, we already have.  Maybe you ought to bone up some more before you speak.

And guess what Mitt, insurance companies do have an incentive to keep people healthy, because that does lower the cost of providing insurance.  See Mr. Romney, if you were only able to live in the real world that most Americans inhabit, rather than the rarified world of people worth hundreds of millions of dollars, you would probably know these things.  Of course, if you did it you might also have to change your position on health care and health care insurance.  That’s okay, changing your position is something you are good at.

In the same speech in which Mr. Romney made his remarks demonstrating his ignorance on health insurance Mr. Romney also made another statement.

“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me,” Romney told a breakfast forum of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce.

and that statement is suddenly getting a lot of play.  Mr. Romney’s opponents are taking the statement out of context, to suggest that in his business dealings he enjoyed firing people.  In context the sentence is ok, Mr. Romney is simply saying that he likes a competitive system where he can change suppliers of services if he is unhappy with the supplier.  In that context it is a rather mundane and irrelevant statement.

So Mr. Romney should not be criticized for that statement, but given his background and business record he should not be stupid enough to make such a statement. And Mr. Romney is famous for a commercial in which he not only took Mr. Obama's remark on the economy out of context, he took a remark Mr. Obama was applying to the McCain campaign and implied Mr. Obama was saying it about his own campaign.

 So in that sense it is only just that the words come back to haunt him.  And for the future you can be sure that Mitt will only say what is written for him.

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