No the context doesn’t matter. Romney clearly said he likes firing people. It’s a classic Freudian slip that shows the man’s true character. But by all means, let’s look at what Romney said in context. Because that’s even worse.
“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. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone isn’t giving the good service, I want to say, I’m going to go get someone else to provide this service to me.” [video here]
Think for a moment how ridiculous this statement is, in context. For almost 50 million Americans, who can’t afford to get health insurance at all, there isn’t anyone to fire. For the majority of those lucky enough to still have health insurance, they get it through their employer who rarely offers a choice. For those who manage to afford individual policies, by the time they find out their insurance company is not really going to give them the promised benefits, they have a pre-existing condition. They could theoretically fire their current provider, but they’ll never find another insurer willing to cover them. Certainly not if the Republicans succeed in abolishing the health care reform act that contains our only protection against that kind of health care discrimination.
The only people able to “fire” their insurance providers are the young and healthy customers who rarely have to use the insurance. The companies will compete for that customer base. But the minute you reach a certain age, or develop any kind of condition that requires the insurance company to pay out on the promised benefits, they either refuse the authorize the treatments or if they can’t do that, they squeeze you out with rate hikes that ultimately renders the policy unaffordable.
And of course, the other kind of people who could afford to “fire” their health care insurer are extremely rich people. Who have hundreds of millions in weath and can afford to pay any exorbitant premium. People like Willard Mitt Romney.