Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Rest of the Story? [UPDATED]

Touching story designed to inflame, but there are many questions not addressed in this short attack advertisement. 

Would the unnamed plant have survived regardless of Bain's action? Venture capital firms don't buy a healthy, profitable business and then close it down. 

When a company closes and/or the group insurance plan is cancelled every state has provisions for continuing health insurance. Why is this not addressed? 

If Mrs. Soptic and her husband were in good health at the time the group insurance plan was cancelled, why didn't they purchase health insurance then? 

Even still, some 35 states either have a high risk pool or some form of guaranteed issue health insurance. Why wasn't health insurance purchased then? 

It seems Mr. Soptic is a bit of a celebrity. The Washington Examiner provides some insight into his story.

Mr. Soptic was a union employee in a steel company that was losing money. Mr. Soptic, along with several others who worked there, were offered a buy out.

Why is Soptic upset? Primarily, its because his pension was cut. In this interview, Soptic clarified that his 401k was not affected but he lost $400 a month from his pension.
But in a January 2012 Reuters story, Soptic reportedly said that he only lost $283 per month from his pension.

Sad, but many have lost much more than that during this bottomless recession.

So why blame Mitt Romney for the failings of a company that appears to have been on its' last legs before Bain? Did Mr. Romney cause the business to fail? Were the prior owners poor business people? Did the union make unreasonable demands? Was the company simply a victim of the times?

Mr. Soptic claimed he had to liquidate his 401(k) to pay his wife's hospital bills following her death. Would he not have been better off by using his 401(k) to purchase a health insurance plan before she became ill or even afterward through one of the guaranteed issue options that have existed for nearly 20 years?


InsureBlog is not a political blog but we do seek the truth, especially when it involves insurance matters. In addition to the comments below that alert the reader to dubious statements about Mr. Romney's involvement (or the lack thereof) it seems there is much more to the story, as reported by no less than CNN:

It's a very heart-wrenching story, but it’s not accurate. Here is the actual timeline:
Romney stopped his day-to-day oversight at Bain Capital in 1999 when he left to run the Salt Lake City Olympics, though he officially remained CEO until 2002. Bain Capital shut down GST Steel in 2001, costing Soptic his job.
According to Mr. Soptic, his wife received her primary insurance through her employer – a local thrift store called Savers – and retained it even after his layoff. Soptic's policy through GST Steel was her secondary coverage.
 In 2002, Mitt Romney formally left Bain. Sometime in 2002 or 2003, Mr. Soptic says his wife injured her rotator cuff and was forced to leave her job. As a result she lost her health insurance coverage and Mr. Soptic's new job as a janitor did not provide coverage for his spouse.
 It was a few years later, in 2006, that Ilyona Soptic went to the hospital with symptoms of pneumonia. She was diagnosed with stage four cancer and passed away just days later.

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