The Real Problem With Romney’s Gaffe

Here is Romney's "I like being able to fire people" quote, in context:

I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep people 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. If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me.

Aaron Carroll takes issue with the point Romney intended:

The real issue, unfortunately, is that very, very few people have the luxury that Gov. Romney is endorsing. Let’s say that you are self-employed, and lucky enough to have found a company to provide you with health insurance. Then, let’s say you develop cancer. You suddenly find out that your insurance company stinks. So you fire them, right?

Of course not. You’re screwed.

Now you have a pre-existing condition. There’s not an insurance company out there that wants to cover you. So you don’t fire them. You scream, and curse, and cry, but you’re stuck. Only healthy people have the luxury of picking and choosing.

Fallows assesses the damage Romney did to himself. A reader adds:

The really astonishing thing to me is that no one has pointed out that what Romney actually was saying – that the Affordable Care Act will prevent people from firing their insurer – is patently false.  I even heard a spokesman say that under the Act, Americans will all get their care from the government.  Romney, of all people, knows this is a lie because the Act is basically his Massachusetts plan. And once again the media only reports on the "he said, she said" without correcting the record.

After a while, the Romney lies become background noise. But they are lies – easy, cheap lies – and at some point, like most lies, they will unravel.